The Branxton CBD has a fresh new look, with the latest stage of works to upgrade the town centre now complete.
The project included new pathways and street trees on John Rose Avenue and Maitland Street, upgrading the memorial rotunda with new sandstone paving and furniture, replacing the existing drainage and flagpoles, and landscaping.
A small ceremony was held at the rotunda on Monday to celebrate the completion of this stage of works.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said the work has certainly improved the overall look and feel of the Branxton CBD and the rotunda looks wonderful.
"We're always looking for opportunities to carry out improvement works in our CBDs. This project was able to happen due to critical funding provided for by the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund," Cr Pynsent said.
"Council is committed to delivering upgrades that ensure our town centres are vibrant and thriving for both those who live here and visit."
Central Hunter Business Chamber president Mike Lowing said the chamber is delighted with the works carried out in the main street and at the rotunda, and thanks council for pursuing the funding.
"The rotunda was built in 1923 as a war memorial and did need some work, and the work carried out using Wollombi Sandstone and local craftsmen is just wonderful," Mr Lowing said.
Council contributed $150,000 towards the project, which was topped up with a $360,000 grant from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund.
"These upgrades of new pathways and street tree planting will improve the overall experience of the town for residents and visitors to Branxton, and I thank Cessnock City Council for its commitment and contribution to this project," Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack said.
"The $400 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government's $1.7 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is being invested in local programs and infrastructure that improve the lives of people living in regional NSW."
The upgrade is part of the Branxton Town Centre Public Domain Plan, which is being rolled out as part of the Branxton Sub Regional Strategy. Council will continue to look for other funding opportunities to continue the implementation of the Public Domain Plan.
It has designated $330,000 from its Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program allocation (a federally-funded program) for stage three of the project.