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

City Sentral Week 3

As MIPIM just about to start from 6th to 9th March in Cannes, MIPIM is the European meeting point and deal making forum for many key industry players.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council have teamed up with Staffordshire in attempt to generate interest and investment in the area? Continue reading

Bid for a share of £1m for your high street and become a Portas Pilot

Towns and cities across the UK are being given the opportunity to bid for a share of a £1million funding pot to help them to turn arond their unloved and unused High Streets. Stoke-on-Trent with its six towns has more than enough unloved High Streets to choose from to put bids in against.

Mary Portas and Grant Shapps the Local Government Minister have launched a competition to choose 12 towns to become ‘Portas Pilots’ and bid for up to £100,000 to help them. The cash has offered as an incentive to those towns that come up with the best High Street blueprints in a move that fulfils the first and last recommendations of Mary Portas’ High Streets Review, commissioned by the Prime Minister and published before Christmas.

Speaking on Friday Grant Shapps said:

Our high streets have faced stiff competition from Internet shopping, and out-of-town shopping centres – leaving them underused, unloved and under-valued. The Internet is not going to go away, and so for our high streets to survive they need to offer something new and exciting.

So today I’m offering a golden ticket to 12 town centres across the country to become ‘Portas Pilots’ – areas with the vision and enthusiasm to breathe new life into what should be the beating heart of their communities, and they will get Mary’s and my support as they try out the ideas in her recent review.

Taking forward the first recommendation from Mary Portas’s review, the 12 successful localities will create Town Teams, made up of the key players in their local community – such as the council, local landlords, shopkeepers and the local MP.

These teams will then benefit from the backing of the Minister, Whitehall and Mary Portas herself as they take forward the recommendations from the review and in their area. They will also receive a share of £1 million.

Mary Portas said

I am thrilled that now there is an opportunity to turn my recommendations into reality by giving communities across the country the opportunity to come forward with their vision for breathing new life into their locality. I hope my Review has inspired people with another vision of tomorrow where our high streets are re-imagined as destinations for socializing, culture, well being, learning as well as shopping. I want the first twelve Town Teams to challenge the old ways of working, experiment, take risks and reaffirm their place at the heart of a community. A place we all want to be and can be proud of.

Successful bidders will need to demonstrate how they have the energy, enthusiasm and vision to make a real difference to their town centres and make them the hubs of their communities.

Energy & enthusiasm is something that, dispite the best efforts of the council with their poorly implimented regeneration plans, Stoke-on-Trent still has lots of, this along with the creative flair  will be ideal when areas are asked to demonstrate how they plan to breathe new life into their high streets and shopping parades, but not just in a standard application form – Mr Shapps would also like to see their pitches to become Portas Pilots in short YouTube clips.

Use the links below to read more about how to bid to become one of the Portas Pilots.

Car Parking & A New Bus Station

More car parking spaces lost in Hanley

Clough Street car park is to be closed to make way for the new Tesco store and the work to complete the ring road.

On 4 January 2010, almost exactly a year since Birch Terrace car park was closed due to ‘severe structural problems’, Clough Street will be closed as part of the Tesco development that the City Council seem to be pinning their hopes on to kick start the regeneration of Hanley, or as they would like it known ‘City Centre’.

The closure of Clough street will see the loss of 540 car parking spaces, drivers are being redirected to Clementsons Mill and Broad Street which have a combined total of 272 spaces.

New Bus Station
Once work starts on the new bus station, a further 291 spaces will be lost on John Street surface car park and depending on the design of the bus station there is a possibility that 560 spaces could be lost with the closure of John Street multi story car park.

Closure of John Street car park will have a massive affect on The Regent Theatre & Victoria Halls as these are the main parking areas for visitors to these venues. People travelling to the venues from out of town favour these as the are on the door step.

The council have today launched a design competition for the new Hanley 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.

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.