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Stafford's Guildhall to get £500k revamp

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Stafford's Guildhall will undergo a £500,000 transformation over the next few months in the biggest redevelopment in the shopping centre's history.

The complex is set to be re-branded, units will be redesigned to attract big name retailers, dated ceilings will be lifted and LED lighting will be installed as part of the modernisation works.

A new simplified logo has already been revealed and planning permission for most of the redevelopment has already been granted approval by Stafford Borough Council, which has touted the project as a major factor in revitalising the north end of Stafford town centre.

Contractors are now being sought and it is hoped the majority of the works will be completed before the new Riverside shopping centre is unveiled across town.

Centre manager George Demetriou told the Express & Star: "It is a very positive thing for the Guildhall. The landlord has always stated they would invest since they moved in, they believe in Stafford.

"It will be great for the shoppers and the retailers have backed the plans.

He added: "There will probably be the same amount of units overall, we will be relocating some of them.

"We are looking at re-configuring the units to make them bigger and more attractive to retailers. Most retailers want big boxes now.

"We want to bring in big names and we are after new names into Stafford. We are not trying to compete with the fashion offer that will be at Riverside."

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The Guildhall was first opened in 1988 and expanded in two more phases. The car park and market hall was launched the following year while the main shopping mall was opened by Princess Anne in 1991.

Two years ago Edinburgh House Estates took over the retail complex vowing to invest in its future. Mr Demetriou said it has taken a long time to bring the plans forward due to getting feasibility studies completed.

He added: "We are hoping to get started by June and while there will be some upheaval when work is going on we are hoping most of it will be finished by September."

It is hoped the investment will be a major boost to the shopping centre which suffered a blow last autumn at the announcement big name brands Wallis, Evans and Topshop were not renewing their tenancy agreements. At the time Mr Demetriou promised exciting changes were in store.

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