Plans are set to go before the Cabinet next week that will see the Stoke-on-Trent City Council become the anchor tenant for the new Central Business District in Hanley.
The move away from the Civic Centre in Stoke could be the beginning of the end for this struggling town. It is widely thought that it is only council staff doing their shopping and buying lunches in Stoke that keeps the remaining shops open.
The report which is set to go before the cabinet has plans to ensure that appropriate mitigation action is taken to prevent a negative impact on Stoke.
Councillor Mohammed Pervez, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said
It is absolutely crucial that we breathe new life into our city centre which is currently under performing. The Central Business District will be key to attracting new business into the city, which in turn will create jobs, our number one priority.
We are very serious about this scheme and the city council will become the anchor tenant taking a proportion of the available office spaces. This will stimulate private sector confidence in the scheme and encourage inward investment.
Despite difficult times we are determined to drive the regeneration of our city. This scheme alone will create 300 plus construction jobs and up to 4,500 jobs when all six phases have been completed.
The City Council were previously going to move staff in to the Central Business District but John van De Laatschot pulled the plug on this shortly after his appointment as Chief executive.
The Central Business District is being created around the site of the old Unity House which was the previous home to the City Council.
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Cabinet member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said
The Central Business District will not only boost our city’s economy but also provide an opportunity for the Council to rationalise the number of buildings it occupies to achieve maximum efficiencies. This scheme is the realisation of our Mandate for Change.
Richard Ingham, Partner in Genr8 Developments LLP added
This decision represents a major step forward in the delivery of the Central Business District development. It will firmly establish Stoke-on-Trent as a viable option for both private and public sector office requirements. Crucially it will be the catalyst which will spark the wider regeneration of the city. This decision is a clear demonstration of the strong political leadership which will be required to deliver this vision.
The report seeks approval to finalise arrangements with the council’s development partner Genr8 for the provision of two buildings within the first phase of the Central Business District development with a total capacity of 140,000 square feet of office accommodation plus ground floor accommodation for a customer hub and new central library.
The cabinet is likely to support the innovative scheme in line with their Mandate for Change vision to build a successful and prosperous city.