Contractor George Cox & Sons has started work on a £1m makeover of the Newton Heath district centre in east Manchester.
Funded by the North West Development Agency and Manchester City Council, the work is being carried out on behalf of urban regeneration company New East Manchester.
The work includes upgrading the main high street, Church Street, and All Saints Street with new paving and installing benches, bins, bollards and cycle racks.
The green space opposite the All Saints Church, where a new war memorial is planned, will also be improved with better landscaping, paths and seating.
To make the area safer for pedestrians, traffic calming measures will be put in place creating a 20-mile an hour zone and a pedestrian crossing will be introduced on Drolysden Street near the children's centre.
The area is also to get new street lights with lampposts designed to allow for hanging baskets and wired up ready for any future CCTV cameras.
Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, said: "We have recognised for some time that Newton Heath was in need of a facelift so we are very pleased to have secured the funding from our partners to carry out this work. Improving the look and feel of the shopping area will make a dramatic difference to the centre of this vibrant east Manchester neighbourhood. Not only will it create a much more pleasant environment for local residents but we are confident these improvements will encourage further investment and attract more people to consider Newton Heath as a place to live, work and visit."
The work is due to be completed by the end of the year.