Telford set for new £4 million colour-changing car park
The owner of Telford International Centre is to kick off work on a new £4 million, colour-changing, multi-storey car park in the centre of the town later this month.
Southwater Event Group is to build the car park - which will have six levels on three floors, with room for 300 vehicles - on land beside Telford Town Ice Rink.
It is expected to be completed early next summer, and will mean there will be a total of 2,000 spaces available for visitors to the events centre. It will also be open to visitors to the wider town centre.
The car park has been designed with "smart glass" technology which will allow the outside of the building to change colour – which bosses say is a purely decorative touch.
Tom Gray, chief executive of the Southwater Event Group which owns the centre and the car park, said: “The International Centre, Telford, as a leading national business events venue, attracts over a quarter of a million visitors every year.
"It is our responsibility and desire to ensure visitors can efficiently access the venue, parking quickly and easily, in turn making sure the centre of Telford is not congested.
"This new car park is also in a great location for tourists and residents accessing the Town Park, Southwater Square and shopping in the Telford Centre.”
The existing car park on the site – known as Car Park 7 – will close to allow the building to take place, although all the other car parks inside the centre's green perimeter fence will remain open during the work.
The project will be financed by the privately-owned event group, and has been designed and will be built by Dorset-headquartered Bourne Construction.
As well as its colour-changing outside panels, the car park has also been designed with no structural load-bearing columns to make the most of available space inside, and to make access easier for disabled drivers and families.
The group, working with Telford & Wrekin Council, is also to spend £40,000 in new destination road signs to help visitors find their way to the venue.
It will mean new Variable Message Signs which direct drivers to car parks with empty spaces.
At present visitors to some events find themselves overflowing into the neighbouring Queen Elizabeth II Arena – the annual UK Dairy Day, for example, often sees visitor numbers bursting through the seams of the existing car parks.
The centre is in the process of a major investment that is also seeing it build a new hotel, retractable seating in one of its main rooms and a huge extension to the main building.
The car park will add to other investments in the town centre, including the new 600-space Southwater car park which opened in 2014.