Major progress for Capital&Centric’s The Goods Yard as path cleared for construction in Stoke-on-Trent

Published: Thursday, 8th September 2022

Major progress for Capital&Centric’s The Goods Yard as path cleared for construction in Stoke-on-Trent

Work to deliver Capital&Centric’s landmark ‘Goods Yard’ neighbourhood in Stoke-on-Trent is one step closer, with the formal appointment of a main contractor.

Bowmer + Kirkland have been appointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and social mission developers Capital&Centric, clearing the way for construction to kick-start on site next month. Delivery of the district is expected to create around 75 jobs and 12 apprenticeships for local young people.

It’s a major moment for the £60m project, set to turn the industrial site next to Stoke-on-Trent’s west coast mainline train station into a buzzing new urban district. Once complete, it’ll be packed with 174 new design-led homes for rent; edgy work spaces; indie bars, cafes and shops; and stacks of green outdoor space open to the public.

This appointment marks rapid progress, with Capital&Centric’s vision for the project only given the green light by the local authority in March. Construction work will now begin in September, including the demolition of some of the existing industrial buildings with no architectural merit. Preparatory work for the new-build apartment blocks and restoration of the stunning vaulted warehouse will then start by the end of the year. It’s estimated the neighbourhood will be completed in 2025.

Cllr Abi Brown, Leader of the City Council, said: “There’s a lot more to get developments started than people often realise, with huge commitment from everyone to get us to this point so quickly. Thanks to our work with partners Capital&Centric, we’ve officially appointed a contractor to build the site meaning activity at the Goods Yard will start rolling imminently.

“We know that seeing activity on site is when the excitement really starts to build and we can involve local people and businesses in shaping this exciting new destination.

“The Goods Yard will transform a currently underused, canalside area into a vibrant place for living, working and having fun. The impact will be widespread from jobs, skills and new businesses to attracting interest and investment into our brilliant city.

“With the Goods Yard progressing and other major developments gaining momentum, we are not taking our foot off the accelerator to deliver on our Levelling Up promise.”

The Goods Yard is a major regional investment, one of three in Stoke-in-Trent backed by the Government’s Levelling Up Fund and receiving one of the largest awards for a single project. It’s being delivered by social impact developers Capital&Centric, in collaboration with the Council.

Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital&Centric, said: “It’s been hard to make happen with rapidly rising construction costs and an uncertain economic outlook, but this shows the power of partnerships with the public and private sectors.

“Everyone is itching to see the Goods Yard become reality, so this is a mega moment that paves the way for a new future for Stoke on Trent. This is a pioneering project that will act as a catalyst for yet more investment. We’ve got stacks of good will locally to create an amazing neighbourhood, one that becomes a real melting pot of different people, businesses and community uses.

“We’ve a few things up our sleeves to make sure local people and groups can get involved and start enjoying the Goods Yard in the coming months and years, but our main priority right now is to get on and deliver at the site.”

The Goods Yard will write a new chapter for the former Swift House site, located next to the HS2-connected Stoke-on-Trent train station and on the doorstep of Staffordshire University, the Trent and Mersey Canal and the A500.

The neighbourhood will feature:

  • The Goods Yard Living: 174 design-led apartments for rent, with a mix of 1,2 and 3-bed homes. The new building is planned to feature private resident gardens, as well as resident facilities such as a café or bike repair shop, alongside other uses such as a gym or convenience store.
  • Signal Box: A café-bar in what is currently a derelict rail signal box.
  • Vaults Warehouse: Restoration of the stunning, locally-listed, brick vaulted, below ground warehouse to create a combined work space and leisure venue.
  • Canalside Jetty: Opening up the water’s edge to the public and creating a potential mooring point for visiting canal boats or a water taxi.
  • The Pavilion: A contemporary building with a raw industrial feel that will provide 5,000sq.ft. of floor area in a double height space that will be made available for workspace and/or leisure uses.
  • The Goods Yard Square: A bustling public square at the heart of the site, with seating, gardens and spaces for pop-up events, with pedestrian and cycle links to the surrounding area
  • Hotel: A 150-bed hotel (to be delivered as part of Phase 2)