Cheshire West and Chester Council is to knock down several units next to Winsford Cross Shopping Centre, the first phase of a wider revamp of the retail complex.
The first phase focuses on six acres off Dene Drive containing a car park and some ageing retail units.
Under plans submitted by the council following a period of public consultation, the retail units would be demolished with modern replacements constructed.
The project comprises the creation of:
- Two retail units totalling 26,000 sq ft
- An 8,000 sq ft garden centre
- 6,000 sq ft of restaurant and bar space across three units
- A 1,800 sq ft drive-thru coffee shop on currently vacant land on the corner of the A54 and Dene Drive
Cheshire West and Chester is also requesting outline consent for an 8,200 sq ft community centre and plans to relocate the grade two-listed war memorials located in Fountain Square.
Later phases of the project include the redevelopment of Winsford Cross Shopping Centre itself.
CWAC purchased the retail complex in 2018 to have more control over the town centre’s future.
The redevelopment project, which will benefit from £10m from the government’s £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund, aims to “reverse the decline of the retail centre”, according to a design and access statement by AHR Architects.
Avison Young is advising the council on its planning application.
Cllr Richard Beacham, the cabinet member for inclusive growth, economy and regeneration with CWAC, said the project represents nearly £30m of investment into the town centre from the council.
“The new Aldi supermarket which opened earlier last year was built on land we acquired from the shopping centre’s previous owners and this next phase is further evidence of our intention to deliver real and lasting change for the town,” Beacham said. “Our plan is to give residents a new-look town centre that we can all be proud of…
“These changes will mean a much-improved town centre environment with more leisure, hospitality and cultural opportunities for local people to enjoy,” he continued.
“The council has invested its own capital resources in this redevelopment, which, alongside the funding we secured through the Future High Streets Fund, will attract new private sector investment, create new jobs, improve local services and raise aspirations.
“There will be more to do after this but today is a very important step and milestone for the town centre. We encourage residents to share their views on the current planning application.”
Edward Timpson, MP for Eddisbury said: “Having campaigned for the funding in Westminster since my election in 2019, this significant, £9.98 million commitment by the government to Winsford is hugely welcome.
“Indeed, Winsford is one of only 15 towns to receive the full sum that they bid for,” he continued. “It is now making real the plans to transform our town centre into a vibrant, attractive, and outward-facing space for the whole community—with services, facilities and entertainment fit for future generations.”