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Cannock town centre overhaul moves ahead after £9m green light for demolition of multi-storey car park

The transformation of Cannock town centre has moved forward after senior councillors gave the go-ahead for £9 million to be spent on work including demolition of a multi-storey car park.


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Cannock Chase Council is also set to acquire units in Cannock Shopping Centre to enable improvements to take place.

Cabinet members approved the actions after being given an update on the progress of the regeneration project, which received £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund in 2021. The decision means that building and construction works can begin later this year.

Proposals include redevelopment of the former multi-storey car park and indoor market hall site to make way for a new cultural hub.

A northern gateway including a new café is set to connect the town centre to the bus station and Beecroft Road car park and the car park itself will be refurbished.

An artist’s impression showing a part of the Northern Gateway leading into Cannock town centre

Speaking before the meeting, council leader Tony Johnson said: “I am pleased that we are now close to being able to spend nearly half of the £20m funding allocated by the Government and will soon be able to get on and create the improved town centre in Cannock everyone deserves.

“This is an ambitious scheme where we are working closely with Government, the county council and our partners in the community; not least to maximise the best use of the resources we have available which have been affected by inflationary pressures we all know about.”

Deputy leader Josh Newbury added: “The council has been working hard behind the scenes to develop the programme for the Levelling Up Fund scheme and it is great news that we at a point where Cabinet can consider the detail for phase one of the project. I thank everyone for their continuing patience.

“In return, we will be delivering a car park with a much better layout, wider bays, disabled parking spaces, electric vehicle charging points, an area for bikes, trees and new signage; a much better welcome into the town from the northern side with a new pedestrian crossing, the area opened up and a new café; and last but not least, the removal of the eyesore that the multi-storey car park has become.”

Leader of Cannock Chase Council, Councillor Tony Johnson, and Deputy Leader Josh Newbury, pictured where the Northern Gateway will be created

When the Levelling Up Fund bid was submitted the total cost of the project was £44m, a report to the cabinet said.

In February 2022 the authority committed £17.2m towards the project, alongside the £20m Levelling Up funding (LUF), and a further £6.8m was expected to be met by an unsecured private sector investor in respect of the proposed retirement living complex.

But due to the volatility of construction costs and inflation “the total project as originally set out is not currently deliverable within the previously approved budget”, the report said.

It added: “To address concerns around land availability, cost control and deliverability, officers have been working closely with DLUHC (Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) colleagues over the last six months to agree a deliverable amended scheme, the first phase of which this report seeks appropriate approvals and delegations for.

“In February 2024, following an on-site meeting, DLUHC have confirmed that they are comfortable with the following revised project scope being progressed at pace whilst the detail of phase two is being agreed.

"The deadline for spending LUF grants is March 31, 2025, but DLUHC has clarified with the council that it expects the council to be able to demonstrate it has fully entered into contracts for works by March 31, 2025, and that either a start on site has been achieved or is imminent.

“The second phase of delivery relates to a wider area within the town centre which brings forward a different scheme to that originally envisaged. As such officers are working with DLUHC colleagues agree a scope of works, programme and budget that is similar to the approved project to reflect the funding award.

“Cabinet should note that the council is currently progressing a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) to facilitate land assembly to support delivery of the scheme, however the council is continuing to seek to finalise agreements with landowners by private treaty. Further details of this second phase will be reported to Cabinet once those urgent discussions have concluded and subsequent actions will need to be delivered at pace for the second phase of the project.”