Ambitious plans to transform Shrewsbury town centre, making it a better place to live and work, have taken a major step forward.
A team of nationally-renowned and award-winning design consultants, led by Glenn Howells Architects, have been appointed to assist in the masterplanning of the town, over the coming six months.
The project will also include the development of a town-wide movement strategy which will investigate ways to improve access in and around the town centre.
The firm has been appointed by the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan partnership, made up of Shrewsbury BID, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shropshire Council, following a detailed tendering exercise. Work started in early October with a view to publishing the masterplanning and movement strategy in Spring 2020.
Glenn Howells Architects are familiar with Shrewsbury after being the lead architects on the conversion of the Old Market Hall to its current guise as a successful cinema and café. The team has also worked on town centre regeneration projects in Worcester, Birmingham and London.
Councillor Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, said: “The whole ethos of this project is that it is very much a partnership approach.
“The experts at Glenn Howells Architects will make recommendations based on many conversations with people here in Shrewsbury and extensive research they are already undertaking, but the Big Town Plan will be co-created by everyone involved.
“It will be fascinating to see how things develop during the coming months.”
Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said: “This appointment signals the start of a busy period of work for the Big Town Plan, leading towards the publication of masterplans for six key areas of the town in the spring.”
“I am really looking forward to being involved with such an exciting project to make Shrewsbury an even better place in which to live, work and visit.”
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID and member of the Big Town Plan partnership, said: “We are excited about working with such a highly-respected team of architects and town planners, who really impressed the partnership with their passion and enthusiasm for the Big Town Plan project.”
“Their local connections will also be an important benefit, with some of their team living in Shrewsbury and therefore very familiar with the unique nature of our town.”
Michael Cruise, studio director at Glenn Howells Architects, said Shrewsbury could lead the way for others to follow with ambitious plans to “future-proof” the town.
He added: “We are delighted to be awarded this terrific opportunity which could become a model for how historic town centres are future-proofed to meet the challenges of climate change and changing trends in how we live, work, shop and play.
“We have assembled a local team, who are passionate about Shrewsbury and are looking forward to working with the SBTP team and local stakeholders to build on the great work that has already been done in establishing the vision for the Big Town Plan.”