Developers and investors are being invited to partner with Cheshire East Council to revitalise Crewe, with a number of key development sites on offer.
The All Change For Crewe Prospectus was formally launched to local stakeholders at an event on Tuesday evening held in Crewe Hall.
The first priority will be to address the outdated retail core in the town centre which has faced several stalled schemes over the years, including a major retail development by Modus. The council said there remains strong retail occupier interest in the town centre but there are not the suitable modern units retailers require.
Crewe's population is forecast to rise from 83,000 to 100,000 in the next 20 years and is the council's preferred area for new housing. As well as Crewe town centre there are four other areas of opportunity set out in the prospectus: West Street, Crewe Rail Gateway, Cumberland Arena and Nantwich Road.
Cllr Michael Jones, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member with responsibility for resources and a member of the All Change For Crewe Partnership Board, said: "There is still a lot of hard work to be done – and we will not be complacent about this – but this prospectus aims to build on our success to date and drive forward the revitalisation of Crewe and the wider region in partnership with the private sector.
"People are sitting up and noticing that things are really moving forward in Crewe and that aspirations are now beginning to be turned into reality. A revitalised Crewe town centre will be critical to boosting the town's visitor economy and its attractiveness to business.
"As a council we are determined to support and enhance the prosperity of Crewe and the surrounding region. It is already a nationally-significant economic centre and we are committed to enhancing it further so it will attract more jobs, greater growth and greater individual prosperity."
All Change for Crewe's delivery team consists of GVA, on planning and development advice, and Tom Russell, respected senior regeneration expert, formerly chief executive of New East Manchester. Talks are ongoing with existing landowners in the town centre including Asda, which has a store and an adjacent arcade, Redefine International, which acquired the Modus assets following the latter's collapse, and Scottish Widows, owner of the Market Shopping Centre.
The delivery team aims to have finished canvassing developer interest and revising the town centre framework accordingly in the next six months.
Cllr Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity and a member of the All Change For Crewe Partnership Board, said: "This is another key milestone in driving forward the All Change for Crewe agenda to massively revitalise the town and wider economy.
"This prospectus focuses on central Crewe and unlocking its opportunities – and this is a critical part of achieving our goal of a wider regeneration of Crewe and the surrounding area.
"This latest move builds on a series of tremendous recent successes for the town. Already we have secured £6.177m of Government funding for the first phase of a massive overhaul of Crewe Rail Station to make it an iconic 21st century gateway. A further £27m has also been secured to give the green light to the Crewe Green Link Road South that will unlock the economic potential of key strategic sites around Basford and create thousands of jobs.
"All Change for Crewe received another massive boost with the announcement last year by Cheshire East Council that nationally-renowned logistics firm Expert Logistics was relocating to the town.
"This latest milestone is yet another example of the Council working in partnership with the private sector to deliver for the people of Cheshire East."
- For more details visit http://allchangeforcrewe.co.uk/