Putting Shrewsbury on the map: Sir John Peace visits the town
Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine, Maria Machancoses, Director, Midlands Connect and Valerie Hastie, Senior Policy Officer, Midlands Connect, visited Shrewsbury last month (5 September 2019) to discuss the economic growth potential of the town, its wider sector offer and infrastructure requirements.
They joined a delegation of Shropshire partners who are working together to improve Shrewsbury as a place in which to live, work and invest. The delegation included representatives from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and councillors and officers from Shropshire Council.
The day included discussions about all of the projects which will help the town to grow and prosper – principally the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, the creation of UCS and its sector-based focus on research and teaching, major road projects including the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road and the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. All of these share the same aim of creating a ‘destination’ and building on the town’s strong heritage and visitor offer.
A short tour of the town was also taken, allowing the group to review challenges highlighted in the council’s unsuccessful Future High Street Fund bid and opportunities around the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, including Shrewsbury Railway Station, the town’s historic assets and high-quality retail and leisure offer.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said:
“We were extremely pleased to welcome Sir John, Maria and Valerie to Shrewsbury and tell them all about our ambitious plans for growth. And, I’m delighted to say that they were very well received.
“Shropshire, and Shrewsbury as its county town, is a vital part of the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect and what they are trying to achieve. We have lots of exciting plans for the town’s growth, all of which will all feed into the Midlands industrial strategy.
“We wanted to use this opportunity to put our town on the map. Whilst it continues to buck national trends, its vital that it’s not overlooked when it comes to investment in the future.”