Huge opportunities for an ambitious future of Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is looking towards a hugely ambitious future, with plans to transform the Smithfield Riverside area of town.
Shropshire Council Leader Peter Nutting said he wants to attract commercial opportunities, hospitality and residential developments, after the council’s Cabinet agreed to put the Smithfield Riverside Strategic Development Framework (SDF) out for consultation.
The SDF document integrates the future development of the Riverside with work to redevelop the Pride Hill Centre, and considers the significant potential to create a cultural destination in this part of the town, to unlock and improve open space, and to create a key green space, and better connect the area with other parts of Shrewsbury.
Peter Nutting said:
“This is going to offer huge opportunities for commercial development in the town, and we are particularly interested in hospitality, hotel groups, and there’s going to be a good deal of residential development amongst everything we do.
“We’re going to transform this part of town. Most of the buildings around here were built in the 1960s and they’re looking tired and sad, and we do need to change things around.
“One of the key developments is going to be trying to move Smithfield Road away from the river so we can have a lot of riverside development. In Shrewsbury, we have tended to turn our back on the river and we’re going to do the opposite.
“Now we’re going to really make use of the river as part of our development plans as we go forward.
“Shrewsbury is a wonderful town, I’ve lived here all my life, but we want to welcome more and more tourists and visitors. We’ve got an awful lot to offer, and we think the economic opportunities that presents to all sorts of businesses are really worthwhile, and we really would welcome firms far and wide to come and invest their money in the town.”
The SDF also proposes providing a high-quality public realm along the wider riverside walk, and creating green links that provide enhanced access to The Quarry park.
It suggests the creation of new parks, squares and a new Riverside bridge. It’s intended that development of this area will sustain and enhance the economic, social and environmental performance of Shrewsbury town centre, and increase its attractiveness to businesses, to investors and developers, to residents and to visitors, whether for leisure, tourism, culture or to work.