Two multi-million pound regeneration schemes, which will support the continued transformation of Stoke-on-Trent, have been showcased to global investors at a major international property event.
The development opportunities on the former East-West Precinct in the city centre, and on land next to Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station, were unveiled on the first day of the Mipim property show in Cannes, which is expected to attract more than 20,000 people over the next four days.
Both schemes are being highlighted to potential investors as part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s regeneration strategy, which is focused on ensuring the city continues to raise its profile nationally and internationally as a leading destination to live, visit, work, study and invest. The city council is part of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) delegation at Mipim and has formed part of the Midlands Engine Pavilion with the region’s nine other LEPs.
The city council bought the East-West Precinct at the end of last year after it had stood dormant for years under its previous owner. Demolition of buildings is already under way so the site can be marketed, presenting a once-in-a-generation development opportunity. The plans unveiled at Mipim show how the site could be transformed into a mixed-leisure use development, with a public square, the potential for a hotel and option for a 3,500 seat venue.
Investors at Mipim are also being shown how land in council ownership, one-and-a-half miles away next to Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station, could see construction of a mixed-use building with 76-bed hotel, student accommodation with 200 rooms and three restaurants. The Swift House development forms an important part of the wider Stoke-on-Trent rail gateway regeneration vision.
Outline proposals were unveiled at Mipim last year, with definitive plans for the site showcased today. Within easy walking distance of the Swift House site sits the newly transformed Spode Works and Staffordshire University’s campus, with its new £40 million Catalyst building.
There’s a development value in excess of £300 million over the next five years in the city and the new developments would complement recently delivered city centre successes such as Smithfield which includes new office accommodation, build-to-rent apartments and a Hilton Hotel. The hotel and apartments are scheduled for completion later this year.
City council leader, Councillor Ann James, said: “The development plans unveiled set out our long-term commitment as a council to continually transform this city – attracting multi-million-pound investment which ultimately leads to local job creation and greater prosperity. These developments offer significant opportunities for global investors. That is why we are at MIPIM, to pitch Stoke-on-Trent’s potential at the highest level and make sure our name is out there at the forefront of development circles. These two sites present once in a lifetime development opportunities to create something special and improve the city for generations to come. It’s a very exciting time for the city right now.”
City council deputy leader, Councillor Abi Brown, said: “We’re ensuring we build on our current successes to make Stoke-on-Trent an increasingly attractive place to live, work, visit and study. It is important therefore that together with our partners we are showcasing the city on an international stage. Working as part of the LEP and Midlands Engine gives us additional leverage. It demonstrates how effective cross sector working is essential to successful delivery. As a council we are a facilitator of economic growth and with both schemes our actions are directly providing prime city centre land for development as soon as possible. When we consider recent developments, our existing businesses, university and connectivity, we can be confident of the future success of the exciting schemes unveiled today.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE commented: “The LEP and our key strategic partners will be working together at MIPIM to promote Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire on the world stage. The wide range of showpiece projects planned for Stoke-on-Trent is a great illustration of the ambition and forward-looking, can-do attitude of our region. Our prime location at the centre of the country makes this a great place to live, work, invest and do business, and we have a very impressive case to make to international investors. It is vital that we generate a continuing flow of new investment into Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire by promoting growth opportunities to a national and international audience, so that we can create more and better jobs for local people.”
Darren Horley, Head of Commercial (Operations & Station) for Virgin Trains said: “Record numbers of people are now choosing to travel by train. In the last year along over three million journeys were made to and from Stoke station reflecting the city’s excellent rail links. Our and Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s shared ambition is to place the station at the heart of the community, making it a destination in its own right. The regeneration plans for the area will bring new life to the surrounding area and give the city a station to be proud of, and its visitors a first-class welcome.”
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire delegation has attracted 17 sponsors – including developer St Modwen and Virgin Trains.