Money released to draw up detailed plans for Cathedral gardens scheme
Money to draw up detailed plans for a revamp of the area outside Leicester Cathedral has been approved by the mayor.
Church leaders and the city council are working together on a £3 million project to develop Cathedral Gardens.
The council has agreed to provide £150,000 so plans and other documents can be completed by July, when the cathedral is expecting decisions on its funding application for the bulk of the projects costs.
The scheme could be completed by next spring, in time for the opening of the Richard III visitor centre, opposite the cathedral, and the reburial of the monarch's remains.
A further £77,000 has been agreed to bring forward work to pedestrianise and improve St Martins and Peacock Lane, along with £33,000 for related project management costs.
Sir Peter said: "By funding this preliminary work now, the project teams will be in the best possible position to complete in time for the opening of the visitor centre.
"We can't afford to miss this unique opportunity to create something the whole city can enjoy and be proud of.
"These projects will provide a wonderful setting for our cathedral and help to make this historic area an even more attractive destination for visitors."
Leicester Civic Society opposed elements of the scheme, such as the near removal of a grade II-listed wall, but planning permission was granted.
Acting Dean of Leicester Cathedral, Canon Barry Naylor, said: "We are delighted and thankful the city council is helping move the Cathedral Gardens project forward quickly.
"This will transform an area which had become a bit of a backwater into an oasis of peace, that is much more welcoming to visitors."