THE regeneration of Braintree Town Centre will lead to improvements being made to the much maligned high street, a council boss has promised.

Braintree Council's corporate transformation leader John McKee made the vow just days after councillors gave the final green light to a multimillion pound revamp of Manor Street and Victoria Street.

Preliminary work has already started on the scheme and it is understood the project will be completed by August 2021.

Mr McKee says there is great excitement about the regeneration among councillors but admits he and his colleagues are well are of the ongoing frustration surrounding the uneven high street pavements, which critics have labelled "dangerous".

And he insists money will be made available to address the public's concerns and has hinted pedestrianising the high street is the most likely solution.

Mr McKee told the Times: "What we are really hoping is the Manor Street project will unlock the regeneration of the rest of the town centre and in particular the high street.

"We wouldn't want to spend all that money on one part of the town centre and nothing on the rest of it.

"There's a lot of discussions going on about the high street at the moment and rightly so.

"There isn't a councillor in any of the Braintree wards who doesn't get emails every week complaining about the high street.

"It's not good enough to say it is Essex Highways' problem. I think the regeneration shows a willingness to tackle the town centre as a whole and address the problems with the high street.

"Pedestrianisation looks the best option so its a case of working with all parties and finding a way to make that happen."

Braintree Council's economic development boss Tom Cunningham has meanwhile stated he will provide an update on proposals to pedestrianise Braintree High Street at a full council meeting in December.

A public consultation was held on the proposals 12 months ago and discussions between all parties involved are ongoing.

Speaking during a meeting last week, Mr Cunningham said: "A lot of meaningful work has been done behind the scenes at officer level between both this authority and Essex County Council to work up active proposals to do that.

"If we are going to affect meaningful change it is obviously going to cost money and the issue of the funding are being worked out and agreed.

"It will be hoped this authority will be able to contribute significantly to that."