PARTS of Southampton have received a colourful revamp to welcome people back as restrictions are eased.

GO! Southampton has taken to the pedestrianised streets of Bedford Place and Carlton Place to paint the areas in preparation for the easing of restrictions.

A "colourful framework" has now been created in the two streets for an "imaginative, interactive" piece of art.

The project, which has been funded by GO! Southampton, working in partnership with Southampton City Council and Solent Showcase Gallery, aims to ensure that as shoppers and al-fresco diners return to the city, they will discover a re-invigorated area.

Created by local artists and designers, an interactive grid at Carlton Place has been designed to encourage community groups, schools and businesses to become involved in creating their own additions to the project.

As well as the Carlton Place road mural, designed by local architect Amanda Moore and painted by local artist Slam Daniels, planters have been painted and branded with the new Bedford Place logo designed by another local artist, Nathan Evans.

Giles Semper, Executive Director at GO! Southampton said: “We continue to work closely with local traders and partners to revitalise the city centre ahead of lockdown restrictions lifting.

"We want to make visitors feel safe, while also encouraging them to spend time in the city shopping and dining out. We are now looking at the Guildhall Square area and the possibility of turning it into a temporary picnic or dining area from May onwards."

The road painting represents another stage in the Bedford Place road closure pilot scheme, introduced last year as part of GO! Southampton’s #SouthamptonInsideOut initiative.

Amanda Moore, architect and designer of the road mural said the aim of the project is to "help make Carlton Place feel more playful and interactive".

“The gridded pattern plays on the social distancing markings we have become used to seeing over the last year and also references traditional vehicular road marking patterns."

John Cooney, Owner of The Cricketers Arms on Carlton Place added: "On behalf of many of the business owners in Carlton Place, I would like to express our thanks for the initiative and guts to pilot the pedestrianisation.

"Most cosmopolitan great cities offer ‘al fresco’ dining and it’s fantastic that we can also offer this opportunity in Southampton. We now look forward with great excitement to welcoming customers old and new to our invigorated and energised surroundings.”