North Street is in a sad state at the moment with the road being resurfaced and redevelopment work being done at several places.

Vokins department store has long gone and now Hanningtons, a feature of the area for almost 200 years, has also closed.

But there are encouraging signs that this street, once the main area of commerce and trade in town, will soon again become the hub of the city.

Already three shops are planned on the site of the old Essoldo and more are likely to occupy the old Hanningtons buildings.

Homes are being built in a restored art deco building at the eastern end of the street. Work has started on a scheme in New Road, which will include restoring part of the old colonnade.

There is a successful new budget hotel in the old Prudential building above a group of shops while more homes could be provided above other buildings.

New coffee bars, restaurants and cafes are flourishing in or near North Street while the Clock Tower at the western end is being renovated.

North Street is right in the middle of the city. It provides a link from Churchill Square and Western Road to The Lanes and the North Laine.

It's not a pretty sight at present. But once all the construction work has been completed, North Street will be worth visiting in its own right.