Multi-million pound plans have been unveiled to transform a regeneration site in Stoke-on-Trent.
The city council has teamed up with Capital & Centric to draw up proposals for a new urban quarter – called The Goods Yard – at Swift House, next to Stoke train station.
The development would see Swift House demolished and replaced with 180 new homes, a 150-bed hotel, 25,000 sq ft of workspace and 10,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including a canalside bar and restaurant.
While the locally-listed vaulted basement would be retained and transformed into a workspace and leisure venue called Vaults Warehouse.
The ambitious plans would also see a water taxi introduced on the Trent and Mersey canal to transport Stoke City supporters to the bet365 Stadium.
The council first put the site forward as a development opportunity at the MIPIM property and investment conference in 2018 and has been involved in ongoing discussions with development companies since then.
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “We’ve seen so many positive and exciting developments in recent years but for me, this is the one that really grabs the headlines and will redefine the future of Stoke-on-Trent.
“There was a time in the past when we could only have dreamed of attracting an award-winning developer like Capital and Centric to come and work in the city, so I think it speaks volumes for how far we have come, our ambition and the direction we are moving in.
“There is no doubt in the huge potential of this site – one of the most prominent, underdeveloped pieces of land along the HS2 route nationally. It’s location, next to so many key sites and the superb road, rail and canal links make the development an excellent opportunity for a range of occupiers and a true once in a lifetime opportunity for Stoke-on-Trent to have something bold and unique.
“This will be an iconic and important development not just for Stoke-on-Trent but the whole of the Midlands that will make people sit up and take notice of the resurgence that is happening here.”
Councillor Brown added: “We started looking at ways to transform this warehouse with its secret basement back in 2017 and we’ve taken our time to find a partner who shares our social values and will promote the use of local supply chains, training and employment.
“Even in the darkest grip of the pandemic we had projects ongoing or ready to start and investors lined up to work with us, and I’m really confident all of the hard work that has been put in will see the city come out in a strong position.
“We’re not waiting for the starting pistol to go off and the country to reopen, we’re already out of the blocks creating a city for the future and there is so much more to come.”
BusinessLive is your home for business news from around the country – and you can stay in touch with all the latest news through our email alerts.
You can sign up to receive daily morning news bulletins from every region we cover and to weekly email bulletins covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and enterprise. And we’ll send out breaking news alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.
Visit our email preference centre to sign up to all the latest news from BusinessLive.
The council has entered into a pre-construction partnership with Bowmer & Kirkland construction group, who have appointed Capital & Centric as a development partner to work up detailed designs for the development of the site and securing planning consent.
The scheme would potentially start as early as next summer and would take around two-and-a-half years to complete.
Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “We’re super excited to be undertaking our first project in Stoke-on-Trent. We’ve got the opportunity to create something really special here that can transform this part of the city. This will be a new urban quarter, with design led homes, a hotel, and spaces for local businesses to locate.
“We’re also looking to open the stunning basement vaults that sit alongside the canal up to the public, with maybe a waterside bar or restaurant.
“High quality, outdoor public space will connect the site to the wider area and draw people in, creating a vibrant new destination. While we’re working up the plans we’re looking for pop-ups to use the space so if you’ve got an idea, get in touch.”