Cannock masterplan revealed to boost town centre amid £160m designer outlet competition
Cannock town centre could be in line for a huge overhaul to halt its decline once the £160 million West Midlands Designer Outlet has been built.
Council bosses have prepared a document outlining proposals for a new “destination area” anchored by a cinema and including food and drink outlets.
Work is well under way on the designer outlet village being built by developers McArthurGlen which is due to open next year.
A prospectus is set to be approved by Cannock Chase District Council today and will then be handed out to estate agents and developers as a marketing tool to attract new investment.
The prospectus has been in development over the past few years, in two phases.
In the first phase consultants looked at key sites that they considered being key to unlocking investment in the town centre – the multi-storey car park and indoor market and the bus station.
Other areas being looked at include Danilo Road, Beecroft Road, Backcrofts, Allport Road, Avon Road, Park Road and the police station car park.
A report set to go to the council’s cabinet states: “The work carried out identified sufficient demand to create a new destination area in the town centre anchored by a cinema and supported by food / drink outlets.
“It was however noted that the viability of cinema/restaurant schemes can be challenging.”
Proposals for the multi-storey car park, market hall and retail units include a new “key destination leisure and cultural development”, such as a cinema, food, beverage and retail units, and potential apartments or a hotel or office space.
Part of the bus station could be used for hotel or conference facilities, or residential units, the Beecroft Road car park could be turned into residential, retail or commercial office use and a new decked car park, and Danilo Road car park could be used for apartments or senior living.
The report adds: “The town centre currently has a poor quality retail offer. Investment and redevelopment is badly needed in order to regenerate a struggling town centre by providing new floorspace, jobs, leisure and cultural uses.
“Generating additional footfall and linkages to the town centre with the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock scheduled to open in 2020 is critical.
“Three million visitors are anticipated annually to the outlet. In order for this to happen there needs to be something to attract visitors that isn’t already catered for at the outlet or Cannock town centre will decline further.
“Without the Development Prospectus being in place, there is a risk that development opportunities will not come forward and the town centre could decline further.
“Crucially, there will be a huge missed opportunity to attract in a proportion of the anticipated three million plus visitors per annum from the outlet into Cannock town centre.”