Multi million pound vision of Stafford town centre future

A multi million pound concept of what Stafford Town Centre could look like in the future is going on show this weekend.

People across the borough are being encouraged to give their views on a number of possible ideas on Saturday at an exhibition in the town’s Market Square. The drop in exhibition is taking place on a big red bus which will be parked in the Square from 10am to 4pm.

Options for the future development include bringing homes in to the town centre, a new department store – with Debenhams already mooted as a possible retailer – and visitor attractions based around the town’s heritage.

People will be asked their opinions on ideas such as a multi-storey car park in Broad Street with a new retail unit on the ground floor, moving the indoor market back to its historic location within the Guildhall, and making space for high quality town houses and apartments.

Experts will be on hand at the exhibition to answer questions from members of the public.

Stafford Borough and County Councils appointed urban designers, URBED and property consultants, DTZ, to come up with a range of solutions to help the north end of the town centre flourish. Work is already underway to bring a massive retail complex to the Riverside site, with huge Marks and Spencer and Primark stores as anchor tenants, and a large Morrisons store is being built on the town’s Kingsmead site. Plans are also in the pipeline for a new multi-screen cinema in Bridge Street.

The consultants have already worked with some local businesses and other stakeholders to draw up some designs and this Saturday will be asking residents, workers and visitors for their feedback.

Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, said:

“This is an opportunity to build on the major investments being made to the Riverside and Kingsmead areas and will make sure future investment is for the benefit of the whole town centre, and especially the north end of town.

“I would encourage everyone to come and give their views at the exhibition this Saturday and tell us what they think of the various ideas and how they want to see from their town centre in the future.”

She added:

“This is about a vision for the next 10 to 15 years – and it is having this vision in place that will help attract many millions of pounds worth of investment in to the town.”

The exhibition will be in Stafford Market Square on Saturday 26 July from 10am until 4pm.