WORK begins this week on a controversial four-month town centre regeneration plan.
Contractors will move in to the Daniel Owen Square in Mold as work on a £500,000 upgrade commences.
From today the famous old square is being assessed, with tools and machinery being put in place.
It is expected tomorrow will involve the area being closed off to the public while street furniture such as benches and lampposts are moved ahead of building work officially getting under way on Wednesday.
As well as moving the Daniel Owen statue, the revamp will see the new square have a raised platform to serve as an artistic hub for performers with anchor points and mains electricity being made available to market traders for the first time.
But some traders who will be moved during the period of works fear a downturn in trade, saying shoppers will be put off from coming while the works are under way.
Others said the timing was ‘terrible’, as the work will span much of the high summer season and then some of the beginning of the Christmas build up.
Project manager Adam Foley has moved to cool any fears.
“It will go as smoothly as it possibly can, we can’t foresee any issues going forward,” he said.
Mr Foley confirmed that the work is set for completion in the second week of November, in time for the town's Christmas lights switch on.
Tony Puplett, of Flintshire Fitness Supplies on Daniel Owen precinct, said: “If they spent the same amount of money on businesses as they are on moving some benches and trees I’d understand.”
Chairman of the Daniel Owen centre and Fact Not Fiction book shop owner, Roy Marsh, said: “In the long term it’s a good idea but in the short term it is going to create problems, we’re already suffering from parking issues anyway.
“The timing isn’t good, we’ve only just got over gas works but this will have a knock on effect.
“We’re frightened people will get out of the habit of coming to Mold.
“Small businesses are concerned, we’re worried sick.”
Market traders will be temporarily displaced to Earl Road, King Street and Upper High Street while the works take place.