Councillors approve £20 million regeneration pot for Stafford High Street

A £20 million pot to undertake the biggest transformation in a generation of the High Street in Stafford was unanimously backed by councillors.

An image of how Stafford's Market Square could look in the future. Photo: Stafford Borough Council
An image of how Stafford's Market Square could look in the future. Photo: Stafford Borough Council

The cash for the huge regeneration project was given the green light at a meeting of the council last night.

Councillors heard that more than £14m from a Government backed pot to improve high streets, along with around £5.4 million from Stafford Borough Council, would be earmarked for the scheme in the north end of the town centre in the local authority’s ‘Capital Programme.’

The vision includes increasing the number of people living in the town - to support the retail and hospitality sectors - creating new pedestrian routes around the centre with great links to public transport; enhanced spaces encouraging people to socialise with a revamped Market Square as the focal point for events and activities. The project is expected to be backed by major private sector investment and further details are commercially confidential.

The report said the Indoor Market could be relocated, and re-designed, to improve footfall as part of the regeneration plans.

The council is already working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on proposals having been provisionally awarded £14.3 million after a successful bid to the Future High Streets Fund. The money is ringfenced for projects within the town’s High Street that are aimed at breathing new life into the north of the town centre in what was described as the ‘biggest transformation in a generation’ of that area.

Stafford Borough Council is working with the county council on the scheme.

Councillor Mike Smith, cabinet member for resources, stressed that the money could only be spent on the projects that had been approved as part of the successful funding bid.

He told the meeting: “This is tremendously exciting and will rejuvenate the town centre. These projects will make Stafford a destination of choice. I’m very pleased this has support across the council.”

And Councillor Frances Beatty, the cabinet member for economic development and planning, praised the hard work of officers who had worked on the successful bid and added: “This is a huge project. This is a fundamental set of projects that will make a massive difference to the economy and the community use of town."

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