Revealed: Major hotel interested in Shrewsbury's Riverside site
A 'major' hotel company could be interested in moving on to the site of Shrewsbury's Riverside Shopping Centre once demolition is complete, it has been revealed.
Shropshire Council Leader Peter Nutting, who is also the Mayor of Shrewsbury, said: “Whilst Shropshire is predominantly an agricultural economy, we can’t rely on that and we must focus on the visitor economy as well.
“With the redevelopment of the Riverside Shopping Centre in Shrewsbury, we are trying to attract a major hotel group and there is interest. I think a big hotel would work very well for the town.”
Councillor Nutting unveiled what he believes will be a 'major visitor attraction' last week when he visited the Love2Live wellbeing centre and gym at Salop Leisure's multi-million pound Love2Stay glamping and cravanning resort at Emstrey on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.
He added: “This is a brilliant new facility. In addition to modern facilities, it has a great outlook so that clients can really appreciate the Shropshire countryside.
“What Salop Leisure has done on this site is phenomenal. The quality of facilities is second to none and we are going to end up with a major visitor attraction for Shrewsbury. I wish Love2Live the very best of success.
“We have got to make more of tourism which is now a major contributor to the economy of Shrewsbury and Shropshire. We really do need to accept that Shropshire is an attractive county for visitors."
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The redevelopment of the Riverside Shopping Centre should get underway next year and is part of the council’s long-term plan which links to its economic growth strategy and Shrewsbury Big Town plan.
Shropshire Council bought the three centres and Riverside Medical Practice in a £51 million deal last year.
It is proposed that once the the centre is demolished a high-end retail, tourism and leisure outlet will built in its place.
Possible ideas already put forward for the site include a cinema, open public space, offices, leisure facilities and a hotel.
The council will be producing a Strategic Development Framework (SDF) series of documents which will determine the appropriate mix of retail, leisure, tourist, commercial, residential and other destination attractions.
The SDF will set the principles for what the council, as asset owner, wants to see come forward, and will articulate these in a way which is easy for investors to respond to. This, in turn, will bring investment forward, including further potential for investment from the council and the private sector.