Promise of 200 jobs in £12m Walsall shopping scheme

A multi-million pound scheme to build a new shopping parade in Walsall town centre, with the promise of 200 jobs, has been unveiled.

An artist’s impression submitted for the planned retail development in Walsall town centre’s St Matthews Quarter
An artist’s impression submitted for the planned retail development in Walsall town centre’s St Matthews Quarter

The £12 million plan involves regenerating St Matthew’s Quarter close to where a new Primark and Co-op will be built in the new year.

Norton & Proffitt has lodged a planning application with Walsall Council which would see the current row of buildings in Digbeth torn down and new units built.

Regeneration boss Councillor Adrian Andrew announced the plans.

“It shows confidence in the town centre,” he said.

“It is a further boost and good news for Walsall.”

He said jobs would be created as businesses set up in the location and there would also be opportunities for apprentices to take up roles under the scheme.

Talks will be started shortly with shops which currently occupy the development site, and Councillor Andrew said they could be offered places in the new-look parade. Greggs, H & T Pawnbrokers and Acorns Children’s Hospice charity shop could be affected.

However Councillor Andrew added: “I would like to see shops there which are not currently operating in the town centre, creating jobs for local people and shopping opportunities for people in the borough.”

The development would be 55,000sq ft on the ground floor and have a 33,000sq ft mezzanine level. The scheme is to be discussed by council planning chiefs at a later date.

Work to create the new Primark and Co-op store in the area, creating 160 new jobs, hit delays after work failed to start in spring this year.

It is part of a multi-million pound upgrade of the Old Square Shopping Centre, and Debenhams will also be revamped.

It comes after the council launched a £100,000 scheme to tackle empty shops in the town centre by offering businesses setting up there certain privileges, such as free rent and business rate relief for a limited period.

A new loyalty scheme and promotional website to reward shoppers and boost business for traders in the town centre is now also being developed.