Shropshire Council council may step in over Shrewsbury shops revamp
Shropshire Council has been discussing a move to get involved with a multi-million pound regeneration of Shrewsbury’s shopping centres, it is understood.
Councillor Steve Charmley, cabinet member for corporate support, confirmed a meeting yesterday was about the authority’s “role in the future of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside shopping centres”.
It is understood that the cabinet discussions relate to the authority looking to kick-start the stalled regeneration project planned for the centres, and to potentially get a new developer involved in the plans.
Currently the Darwin and Pride Hill centres are owned by UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCPT).
Shropshire Council owns the freehold of the Riverside Centre, but UKCPT holds a long lease on the centre.
The shopping centres were the focus of a plan for a multi-million pound redevelopment which was placed on hold in 2013.
The original plan was for a redeveloped Riverside centre to be linked with the town’s other two shopping centres, with a large department store as an “anchor tenant”.
The council has confirmed that as a result of yesterday’s meeting “further work should be carried out before it considers the issue again later this year”.
Councillor Charmley said yesterday: “Cabinet has today discussed Shropshire Council’s role in the future of the three main shopping centres in Shrewsbury.
“Further work will be undertaken before this issue is brought back to cabinet before Christmas for a final decision.
“Until this work has been completed it would be premature to comment on the matter further.”
The meeting was closed to the public because the report contained “commercially sensitive information”.
Speaking in December, Councillor Charmley said the authority had not given up on the scheme and was still in conversations with its owners.
He said: “The council continues to work with Standard Life Investments on their preparation of alternative proposals for the Riverside Shopping Centre in Shrewsbury.”
When asked about its plans for the site earlier this month, UKCPT said there was no update to the current situation.