Major improvement work to New Brighton promenade has been stalled by the economic squeeze.

Originally due for completion next month, the £1.2m project to smarten up the promenade will be delayed until next autumn following suspension of tenders.

It will involve new footways, road surfaces, car parking, new lighting and street furniture, as well as special landscaping work.

Councillor Pat Hackett, a wardcouncillor and Wirral Council cabinet spokesman for regeneration and planning strategy, said: “This scheme shows the confidence the council has in New Brighton’s future.

“Businesses there are doing extremely well in depressed times all year round and things are happening down there. Unfortunately the spending freeze has caused a bit of a setback but we are pressing for the improvement work to be done as soon as possible – it is seen as a priority by all parties.”

A report to council cabinet warns councillors that the state of the street scene between Marine Point and Victoria Road is having a negative impact on the perception of the resort among would-be investors.

It states: “If not addressed quickly this could have a detrimental impact of the number of visitors to New Brighton and jeopardise the future of existing businesses in the town.

It adds: “Improvements to the public realm will act as a catalyst for the remainder of the development and help stimulate private sector investment in leisure and accommodation facilities along this stretch of promenade. These new amenities will benefit both the local population and help to sustain visitor numbers and attract additional visitors to the area.”

The promenade work will involve removal of a series of brick planters to create extra parking spaces and improve visibility at pedestrian crossings.

In addition the junction of Marine Promenade and the entrance to Fort Perch Rock car park will be realigned to improve inward and outward flows for motorists and pedestrians visiting New Brighton and the Floral Pavilion.

A lay by will also be built at the bottom of Rowson Street to provide a drop off and pick up point..

Council cabinet will ratify the revised timetable when they meet on December 20.