'Exciting plans' for growth of Shrewsbury as key Midland business hub

There are "exciting plans" for the growth of Shrewsbury as a key business hub in the Midlands, it has been claimed.

The team who met to discuss Shrewsbury’s growth potential and infrastructure
The team who met to discuss Shrewsbury’s growth potential and infrastructure

Key figures working to improve the town as a place to live, work and invest, met with representatives from the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect to discuss Shrewsbury's growth potential and infrastructure.

Sir John Peace, chair of the Midlands Engine, Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect and Valerie Hastie, senior policy officer at Midlands Connect, met with a delegation including representatives from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and councillors and officers from Shropshire Council.

The day included discussions about projects to help the town to grow and prosper – principally the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, the creation of UCS and its sector-based focus on research and teaching, major road projects including the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road and the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.

A short tour of the town was also taken, allowing the group to review challenges highlighted in the council’s unsuccessful Future High Street Fund bid and opportunities around the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, including Shrewsbury Railway Station, the town’s historic assets and retail and leisure offer.

The meeting

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said: “We were extremely pleased to welcome Sir John, Maria and Valerie to Shrewsbury and tell them all about our ambitious plans for growth. And, I’m delighted to say that they were very well received.

“Shropshire, and Shrewsbury as its county town, is a vital part of the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect and what they are trying to achieve.

"We have lots of exciting plans for the town’s growth, all of which will all feed into the Midlands industrial strategy.

“We wanted to use this opportunity to put our town on the map. Whilst it continues to buck national trends, its vital that it’s not overlooked when it comes to investment in the future.”

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