WORK to refurbish the main thoroughfare of a Hillfoots town is underway.

The £1.6million project to upgrade Stirling Street in Alva has been three years in the making and has sparked intense levels of community engagement.

The project will improve the town's main stretch between Queen Street and Brook Street with natural stone paving, refurbished street lights, seats and benches.

Bus shelters and cycle parking are also to receive a facelift while new hanging baskets, trees and planters will aim to liven up the scene.

Stirling Street is also to receive an e-bike charging station.

Alva Community Action Plan (CAPlan) Group, a sub-group of the community council, Alva Development Trust and Sustrans have been working with the council on the design and improvements.

Sandra Rees, speaking on behalf of Alva CAPlan Group, said: "The CAPlan Group is delighted with the investment in Alva, particularly the town centre.

"The group has met periodically since 2018 with Clackmannanshire Council officers from the Traffic and Transportation and Planning Teams for consultation on how to deliver outcomes from the Alva Community Action Plan report, published in 2015 following a survey of all Alva households.

"Over 650 people called into the three day public consultation in February 2019 to see and comment on plans for the regeneration of Alva town centre.

"The final plans are a result of a shared vision for a 'clean, bright and attractive main street' and should strengthen the identity of Alva and make it more functional for residents and visitors alike.

"Driving change from the ground up on behalf of the wider Alva community, the CAPlan Group consider collaboration with Clackmannanshire Council for this project to have been a good example of community empowerment and would like to thank the officers."

Funding for the project comes from Sustrans Scotland's Places for Everyone programme, supported by Transport Scotland, with £889,000 confirmed.

Clackmannanshire Council is also providing funding of at least £600,000.

Councillor Craig Holden, the local authority's spokesman for the environment, said: "I am delighted to see this work getting underway and am impressed by what has been achieved through a truly collective effort.

"This represents a significant capital investment for the council and I'm sure it will bring tangible improvements for local people and businesses."

The improvements will also include three new controlled pedestrian crossings.

One will be installed near to Queen Street, one at Cobden Street and the third near to Brook Street.

The junctions at all three will be raised to slow traffic, making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross.

Thomas Haddock, infrastructure manager at Sustrans Scotland, added: "This is a fantastic project, which has been led by the Alva community through the action group.

"We look forward to seeing the completed works, which will create a more pleasant, accessible space for the whole community to enjoy."