The work to transform Hatfield’s White Lion Square begins on Monday 25 February. Borras Construction will carry out the project, which includes the installation of new paving, seating, raised planters, children's play equipment and cycle parking. The council will return the iconic Pearl statue to the square in June and local school children will bury a time capsule when the works complete.

Aiming to create a more welcoming environment and drive footfall to local shops and businesses, the £1.2m redesign is funded through a Local Growth Fund contribution from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), as part of a wider £6m LEP-funded investment in the town centre.

The work will take around six months and all local businesses will remain open throughout.

L-R: Adrian Wake, Borras Construction; Cllr Duncan Bell, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council; Buddy; Quintin McKellar, Hertfordshire LEP Board member and Hatfield 2030+ chair; Ka Ng, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council; Gemma Fulton, Hertfordshire LEP and Barbara Sharman, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

Cllr Duncan Bell, Executive Member for Resources at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: “This is the moment we’ve all been working towards and we are so pleased to be on site starting the work. The result will be a vibrant and inviting community space for all and we’re really excited to have this next phase of town centre regeneration underway.”

Jake Berry MP, Minister for Local Growth, said: "This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future. Our High Streets are at the heart of our communities so I'm pleased to see £1.2m from the Local Growth Fund invested in the redevelopment of White Lion Square in Hatfield town centre. This project will increase visitors, help local businesses to thrive and boost economic growth in the area."

Quintin McKellar, Chair of the Hatfield 2030+ partnership and Hertfordshire LEP Board Member, said: “The regeneration of Hatfield will inject new vibrancy to the town centre for the benefit of residents and local businesses for many years to come. We look forward to seeing the vision we have worked in partnership to develop come to fruition.”

Survey work will also be taking place in The Common car park next week as plans for a multi-storey car park to release key space develop. Up to 30 spaces may be affected until the work completes on Friday 1 March.

For more information and updates on all the Hatfield regeneration works, visit www.hatfield2030.co.uk