The City Council has unveiled plans to build a 730 space multi-storey car park in the city centre – to give shoppers, workers and visitors more choice and support the growth of the local economy.
The facility would be built on the site of the existing 106-space Broad Street car park, and would supply the parking demand from the thriving Smithfield office, hotel and residential development, wider city centre and expanding visitor numbers.
The multi-storey is included in the council’s budget proposals for 2020/21, which were launched today and will go to Full Council on February 27 for approval. If given the green light, the council would aim to have planning permission secured for the car park and a main construction contractor appointed by June 2020. Work could start before the end of the summer and the car park could potentially be open to the public by September 2021.
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “The city centre is growing rapidly and this year we are going to see the really exciting additions of the Clayworks apartments and Hilton Garden Inn hotel at Smithfield, two landmark developments for the future of Stoke-on-Trent which will help to transform the city for generations to come. In 2018 people took five million day-trips to Stoke-on-Trent and that number will continue to grow, especially with new attractions like the iconic Spitfire extension at the museum being delivered.
“We know parking is in short supply in the city centre, but that is a sign of a growing economy and successful city. Our decision to lease out office space at Smithfield to private businesses has brought in hundreds of officer workers into Hanley and given the area a real boost. We have listened to businesses and looked at parking patterns in the week and at weekends, and we have commissioned the car park on the grounds of clear demonstrative need. We have to make sure there are enough parking spaces to support the attractions and businesses, and to encourage local people and visitors to come to the area.
“This would be a high-quality multi-storey facility, a level above anything else in our current parking portfolio. It will give visitors a great impression of Stoke-on-Trent and will boost all the exciting developments that are taking place. This is a really important step in the transformation of our city centre. It will be designed to the highest standards and I’m sure would be a very welcome addition to the city centre.”
Alongside the release of the city council’s budget proposals, it can be revealed that a further 62,000 sq. ft. of Grade A office accommodation will be developed in the next phase of development at Smithfield. The new office, delivered by the city council in partnership with Genr8 Developments and private investors, will add to the first phase of the scheme, which included One and Two Smithfield, two office buildings totalling 210,000 sq. ft and phase two which includes the 140-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and the 11-storey Clayworks build-to-rent apartments, which are both due for completion in the second quarter of this year.
The new Grade A office accommodation already has serious interest from a multinational blue-chip organisation which will take up the majority of the accommodation. Genr8 has also secured outline planning permission for a further 86,000 sq. ft office building and proposals for this continue to be progressed.
Cllr Abi Brown, leader of the city council, said: “There is real confidence in Stoke-on-Trent right now from developers and businesses. Our work to make this city a great place to invest is working, and the message that Stoke-on-Trent is open for business is well and truly out there.
“We are committed to making the city a better place to live, work and visit, and creating jobs and growth. We are an extremely competitive and attractive option to employers with our fantastic transport links and geographical location as the gateway to the East Midlands, West Midlands and North West. This is a really exciting time for Stoke-on-Trent as we drive forward with regeneration that will benefit our city for years to come.”
Richard Ingham, partner at Genr8, said: “Stoke-on-Trent’s national profile as a destination for business is, rightfully, increasing. Therefore, the need for high-quality, contemporary office space is increasing in tandem, and Genr8 is proud to be able to deliver this for the city in partnership with the city council.
“It’s important that we respond to the needs of residents, and that we’re providing the right infrastructure to support Smithfield and the wider city centre’s continued growth.
“Smithfield needs to be relevant for Stoke-on-Trent, hence why we’re prioritising things such as increased office space and new high quality parking provision. This builds upon Smithfield’s soon to be completed Clayworks build to rent scheme and Hilton Garden Inn.”
A temporary 100-space car park will be built on the Smithfield site for residents in the Clayworks apartments, who would be given to the option to buy permanent permits on the new multi-storey car park when it opens.
Alun Rogers, Acting Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has supported the development of the Smithfield site with funding and these exciting proposals will help regenerate the city even further. This is also a prime area for higher skills in the city which continue to grow, with the development set to create hundreds of new jobs.
“We firmly believe that we can be one of the strongest performing economies in the UK, driven by high-tech industries and innovative local business, all supported by some of the UK’s best connectivity. Our work to boost skills and employability also continues at pace and is helping to create thousands of new and better-paid jobs for people in the area.”
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