Pride Hill Centre: Gateway Review informs next steps
A report detailing the next stage in the repurposing and redevelopment of the former Pride Hill Shopping Centre in Shrewsbury will be discussed at a meeting of Shropshire Council next week.
The report relates to how the council will take forward the development opportunity offered by the sites that form significant elements of Shrewsbury’s Big Town Plan ambitions.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and assets, said:-
“By bringing together the former Pride Hill centre site, the Raven Meadows surface car park and the Riverside area, the council is in control of the major development sites which will shape the future of the town centre.
“Previous reports identified potential uses in keeping with the national changing retail and leisure landscape together with feedback through the Big Town Plan channels. In keeping with earlier recommendations, this Gateway Review focused on Pride Hill as one of the potential sites suitable for the council’s future civic accommodation requirements.
“However, further surveys have created concern that the Pride Hill site will not provide the high quality, sustainable or cost-effective office environment sought for the future.”
Ed Potter, Shropshire council’s Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said:-
“The pandemic has impacted the role of town centres across the UK, forcing councils to look closely at changes in lifestyle, work and shopping patterns. With Darwin Centre now established as the premier covered shopping destination, the adjacent development site can be considered for civic, cultural and commercial use including offices, residential, leisure and hospitality. The new Civic Hub is to be considered within these proposals.”
Sustainability and environmental assessments are key to meeting council carbon targets and the redevelopment of Pride Hill and Riverside will provide an opportunity for the council to create Low to Zero carbon buildings that positively contribute to environmental objectives.
The next step in the process is to commission detailed feasibility work to create the business case for the collective redevelopment of Pride Hill and Raven Meadows surface car park within the context of the Smithfield Riverside Strategic Development framework currently underway. The feasibility work is expected to complete in Spring 2022.
Shropshire Council benefits from having complete control over the development process, rather than an absent or distant financial institution without the vision or ambition for the county town’s centre. The goal remains the same, to create a vibrant town centre for the next generation of residents, workers, businesses and visitors.