Agenda item


Verbal updates will be given


The Portfolio Holder for Waste and Recycling introduced the regular update on the Future High Street Fund and Town Deals for Kidsgrove and Newcastle under Lyme.


The Chief Executive presented an update:


(a) Future High Street Fund:

·         Ryecroft site – the Civic Offices had been demolished. The scheme comprised 5 elements – multi-storey car park; 100 bed hotel; 90 residential units for the over 55s; new office headquarters for Aspire Housing; and public open space. The car park, residential units and office accommodation would be subject to planning permission. The demolition had seen the reuse of around 90% of the product (excluding any asbestos)

·         York Place – Wilmott Dixon had been appointed to support the delivery which would include ground floor retail, leisure and restaurant units with office space above. Planning permission was yet to be sought.

(b) Town Deals:

·         Kidsgrove - £16.9m funding had been received for 5 projects – Kidsgrove Sports Centre (now fully open); Chatterley Valley; railway station improvements; canal enhancements; and a shared services hub. There had also been advanced funding which had delivered the pump track and 3G pitches.

·         Newcastle under Lyme - £23.6m had been received for 9 projects of which 8 had been approved – Knutton Masterplan works were progressing; Cross Street Chesterton had progressed to a feasibility study for the next stage; walking and cycling routes were being delivered by Staffordshire County Council; key gateway sites – the Zanzibar site was progressing towards seeking planning permission, the Midway car park scheme was waiting the multi-storey car park at Ryecroft; the deadline for the business case for the Performing Arts Centre was December 2022; the digital project was progressing and was being led by Keele University to enhance digital skills; GB broadband and EV charging points – both schemes were being progressed.

Members raised queries and points as follows:

·         There was good feedback on Kidsgrove Sports Centre which had exceeded membership targets.

·         The lifts at the Kidsgrove station were welcomed.

·         What input did the Borough Council have regarding cycling routes? This scheme would be led by the County Council but the Borough Council would be involved.

·         Town Centre schemes at Ryecroft and York Place needed to ensure an effective blend of modern with the existing traditional design. This was accepted, the new buildings and infrastructure would complement and be in character with existing.

·         What safeguards were in place with regards to rising inflation? The committee was informed that proposals and costs were being worked on and additional funds may be needed; value engineering would also take place. The Ryecroft site had a robust scheme with a mix of projects which was important from a financial perspective.

·         Residents still raised concern about Newcastle town centre with empty units and lack of variety. How much awareness was there of the above projects among the public, could there be improved communications. The Chief Executive responded that more communication could be undertaken now there was certainty of some of the schemes. The environment of the town centre was much improved due to the Town Ranger and the positive impact of strategies to deal with rough sitters and rough sleepers. There was an improved Police presence in the town especially in the early mornings.


Resolved: that:

(a)  The update be noted. 

(b)  That Cabinet be recommended to put in place wider ranging communications to ensure as many people as possible are aware of the improvements that the Newcastle under Lyme Future High Streets Fund and Town Deal will deliver.


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