Plans for new homes, businesses and multi-storey car park on disused land in Stafford have taken a step closer after the Government backed the borough council’s £20m funding bid.
Stafford Station Gateway is being delivered by a partnership between Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, placemaking and regeneration expert LCR and Network Rail. Proposals for the scheme include a hotel, up to 900 new homes, 30,000 sq ft of commercial space, a 350-space multi-storey car park, and retail and leisure facilities on underutilised brownfield land around the railway station.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, visited the Gateway to personally inform the project team it had been successful in its bid for just under £20m. It comes as the Government announced that 55 projects across the UK were being awarded a share of nearly £1bn from the third round of their flagship Levelling Up Fund, to spread opportunity, create jobs and revitalise local communities.
Mr Gove was told that by 2040 Stafford Station Gateway will be a thriving new community within Stafford where people want to live, work and visit. A new Institute of Technology for Stafford College, supported by £13m of government funding and backed by Keele University, Siemens and Dell among others, is already being built on part of the Gateway site.
Michael Gove said: “Levelling up means delivering local people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.
“This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our Long-Term Plan for Towns.”
Councillor Godfrey commented: “Yet again this is testament in the confidence that the Government has in the borough council and partners being able to deliver on significant investment that is coming to our area. That the Secretary of State has chosen Stafford as the place to make this announcement sends a clear message about our strong position on the national map.
“And I told Mr Gove that we were perfectly placed by road, rail and air for new businesses to flourish and the Stafford Gateway will be a thriving, vibrant new community within the town where people want to live, work and visit and all sustainably connected to the railway station.”
Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills Philip White said: “I was delighted to be part of the delegation who welcomed the Levelling up Secretary Michael Gove to Stafford last week. This is another hugely exciting milestone for the regeneration of the county town.
“Staffordshire County Council is a key partner in the future development around the station area working closely with Stafford Borough Council, LCR and Network Rail to deliver the masterplan for the regeneration of the area. The project is an important piece of the town’s ongoing revitalisation, paving the way for wider growth, including new housing, employment space and leisure facilities which will in turn attract major inward investment in future years.”
Nick Smithson, Senior Development Manager at LCR, said: “The Stafford Station Gateway is prioritising brownfield land to revitalise a key area of Stafford and create public value through new homes, public realm and community assets. These are the key themes of levelling up and this funding shows how well the scheme is delivering against that, and the potential of what we can achieve on unloved brownfield sites.”
The masterplan for the ‘Gateway’ can be found here: www.staffordbc.gov.uk/stafford-station-gateway