Cheshire East Council is expected to approve part of the Royal Arcade in Crewe as the location for a revamped bus interchange, as part of its planned redevelopment of the town centre site.
In May 2015, the council paid £6m to buy the 97,000 sq ft Royal Arcade from Redefine International for £6m. The site has 26 retail units and includes the bus station currently operated by Arriva, which is due to cease operations from 1 May 2016 when the current lease expires.
The council is currently looking to appoint a development partner to bring forward a scheme at the Royal Arcade, which has been previously earmarked for a cinema, leisure and new retail units.
If the council’s cabinet endorses the site to the west of the Royal Arcade as the location for the bus station at its meeting on Tuesday 9 February, the construction of an interchange will become part of any appointed developer’s brief.
A report ahead of the cabinet meeting said that the council had also reviewed the viability of 11 other sites in the town, and that following a public consultation exercise 61% of respondents selected the Royal Arcade as the preferred location.
The report said that choosing the Royal Arcade as the location for the bus interchange “represents the best opportunity for the comprehensive redevelopment of the Royal Arcade site, securing a ‘guaranteed’ level of footfall and pedestrian flow through the new development, which is important to occupiers and developers/funders, as well as allowing for greater economies of scale both in terms of the costs of construction and ongoing management.”
The Royal Arcade was previously proposed for redevelopment under the Delamere Place project put forward by Brendan Flood’s Modus prior to the firm’s collapse at the start of the recession.