Agenda item



The Executive Director for Growth and Development presented an update report on progress made on two key projects within the Future High Street Fund and Town Deal Programmes: the new Castle Multi Storey Car Park on Ryecroft and the redevelopment of York Place Shopping Centre.


Both have planning permissions and are due to be on site later in the year. They are independent projects but linked into a series of interventions which will drive significant regenerative benefits for the town with more to follow. The Executive Director went through costs involved, other anticipated sources of funding and financial risks.


York Place’s tenants are being successfully moved to the High Street in readiness for the works.


The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Town Centres and Growth expressed his support for the two projects – the current structures being outdated, not fit for modern times.


Questions were asked and responses were provided as follows:


-       Did we know if any of the current occupants were intending to move back into York Place once the works would be completed? – At least one company had confirmed their intention to indeed move back.


-       Would there be any reserved space in the car park for the staff of the Hotel and Aspire Housing? – There would be parking permits, along with the possibility to pay for single uses of the car park. Free parking wouldn’t be allowed.


-       Had any contingency money be planned to allow for potential changes to the works? – In the unlikely case that changes would be required contingency moneys had been included in the budget.


-       Was the adequate communication in place with residents? – Indeed communication was part of the process.


-       The car park being essential to attract people to York Place, were there any parking provisions for people not connected to it? – There would be a percentage given over to permits and another for paying customers; there would also be different uses at different times of the day.


-       Have we got any timescales for developers to implement the new York Place and how are the car park maintenance costs going to be funded? – It will take a year to start to rebuild York Place and the car park maintenance costs will be covered as part of the Council’s capital programme.


-       Can we be re-assured that procurement standards will be respected and that the focus will be on quality design for the selection of a development partner for York Place? – There will be a robust procurement process in place and feedback from residents will be sought.


-       Can we have more information about timing, scheduling and making sure the contractors stay in business? – The demolition of York Place will be during the winter and the plan is to start to build in the spring and summer next year. It will be about a year and a half to build the new York Place. About the companies who will be undertaking the works these will have a national presence and guarantees of a good cash flow.


-       Will the site be guarded during the works and will contractors be prevented to use or remove anything from the centre town? – Contractors won’t be allowed to cross the road which is the County’s property and therefore won’t get anywhere near the other side of it.


Resolved:     That members note the potential benefits of the proposals, the progress made and risks associated with delivery a major regeneration programme for Newcastle town centre.


Watch the debate here

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