City Sentral still looking for tenants

It’s been a while since we have had an update about City Sentral and possible tenants for our new shopping centre. City Sentral will contain 11 food & beverage units, 1 Department store and 70 shops, with work progressing on the new Bus Station ready for its opening this Autumn and the consultation on the Traffic Regulations Orders required to get the Buses to new station as smoothly as possible, ending. I decided it was now the time to go more directly to the source of “who has signed up for a new store?”

Over the past few weeks I’ve been e-mailing retailers, firstly I am genuinely intrigued about which stores are coming and secondly in my own little way to raise the profile of the City Sentral as it has very poor national press coverage outside of Stoke-on-Trent, maybe a facebook campaign similar to “nandos for stoke” could be launched? Continue reading

Consultation for Bus Re-routing in Hanley begins

Public consultation on changes to the bus routing in Hanley appears to have begun.

Although there has been no official public announcement about this from Stoke-on-Trent City Council yet, the web page on the council website appears to have been updated on Monday.

It was proposed at the December Cabinet meeting, that public consultation should take place in January & February 2012, with the detailed design phase taking place between February & April in order for the final proposals to be presented to the April Cabinet meeting.

The consultation covers in-bound and out-bound bus routes for the new John Street bus station as well as substantial changes to the traffic flow on roads in the city centre.

According to the agenda pack for the December Cabinet meeting the public consultation will involve a leaflet drop to every address in and adjacent to the city centre as well as a public exhibition of the proposals.

You can view the councils consultation page and the Cabinet meeting agenda item using the links below.

City Sentral

Councillor Paul Breeze has contact Pits n Pots and asked us to publish some petition forms asking Stoke-on-Trent City Council & Realis Estates to come up with a more appropriate name for the new development in Hanley.

You can complete the on-line petition using the link below or you can print off a petition form to take around your place of work, pub, club or neighbours.

Work to start on East West Centre redevelopment as landmark bus station gets green light

Work on a state-of-the-art new bus station in the city centre will start next week as planning consent is granted.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s planning committee today approved plans for the new landmark bus station in the heart of the city centre as part of the first phase of the £350 million redevelopment of the East West Centre.

The decision means work to transform the site of the current John Street surface car park in to a stunning new gateway for the city centre will start on Wednesday 23 March, ahead of schedule. In preparation, work has begun to revamp the John Street multi-storey car park to make room for motorists when the surface car park closes in the next few weeks.

“This is fantastic news for the city. We gave commitment to starting on the bus station by 28 March. We have managed this. This is a sign of our absolute commitment to making sure we deliver. The new bus station will become a lasting legacy for the city and will provide users with a quality, warm and safe facility.”
“This really is a significant day for the city as we prepare to start work on the first phase of the city’s major regional shopping development. This comes at a time when the Mitchell Memorial Theatre is nearing completion, work on the initial phases of the Central Business District is progressing and we are preparing to start the first phase of public realm works.”

The reserved matters planning application details the specifics of the design for the bus station, which include a dramatic sweeping roof and glazed concourse, as well as plenty of public spaces, comfortable enclosed waiting areas, public conveniences, CCTV, cafes and shops. The plans have been designed by the internationally renowned architect Grimshaw, who were appointed following a major design competition and consultation with local residents and businesses last year.

Work will start on the project next week with the installation of hoardings around the site ready for remedial works to begin. The John Street surface car park will remain open until the 2.4m high hoarding is completed around the site so that motorists can benefit from existing car parking spaces for as long as possible.

The revamp of John Street multi-storey car park will improve the lighting and general condition of the site to make a safer, cleaner and more appealing facility. The 590 spaces on the multi-storey car park are currently underused with only around 29 per cent of the bays being used at one time. The improvements will mean that the multi-storey car park will be able to absorb the extra demand from motorists when the 296 space John Street surface car park closes in a few weeks.

The bus station is the first stage of Realis Estate’s new regional shopping centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The East West Centre redevelopment project will transform the prominent city centre site of the existing East West Centre to create a new, 650,000 sq ft high quality regional shopping centre that will include a department store, a wide range of new shops, cafés, restaurants, vibrant public spaces, a multi-screen cinema, a hotel and improved parking.

“We are delighted by the Council’s decision and look forward to the start of enabling works on site next week. The new bus station is a vital part of the redevelopment of the East West Centre and gives the city yet another good reason to look to the future with optimism. The development will become a stunning new gateway to the city centre that will create a memorable first impression for visitors.”

City Centre Bus Station Designs To Go On Display

Detailed designs for the new city centre bus station are to be unveiled following feedback from residents.

On Wednesday, 24 November, and Thursday, 25 November, final design proposals for the state-of-the-art city centre bus station, which forms the first stage of the new £350million regional shopping centre in the city, are due to go on display at the East West unit in Charles Street.

Feedback from the initial consultation in May has been fed into the designs which are due to be submitted as part of the bus station planning application next month.

People are being invited to see how their comments have been incorporated and make any final suggestions before the plans are submitted. Displays will be exhibited between 8.30am and 2.30pm on Wednesday, 24 November, and 12pm and 7pm on Thursday, 25 November, at the East West retail unit, in Charles Street.

“This is a significant step in the delivery of a new city centre bus station in Stoke-on-Trent. The bus station is the first phase of the £350million redevelopment of the East West Centre and will create a warm and secure facility for travellers. People are being invited to take the opportunity to look at how their comments have been incorporated in to the design before a planning application is submitted.”

Comments during the initial consultation in May included:

* Plenty of public space
* Space for passengers to stay in the shelter before boarding the bus
* Waiting areas
* Toilets
* Cafes
* Shops and book stores or newsagents
* Security
* Practical transport movements with preferably a one way in and one way out system

Grimshaw Architects have made sure that all of the comments have been incorporated, where possible, in to the final design which has a dramatic sweeping roof and glazed concourse.

“It is pleasing to see that peoples’ comments have been incorporated in to the final designs. Who better to tell us what will work and how the bus station should be designed than the people that use the current facility day in, day out. The bus station is a major step in the regeneration of the city centre. It will create a safe, warm and state-of-the-art facility for visitors in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.”

The new city bus station will be built on the current John Street surface car park.

A planning application is due to be submitted by the end of the year with work starting on site for the bus station on March 28, 2011.

The East West redevelopment will transform the site of the existing East West Centre to create a new, 750,000 sq ft high quality regional shopping centre that will include a department store, a wide range of new shops, cafés, restaurants, vibrant public spaces, a multi-screen cinema, a hotel and improved parking.

“The bus station will provide a stunning new gateway to the city centre and act as a catalyst for further regeneration in Stoke-on-Trent.

“It forms the important first phase of the redevelopment of the East West Centre, which will revitalise the retail scene in Stoke-on-Trent and tempt shoppers back from cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. The project will create thousands of new jobs as well as providing a major boost to the local economy.”

New Bus Station For Stoke-on-Trent

After years of waiting, consultation, and empty promises, Stoke-on-Trent City Council finally agreed the company that will design the city’s new bus station.

Last night Stoke-on-Trent City Council unanimously agreed that Grimshaw Architects LLP, designers of the Eden Project in Cornwall and the International Terminal at London Waterloo station, will be the lead architectural company creating the full design for the city centre bus station.

With the designers being agreed, the next steps of the project was also revealed and work is targeted to start on site in just 9 months, on March 28 2011.

Council Leader Mohammed Pervez said, ‘I am excited and pleased with this significant step towards a new bus station. At long last the people of Stoke-on-Trent will know their new, state of the art, modern and fit for purpose bus station is within reach.

The bus station will be located at the heart of the East West Redevelopment which will bring a critical mass of investment into the city directly creating much needed new jobs.

I will personally be there on March 28 to see the work start on site. It is a project the council has been keen to progress. It has been a long time coming but we are definitely a significant step closer after tonight’s decision.’

Grimshaw Architects LLP will now complete the final design for the city centre bus station after producing a concept designs for stage two of the design competition. The final design for the bus station is expected in November before work begins in March next year.

Richard Blackwell, Associate for Grimshaw said, ‘We are delighted that our concept proposal secured the client’s support and look forward to developing and realising this exciting project. The competition brief clearly described the need for a new Bus Station but we soon recognised that the significance of the project extended beyond the immediate confines of the site.’

He continued, ‘We aim to deliver an elegant, simple building of enduring quality and are confident that the project will play a significant role in shaping the on-going redevelopment of Stoke-on-Trent.’

Duncan Mathieson, Managing Director of Realis Estates,the company behind the East West Centre, said, ‘We are excited to be working with one of the world’s top architectural practices on this important project. Yesterday’s decision demonstrates the significant progress that has been made since we gained planning consent last year and reiterates our desire to press ahead with a scheme that will enable Stoke-on-Trent to take its rightful place as one of the top 30 shopping destinations in the country.’

Hanley Bus Station Concepts

We have just received copies of the concept images from each of the design teams on the short list to come up with a design for the New Hanley bus station.

The designs are anonymous at the moment until they are reviled by the design teams on Wednesday.

What do you think of the designs, are they what you expected and would you want the new bus station built in this type of style?

Hanley Bus Station Have Your Say

Stoke-on-Trent residents are being asked for their views on on what they would like to see in their new city centre bus station.

This Wednesday (26 May), Stoke-on-Trent City Council will be holding a public exhibition, showing the initial design concepts of each of the 6 international design teams have been short-listed for the new bus station and asking local people what they think and what is important to them in their new bus station.

he new bus station, which is the first phase of the £275 million redevelopment of the East West Centre, will be an important new transport link and provide a new gateway to the city centre.

Councillor Brian Ward, said, ‘The bus station is a major step in the regeneration of the city centre. It will create a safe, warm and state-of-the-art facility for visitors to Stoke-on-Trent. Who better to tell us what will work and how the bus station should be designed than the people that use the current facility day in, day out. It is important that we get a design which will complement the new shopping centre and which people want and need.’

Residents are invited to the East West Centre Exhibition Unit in Charles Street between 10am and 6pm on Wednesday. Feedback from the event will be given to the judging panel, which will then decide which design team to appoint.

Representatives from the city council and Realis Estates, the developer behind the East West Centre redevelopment project, will be on hand to answer any questions about the scheme.

Each of the teams has put together a display that will be unveiled at the event. The drawings are not the final designs for the bus station but show initial concepts to give people an idea of the capabilities of each team.

The short-listed design teams are:

  • Austin Smith Lord, the practice behind the proposed new €100 million Tara Street Station in Dublin, lead architect with sub consultants Curtins, Hilson Moran & JMP
  • BDP, which was responsible for the new Number 1 court at Wimbledon, lead architect with sub consultants Mott MacDonald & AA Projects
  • Grimshaw, the architects behind the Eden Project in Cornwall, lead architect with sub consultant Arup
  • John McAslan & Partners, which is working on the masterplan for the redevelopment of Marble Arch in London, lead architect with sub consultants Mott Macdonald, AECOM & Billing Jackson
  • Wilkinson Eyre, which designed the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, lead architect with sub consultants Arup, Drivers Jonas Deloitte & Buchanan
  • Zaha Hadid, the practice working on the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, lead architect with sub consultants AKT, Savell Bird & Axon, Max Fordham.

Duncan Mathieson, Managing Director of Realis Estates, said, ‘The new bus station is a vital part of our plans for the redevelopment of the East West Centre. It will become a stunning new gateway not just for the scheme itself but for the whole of the city centre. The redeveloped East West Centre will enable Stoke-on-Trent to take its rightful place as one of the top 30 shopping destinations in the country. The city has a bright future with a number of major investment projects now either underway or in the pipeline. We are proud to be part of these exciting plans.’

Shiny Happy People

We had a press release from the council mailed to us yesterday about the new Inward Investment Team.

Along with all the PR guff about this new team and the trip to Cannes for some trade show, there was an image attached. This image was untitled but shows what we think is a mock up of the interior of the East West Centre.

We didn’t bother publishing the picture as it wasn’t really relevant to the story, but one thing struck me when I looked at all the shiny happy shoppers in this cathedral of retail, all the faces were white, I could not see one person who could be unmistakably be from an ethnic minority.

Have a look at the image, see if you can spot anyone who is not IC1 to use the Police identity codes.

I have had a good look around the image and apart from the host of celebrities, as reported by the BBC, shopping in the East West centre, it does seem to be a lot more west than east.

Stoke-on-Trent city centre bus station to take shape

A design competition has been launched for the new Stoke-on-Trent city centre bus station.

 Stoke-on-Trent City Council is inviting expressions of interest from companies to design a multi-million pound modern bus station in the heart of the city centre.

 A multi-disciplinary team, including architects, engineers, and environmental experts, is being sought. Companies have until the end of January to register their interest.

 A short-list of around four teams will then be selected in early February to prepare designs in order to compete for the contract.

 Councillor Brian Ward, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, said:

“The new bus station will be a focal point for visitors to the city so it is important that we get a first class design. With the new East West Centre and Central Business District being built in the city over the coming years, we can expect to welcome thousands of new visitors every year. The bus station will be the first impression many people get of the city so it is important that it is a place that we can be proud of. We are looking for a design that will be warm, safe and fit for the 21st century.”   

 A notice has been placed in the Official Journal of the European Union to attract expressions of interest. In Summer 2010 residents will get the chance to view the short-listed designs and comment on the aspects they would like to see in the final bus station. Once the design is finalised work is due to start on site in 2011.

 The city bus station will be built on the current John Street surface car park. It forms part of the East West Centre redevelopment.

 Funding of £4.5m has been committed to the bus station from Realis Estates under the development agreement. Further funding is expected from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, while the NSRP is also seeking funding from Advantage West Midlands.

 Designed by internationally renowned architects Benoy, the redeveloped East West Centre will provide up to 75,000 square metres of shops and restaurants, a multiplex cinema and other leisure facilities, revitalise Stoke-on-Trent city centre and tempt shoppers back from cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. It is forecast that the new development will create thousands of new jobs as well as providing a significant and sustained boost to the local economy.

 Earlier this month Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet approved the development agreement with developer Realis Estates.