The first phase of the redevelopment, which will see the construction of among other things new shops, homes and a linear park – a park that is longer than it is wide – is expected to begin in 2019
Stevenage Borough Council’s scheme will bring £350million of private investment into the town, with the development planned for the western side of the town centre. This is the area where the council offices, the Plaza, bus station and several surface car parks are currently located.
The council has appointed developer Mace to lead the regeneration, after a tendering process which saw three other national developers competing for the work.
Mace’s scheme, which celebrates the heritage of the new town while bringing it into the 21st century, includes new shops, homes and a bespoke central venue for a library, exhibition space, health services and council offices.
It will also create a new linear park and food and drink space with bars and restaurants in the heart of the town for people to enjoy.
Ed Jordan, Chief Executive of Wenta, which runs the Business and Technology Centre, said,
“The SG1 scheme is an exciting project that, fully realised, will provide a whole host of economic activity and opportunity for the Stevenage community. Small businesses tell us that they value fast, efficient and cost-effective infrastructure and it’s hoped that a resolution can be found to successfully invest in the Stevenage station proposals as these will benefit businesses, residents and the wider community. Wenta are looking forward to the future in Stevenage.”
Adrian Hawkins, Co-founder and Chairman biz4Biz and Deputy Chair of Hertfordshire LEP, said, “The long awaited announcement of a developer to deliver this important first phase of regeneration in Stevenage town centre shows what can be done in partnership between committed public and private sector partners with shared aims and values. Stevenage and Hertfordshire more widely is a great place to invest, and in return both residents and businesses we benefit from the delivery of new housing and retail alongside improved public services”
Neville Reyner CBE DL HonDLitt, Chairman of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said, “The Chamber has actively supported the regeneration of Stevenage town centre, and is confident that major change will now occur with the appointment of Mace. It is hoped this is one of many exciting projects being brought forward over the coming years. With its superb location and proximity to London, Cambridge and Oxford, the town is ideally located to benefit from the economic opportunities that increased confidence and competitiveness will bring. This new development will further boost the town’s position as a leading, affordable at all levels, attractive place to work and live with working out leisure and socialising facilities. It is also key that this is complemented by some good infrastructure such as broadband and mobile connectivity, roads, trains and airports.”