Walkden Town Centre plans , Derwent Group, p consultation

Walkden Town Centre will get a much-needed overhaul. Credit: via consultation documents

Derwent bags consent for £15m Walkden Town Centre revamp

Salford City Council has given the green light for the demolition of 180,000 sq ft of disused retail space, along with cosmetic improvements to the complex.

Acting on behalf of the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation, Derwent Estates has devised a £15m plan to knock down a large chunk of Egerton Walk and Victoria Square, which suffers from high levels of vacancy.

The demolition will see the creation of a “significant piece of public, landscaped infrastructure” with modern commercial units facing onto it, according to a planning statement by Savills.

Knocking down a sizeable chunk of the complex will also create plots that could be redeveloped in the future.

“Those future development plots will be landscaped areas that will host meanwhile uses in the interim period before development progresses on those plots, further supporting the centre’s vitality and viability,” according to Savills.

Derwent’s scheme would also see the creation of a new façade for Walkden Town Centre, improved public realm, and the refurbishment of 80,000 sq ft of existing retail space.

Following approval, Derwent is now on the hunt for a contractor to carry out the demolition work later this year.

Savills advised on planning and RGP is the architect. Artal is project managing the scheme. Barker Proudlove and Graham Sibbald are the retained letting agents.

Scott Hall, asset manager at Derwent Estates, said the scheme is about maximising the complex’s impact on the town.

“We fully understand the importance of Walkden Town Centre to the local area, which is why we have taken this proactive decision to significantly improve its current offering to create a more contemporary and attractive yet sustainable environment for both retailers and visitors.

“We recognise the changing attitudes and expectations of all stakeholders, which is why these plans are so imperative to ensuring a vibrant future for the centre.”

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The importance of this development cannot be overstated. This will bring the whole area up and drastically improve perceptions of our town, putting pride back into Walkden. We just have to hope that Derwent Estates maintain the centre properly, as their track record is appalling.

By Geraldine

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