A huge £1.8 million project to regenerate Sidcup town centre is close to completion.

The scheme, which began in January, has resulted in new shop fronts and pavements, improved pedestrian crossings, better access to public transport, while space has been made for markets and events.

Bexley Council says it should be completed next month.

It is part of In Store for Sidcup, a programme started in 2012 and designed to support the growth of Sidcup High Street's existing businesses and encourage new traders.

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Before and after: Famous Blossoms off licence and Aisha's Corner

Funded by the Mayor of London's Outer London Fund (OLF) and Bexley Council, it has helped more than 50 businesses to improve, expand or refurbish their shops, open new premises, or buy new equipment to widen their offer to customers. 

It has also helped new businesses to open up premises to help diversify the range of shops on the high street. 

New businesses include Cake O Cake, Hamilton Antiques Market, Rays and Vita Pets.

Meanwhile a new multi-purpose business space, Sidcup & Co., has also been established at 9 High Street, at the site of the former William Hill unit. 

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Before and After: The William Hill building and Sidcup and co.

There have also been improvements to footpaths, roads and pedestrian crossings, while there is better access to public transport, reduced street clutter, new trees and enhanced public spaces to enable occasional markets and events. 

A Big Dance Bus event took place on September 6, the first event to make use of the new public space on Hadlow Road, which brought excitement and activity to the town centre. 

Next month, a new digital advertising screen will be installed in the high street, offering independent businesses the chance to promote themselves at low cost rates.

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The dance event on September 6. Photo: Marco Kesseler 

Councillor Linda Bailey, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: "With the addition of the new Learning Centre Bexley, Better Gym Sidcup, Waitrose and all the other new businesses, there is a really positive atmosphere building on the high street.

"There is now greater variety of shops for residents and visitors to enjoy. We hope that people will support this local and much improved high street and enable it to thrive."