Shropshire firm chosen to lead on Stafford's £1.4 million Market Square overhaul

An award-winning developer based in Shropshire has been chosen to carry out an almost £1.5 million revamp of Stafford's Market Square.

An artist’s impression of a future Market Square
An artist’s impression of a future Market Square

Civil engineering company McPhillips (Wellington) Limited, in Telford, has been chosen by Stafford Borough Council as the successful bidder for the £1.4m works.

Chiefs are now discussing timelines to get work under way but have said it will not affect key events – such as the town's popular Christmas lights switch-on.

The company was commended in the Project of the Year category at a civil engineering awards ceremony for the Shrewsbury Town Centre Modernisation Works.

Councillor Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning at Stafford , said: “The quality of tenders we received from contractors bidding for this very important piece of work was excellent and I’m really pleased we are able to announce McPhillips Wellington as our choice to move this exciting project forward.”

The Market Square is only part of the regeneration plan for the town centre, which has been funded by more than £14m from the government’s ‘Future High Street Fund’ (FHSF) - and contributions from Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.

The plans will enable the area to be equipped to hold more events and specialist markets - attracting local people and visitors to the heart of the county town. That will include enhancing the look of the ‘Square’ with new paving, furniture, and planting - but also significant infrastructure changes such as improvements to utility supplies and drainage.

Some preliminary work will get underway towards the end of the year, which will not impact on the busy Christmas period and ensure festive events are not affected.

Councillor Beatty, continued: “Growth and prosperity for our borough is a key priority for the council and we have already attracted major investment working closely with our partners. The financial backing we have received from the Government is testament to their confidence in us delivering a town centre for the future.

“The transformation of Market Square is just one piece of the jigsaw. It will not just see cosmetic improvements – there will be significant infrastructure to ensure it is suitable to increase the range and quality of events that can be staged, therefore increasing footfall to the town and encouraging people to stay longer.”

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Councillor Philip White said: “It’s fantastic to see the refurbishment of the Market Square taking a step forward with developers now on board and a work programme mapped out. These really are exciting times for Stafford.

“The Market Square refurbishment is one of a range of regeneration projects in the town and will complement the Shire Hall – which we have just reopened as an enterprise centre. This is attracting new businesses into the town centre and bringing the hall back into productive use. Together these projects will support a thriving town centre in the future, making it a great place to visit and work.”

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