'New dawn' for Shrewsbury as major developments get go-ahead

Two huge developments in Shrewsbury have been given the green-light in what has been hailed as “the dawn of a new era” for the town.

The Tannery in Barker Street, Shrewsbury. Photo: Google StreetView.
The Tannery in Barker Street, Shrewsbury. Photo: Google StreetView.

Shropshire Council’s cabinet has approved plans which will see construction on new university halls begin in the spring, while development of the third phase of Shrewsbury Business Park will start in the summer.

Michael Wood, the authority’s cabinet member for corporate support, said: “Cabinet has agreed to bring forward two of Shropshire Council’s principal sites for development in Shrewsbury.

"Work to develop student accommodation at the Tannery site in the town centre will now begin in spring 2017, and the development of the third and final phase of the Shrewsbury Business Park will start in summer 2017.”

The announcement of work on the halls, which will be built at Barker Street, comes after the project was delayed earlier this year.

It was initially intended to be completed by September, in time for the latest intake of undergraduates.

The development of the business park will see the available floor space at the site increase from 250,000 square feet, to 350,000 square feet. The sites available are expected to be highly sought after when placed on the market.

Councillor Wood, and the council’s leader, Malcolm Pate, said that both developments are key to plans to attract more business to the town, with firms already interested in plots at the business park.

Mr Wood said: “This marks the dawn of a new era: one in which the council plans to invest in and to develop strategic sites to attract new businesses, create new jobs, support education and training, boost the local economy and generate sustainable income streams for the council.

“Our ‘invest to earn’ approach underpins our strategy to become a more financially sustainable council, and allows us to take a lead role in the economic growth and prosperity of the county.”

Councillor Pate said: “We have obviously got a great commitment to the university to provide accommodation as it grows. We started that off with Mardol House but we are now looking at other options to continue that in Shrewsbury.

“The university is key to our industrial strategy.

“If we are going to attract the investment into Shropshire we are going to have to be able to offer the skills base.

“We have already got people interested in taking on the sites at the business park. We have got to generate more business rates and income and that means attracting more businesses into Shropshire.”

It is understood that the halls development could now include some retail on the ground floor, although a new planning agreement would also be required.

The first stage of work will require demolition of the existing building on site –previously described as an “eyesore”.

Shrewsbury Business Park dates back to 2001, and work is still taking place on phase two.

The second phase has seen £1.5m invested in new infrastructure, an access point from Wenlock Road and a half-a-million Co-operative store.

So far 250,000 square foot of floor space has been created at the business park, overseen by Alaska Property Group, with around 1,200 jobs.

Another 100,000 square foot of floor space is in the pipeline.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comments for: "'New dawn' for Shrewsbury as major developments get go-ahead"

Severnsider

Let us hope that the new buildings on Barker Street have visual appeal and are designed in a sensitive way.

Terry

Lets hope they can be adapted to another purpose when university degrees are no longer a choice for many realising the cash cows they are presently being used for.

The ratio of men going to uni now is very low.

woodhall

Terry, men should be going out and doing apprenticeships, not wasting time getting useless degrees and getting into debt. They are not real universities, and they aren't real degrees, just kills three years of life.

Maxwell

Where are all the students coming from?.

200 is not a university after three years intake

a primary school has more pupils

what will these buildings be used for as it seems the current methods to attract students is not working

O'Town Monner

So they can't fill the current student accomodation halls that they developed at the cost of £.......? So they decide to build some more? Does anyone have the student intake figures since it was opened? I thought the university was Keith Barrows vanity project, yet they are still pursuing it. How much is all this costing and how is this benefiting the town? There are plenty of universities offering proper courses which aren't too far away. Am I missing something here?.............

holmes

It appears Chester University is determined to gain a stranglehold on Shrewsbury as it has on Chester.

K White

A sort of Salop Leisure for the centre of Shrewsbury then?

Roger

What about asking Harper Adams to take over the University project as their Shrewsbury Campus. Harper Adams is well rated in all sorts of things and is local. Chester University is not rated. Harper Adams is ranked 36, Chester 81 out of 128 UK universities including the Portland group. The subjects taught at Harper Adams are more relevant to Shropshire. It's not just farming but food and technology. What we want is a local University that will teach subjects that can applied in Shropshire.

Roger

I very much hope that we see better progress than re-announcing schemes previously deferred. Lets go something more significant that involves new jobs.

Pursuing the JLR electric propulsion, design and development factory would be a good start.. Pressing home the case for the North West Relief Road and consolidating Shrewsbury Hospital would be good. Proposals to start the development of Castlefields with work on the car park and a better solution to the Dana. Allowing the Dana prison site to go ahead as a first stage. Improving the Railway Station to allow better services and improve our connectivity through the franchise renewals. . Keep the pressure up on improving the A5 from Shrewsbury to Oswestry. Start to work with our neighbours in the new emerging local government reorganisation.

let's remove the speculation over the NHS STP and start working together to prevent the decimation of the NHS and restore proper health management.

2017 presents the best opportunity in years and for years to expressour opinion of how Local goverenment has neglected, cut to the bone failed to address the local issues. We have the Unitary Council Elections in May. Let us pray that far more people are motivated to go out and vote. lets get some of these paracites off the council and put some good people in their place who know what the priorities are. We have had 5 years of outsourcing including the IPE fiasco. I want to see the numbers of what the commissioning only Council concept actually cost.

I think we should looking forward to a year of protest and change. This should the year that Shropshire people say enough is enough. let's get some sense and priorities into Shropshire. Let be saying we have been neglected for long enough. Shropshire has much to offer the country,give us a chance to show our worth instead of just closing things down. Some energy is Politics, economics and shared values.

Two quotes should drive this year;

"Austerity is a political choice not an economic necessity".

"We have more that unites us than divides us".

Too late to stop the hamburger but let us resolve that if there is money to spend, it far better used than on schemes like that. Get the priorities right.

the fat controller

"fiddling while Rome burns" just doesn't cover it.

Our councillors are so busy tatting about with vanity projects or sorting themselves out with generous expenses and fancy offices that they are missing the very real issues that are facing the people they have been elected to serve.

This is just one example - building yet more accommodation for a university that is struggling to even taxi along the run-way, let alone take-off only a few months after shutting down the last remaining emergency accommodation for homeless people. It's shameful.

Bob1954

Got to agree. But I wouldn't be surprised if that wheel Barrow locked the Council into some form of contract like the incinerator thing, the cock-up of IP&E etc - purely to suit his own personal benefit. No escape, suck it up or pay through the nose to get out.

It absolutely amazes me that this continues - and WE, the taxpayers have to finance it with no way to stop it.

If only the Current Council would tell us the truth openly and honestly, but no chance of that!

I had a look at the building plans 18 months or so ago when there was a presentation at Rowleys Mansion. It was terrible. A bunch of smarmy prats from the Council and Morris's enthralling how important it all was. It's no wonder we are in so much trouble.

Wotsupdoc

We too easily forget, to some representatives, truth, honesty and integrity can be a foreign language, Trump was right with one thing, time to drain the swamp.

Noway

When will people realise that it is not Shropshire University or Shrewsbury University but an annexe of the University of Chester.

They should expect negotiations regarding renting of SC premises to use for teaching and get on with the rest of it, all the costs included, as any other arrangement like this works across the country.

Idiotic vanity project that Chester can pull the plug on at any time that suits them.