Shropshire Council has released this stunning image of how Shrewsbury's Riverside could look in future - ahead of its development proposal presentation to Cabinet meeting tomorrow (February 16th).
Major ambitions have been unveiled by Shropshire Council today to transform Shrewsbury town centre to include this stunning redevelopment of the Riverside area (pictured above). The traffic-free green space, quayside and futuristic leisure and mixed-use development is a far cry from the current, dated buildings (pictured below). The council vision would see 270 new homes built - and create up to 2,000 jobs - offering the chance to live, work and relax in the middle of a green, modern town centre.
The proposal seeks to make much more of Shrewsbury's riverside location to create a new focal point and quayside along the River Severn, making the most of this beautiful asset.
Councillor Ed Potter, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Planning, said: "This is a game-changing mixed-use development combining new leisure attractions, vibrant hospitality and public space, a new quayside and hotels to support the town’s existing retail while bringing new workspace that can attract high quality jobs into the town. A place where you arrive by a brand-new eco-friendly bus, on your bicycle or somewhere you can park – and charge – your electric vehicle. A place you can work in a zero-carbon office and enjoy a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants and bars – all next to the new quayside fronting on the River Severn.
"A development that will create almost 2,000 jobs, see a modern, friendly multi agency hub and offices open with 500 spaces for workers, allowing the public to access what they need where and when they need it. Somewhere with a brand-new bus facility, a high-quality transport hub kitted out for modern vehicles with more charge points, better lighting and bigger spaces."
The council anticipates that this transformation could help Shrewsbury attract 750,000 new visits a year and substantially increase investment and footfall for the benefit of existing businesses across the county as part of a wider £800 million investment in the town under the Big Town Plan.
"This is chance for Shrewsbury to transform and thrive in a changing world and offer everyone using this part of the town a unique experience and the chance for the town to continue to evolve and open a new chapter in its long and vibrant history," Ed added.
So far, feedback from businesses in Shrewsbury has been positive - according to Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District) which represents more than 500 businesses in the town centre.
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “Speaking to a number of businesses since the plans were announced, it’s fair to say there is real enthusiasm and excitement for the plans which would transform this important part of town. The Riverside area is not currently in good shape and this investment would be a huge boost for the local economy.
“The Council relocating its offices into the town centre is something we’ve been supportive of for a long time as this would bring several hundred people into the town centre every day, helping to kickstart a more vibrant office working environment.”
Darren Tomkins, owner of Gindifferent in Shrewsbury Market Hall and Shrewsbury BID board member, added: “These plans look really exciting and would undoubtedly help bring more people into the town centre, with a great mix of leisure, hospitality and residential. I look forward to seeing and hearing more about how we can work together to bring these plans into fruition.”
Jonathan Soden, of The Soden Collection in Wyle Cop and Shrewsbury BID board member, said: “A major priority for the BID is to create an environment which encourages people to spend longer in the town centre, and these proposals would certainly add to that. We all want to make more use of the river, and the idea of opening up the town to the river in this way is really interesting.”
Tina Boyle, of Acoustic Boutique in High Street and Shrewsbury BID board member, added: “It’s early days and I’m sure more detailed work will be done on the design of the buildings, but the overall proposal to regenerate the Riverside area of town is very much something we welcome. We already have a thriving town centre, which is performing above the national average in terms of footfall and vacancy rates, but exciting regeneration projects like this will only improve the local economy and town centre offer.”