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Key gateway into Shrewsbury set to be transformed

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A key gateway into Shrewsbury is set to be transformed as part of a major project to revitalise the town centre.

The Castle Street area of Shrewsbury is set to be transformed

The Big Town Plan, which is a joint partnership between Shrewsbury BID, Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council, is looking to appoint a consultant to lead a project focused on the regeneration of Castle Street.

Bosses are inviting applications for the contract which is worth between £20,000 and £25,000.

The appointed consultant will work closely with the Big Town Plan team, engaging with relevant land owners, occupiers, partners and stakeholders to co-create a vision and development framework for Castle Street.

The tender report said: "The busy street runs from the train station into the heart of the town centre and is home to businesses, residential dwellings and two of the town’s most significant historic assets - Shrewsbury Castle and Shrewsbury Library.

"However the street suffers from vacant units - including upper floors, a lack of identity and coherence, and despite relatively high footfall is economically underperforming."

Vital

The project aims to build on the Big Town Plan to create more enterprise and bring vitality to the area.

Town council clerk Helen Ball said: "Castle Street is a main gateway into the town centre and it sets the stance of what people think about this town, so it is important we do anything we can to make it more vital and viable.

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"At the moment we are just seeing what ideas a consultant could come up with. They will look at what Castle Street already has and what potential there is for the future.

"There is a lot of vacant premises on the top floor currently and you will often find that because of the historic nature of the town and its buildings, you can't access the top floor without going through the bottom floor. It would be interested to open up the top levels and if there is any other uses for them. This might mean changing shop fronts so there is independent access to the other floors."

Seb Slater, executive director at Shrewsbury BID, added: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with partners and the local community on ideas and plans for the rejuvenation a key part of the town centre.

“The majority of the funding for the project has come from a grant which the Big Town Plan Partnership successfully applied for from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

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“We are looking for a skilled and experienced consultant to work with us on producing a detailed vision and development framework for Castle Street.

“This will include deliverable plans for how to support and grow existing businesses in the area, and will explore opportunities for change of use and reconfiguration of some buildings, along with ideas for small-scale projects to help breathe new life into the area.”

Castle Street has also been chosen by students from the Manchester School of Architecture as their latest project.

They will visit the town and come up with ideas to make the most of the area's unique architecture.

Applications for the contract must be submitted by July 26 with a view to a final plan for Castle Street being completed by October 30.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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