Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has reached a landmark in its bid to attract significant funding to change the shape of Newcastle’s town centre.

In August 2019, the Council was invited to progress to Phase Two of the Future High Street Fund bidding process and awarded funding to build a business case outlining key aspirations for the town. The submission bid could bring in up to £25 million for town centre regeneration.

The Council’s Cabinet will now be asked to endorse the key elements of the bid, which include:

  • the redevelopment of the Ryecroft site as a key strategic anchor for the town, using the site for a mix of employment and residential uses, a new multi-storey car park, new public space and more direct pedestrian and cycle connections to the residential areas at the North of the town centre.
  • the creation of a series of linked plazas and public spaces with attractive pedestrian routes.
  • A development opportunity to replace the ageing Midway multi-storey car park with residential units.
  • Complementing an improving offer from the street market by creating a community event space in the heart of the town.

The Leader of the Council, Simon Tagg, said: “The centre piece of our bid is the long awaited redevelopment of the Ryecroft which includes demolishing the old Civic Offices and using the whole of the site for employment and residential opportunities. Our aim is to help increase footfall in the town centre with more people living and working within the area of the ring road to help the existing retail businesses and the historic market, which have suffered in recent years, in line with the Council’s priority of creating a Town Centre for All. The plans include a mix of accommodation for all ages. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Newcastle and the bid we will submit is ambitious and forward thinking to help us create a vibrant town centre that we know our residents would like to see.”

The Council has already received £150k in seed funding to work up the bid for the Future High Streets Fund. The government is set to announce allocations in the near future.

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