Cheshire East Council has launched a procurement process to appoint a developer to undertake the £25m redevelopment of the Royal Arcade site in Crewe town centre.
The shopping centre was purchased by the council in May 2015 and Cheshire East is now working with Cushman & Wakefield to secure a developer to add leisure and retail outlets at the site including a cinema, restaurants and a new bus interchange.
The Royal Arcade site is situated at the heart of Crewe town centre on a prominent island site of 4.57 acres.
The site is currently anchored by a BHS store and is also home to a Wetherspoons pub, Boots Opticians, Santander, Millets, Shoe Zone and Crewe Bus Station.
Keith Hardman, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Royal Arcade was acquired by the council last year having been identified by Cheshire East Council as a prime redevelopment site that would act as a catalyst for the long-term regeneration of Crewe town centre.
“The procurement follows the Government’s announcement in the autumn statement that the HS2 phase two route will be built via Crewe. High speed rail services are now expected to start from Crewe six years earlier than planned in 2027 and the announcement now makes the location of a HS2 hub station in Crewe much more likely. This will undoubtedly have a very positive impact on Crewe and the wider region’s economy. We have now begun the OJEU procurement process for parties to register their interest and submit their pre-qualification questionnaires.”
Hardman continued: “Requirements for the new scheme include a multiscreen cinema, restaurants, other A3 (food and drink) uses, a bus interchange, as well as improved linkages with the remainder of the town centre and enhancements to retained areas and public realm. The completed scheme could have a value in excess of £25m.”
Cllr Don Stockton, Cheshire East council Cabinet member for regeneration and assets, said: “Our purchase of this site recognises the importance that this strategic site has to offer Crewe and the wider region. We are now fully committed to ensuring that the right developer is selected to realise its true potential. The chosen developer will share our vision for the long-term improvement of the town centre. The redevelopment of Royal Arcade will not only increase footfall to the town centre and provide a valuable boost to the local economy but it will help to secure further retail and leisure investment, which will continue the important transformation of Crewe.”
The council invested £15m in the Crewe Lifestyle leisure centre, which will open in April. Crewe University Technical College will open its doors in the town centre in September as part of a new £10m investment by the Government.