£160m Cannock designer outlet construction 'ahead of schedule'
Construction of the £160 million McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock is running ahead of schedule despite the recent torrential downpour.
It comes as Cannock Chase District Council’s leader George Adamson said the development is “the best thing to happen to Cannock in decades”.
Roofs have been installed on top of the several brick structures, with a metal skeleton surrounding them as workers put on the finishing touches.
The buildings are not yet water-tight and the internal fittings can begin once this has been done.
Tony Mitchell, site manager for the contractor, said the work on the roofs is set to finish at the end of next month.
He said: “We’ve got a flat roof with a mansard roof on the top and until we’ve finished these off it’s not water-tight and we’re ahead of schedule on that so we’re doing well.
“After that we can do everything internally throughout the winter.”
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Work to clear out the Mill Green site to make way for the development started in July last year and is expected to finish next year, with the outlet village set to open in autumn 2020.
Residents have voiced their frustration at the fact the development's name - McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands - will not include Mill Green, Cannock Chase or Staffordshire.
Around 1,000 jobs are expected to be created at the shopping village, which will feature around 80 brands, restaurants, cafes, a children’s play area and 1,400 car parking spaces.
Drivers have faced almost a year of disruption as major changes are made to surrounding roads to provide access to the development and reduce congestion when the outlet village opens.
Hayes Way is closed at its junction with the A460 Eastern Way, while a stretch of the A5190 Lichfield Road is shut westbound near Eastern Way until October 18 having previously been shut for eastbound drivers.
Various other routes have also been shut since roadworks started in November last year.
The completed outlet will include a square with a coffee kiosk, “dancing fountain” and art, where events will be held throughout the year.
The children’s play area will be near the square and back onto the nature reserve.
Adult changing facilities for people with disabilities will also be built in the development, with the plans for the toilets described by centre manage Mike Thomas as “hotel spec”.
The project will also see £1.5 million invested into various projects in the area including the ongoing maintenance of the Mill Green Nature Park, improvements to Cannock town centre and the railway station, and support for developing skills and employment prospects for local people.
Councillor Adamson added: "I'm really impressed with the amazing progress, I'm really excited about it and looking forward to it opening next Autumn.
"It's the best thing to happen to Cannock for decades, it'll put the town on the national map and bring hundreds and hundreds of jobs, it's going to be great.
"We've got plans for the town centre including getting rid of the multi-storey and improving the railway station, so hopefully people will come here and then go to the town centre too."