Cinema, restaurants and gym plan for Shrewsbury’s Pride Hill Shopping Centre
Cinema screens, restaurants and a gym could see one of Shrewsbury’s shopping centres transformed into a new leisure zone for the town.
Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting said the council is pleased with how the first year of its management of the town’s Pride Hill and Darwin Shopping Centres has gone, with £2.4 million revenue brought in.
Now Councillor Nutting says he has a number of exciting plans for the future of the sites, while revealing more than one major hotel chain is bidding to open a property on the site.
He said one idea was to keep the Darwin Centre as a main retail unit, while the Pride Hill centre could be turned into a centre where people could spend a whole night out, boosting the town’s economy.
He said: “There will be some news in the coming weeks about the shopping centres but we are pleased with how year one went.
“We brought in a good amount of revenue in a challenging time and it’s now a question of how we build on that.
“One idea would be to split the purpose of the centres.
“We could look at the idea of keeping the Darwin Centre as a main retail unit, while developing the Pride Hill centre as a leisure destination.
“You could put a gym in there, food outlets and then we could explore the opportunity of putting in a couple of cinema screens.
“People could come and have a whole day or evening out at the centre and it would undoubtedly bring people to the town centre.
“It could be a really positive way of looking at things.”
Councillor Nutting also said the council was in talks with more than one hotel chain about building on the site.
He said: “There’s more than one company interested and talks are on-going on that aspect of it.
“It could be a real transformation for the future, but as things stand it is all up and the air and for discussion.
“But these are just some of the ideas we could be looking at for the future of the site.
“Big hotel chains are interested in Shrewsbury.
“One of the top companies came to us and wanted to build a five-star hotel on the Quarry Swimming Pool site.
“They wanted it there with a view over the Quarry, but we weren’t interested in that as we want to develop the new leisure centre on that site.”
Councillor Nutting, who is member for Copthorne, said it was an exciting time for Shrewsbury going forward.
“It could really bring people to the town and to the wider county so it is a positive thing,” he added.
By Local Democracy Reporter Andrew Morris