The team who will be overseeing the redevelopment of the Market Square in Stafford has been announced.
Award winning landscape architects Xanthe Quayle have been chosen to lead on the restoration of the Square – which is part of a more than £21 million transformation of the town’s High Street.
Stafford Borough Council secured £14.3 million from the government to undertake the huge development of the north end of the town centre – with additional money being pumped in by the local authority as well as Staffordshire County Council.
The work on the Market Square is expected to get underway in the summer. It is just one part of an overall transformation plan for the town – with the money from the Future High Street Fund (FHSF) aimed at 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, relocation of the indoor market, and enhanced spaces encouraging people to socialise - with the revamped ‘Square’ the focal point for events and activities.
The project is being backed by other private and public sector partners with the FHSF money ringfenced for projects within the High Street that will “breathe new life into the north of the town centre.”
It’s not the only investment coming to the town centre. Work on the iconic Shire Hall to create a new enterprise hub providing workspace for over 20 small businesses is underway, and there are plans for a £7.1m History Centre off Eastgate Street.
Xanthe Quayle Landscape Architects (XQLA) has an impressive portfolio of major regeneration projects across the country - including town centres, theatres and exhibition centres, and their appointment is welcomed by the councillor responsible for economic development and planning in the borough, Frances Beatty.
She said: “I am very pleased Xanthe Quayle have been chosen to lead on such an important development for the future of our town. Their CV demonstrates their work is not only innovative but of high quality and we are looking forward to showing how we can breathe new life into the area.
“Growth and prosperity for our borough is a key priority for the council and we have attracted significant investment working closely with our partners – and the financial backing we have received from Government is testament to their confidence in us delivering a town centre for the future.”
Councillor Beatty added: “The Market Square will not just see cosmetic improvements – there will be significant infrastructure to ensure it is suitable to increase the range and quality of events that can be staged, therefore increasing footfall to the town and encouraging people to stay longer.”
Announcements on the future projects earmarked for the town centre will be made later this year with commercially confidential discussions still taking place.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said: “Transformation of the Market Square will be pivotal part of Stafford’s town centre regeneration and comes at a time when so many other exciting projects are getting off the ground.
“Just last week we were pleased to announce the beginning of work to create our new enterprise hub at the rear of the Shire Hall – a focal point in the Market Square. Everyone has been looking forward to seeing it return to productive use and bring vibrancy back to the town centre.
“The Market Square works will complement our ambitious plans to regenerate the Eastgate area, the new History Centre and the borough council’s Future High Street plans. We look forward to continuing our close working with Stafford Borough Council and other partners to make them happen.”