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Yes, we’re on our way as retail site deal clinched
PLANS to create a new multi-million pound shopping and leisure complex in Worcester are moving forward – after a deal was struck to market the site.
Council bosses have clinched a deal with a city-based property firm to do its bidding over the Cornmarket car park and Trinity House.
Halls Wilkins Commercial is aiming to sell both pieces of land to a third party to transform it into a thriving new retail centre.
It comes as the city council’s leader issued a rallying call over the hopeful development, saying he sees it as a “real opportunity” to rapidly improve Worcester.
Councillor Adrian Gregson said: “Clearly, it’s a really good opportunity to provide a key link between the city centre and St Martin’s Quarter.
“The potential is there for a really bright new development that compliments everything else we are trying to do in the city.
“We are eager to see it get off the ground because if we can attract more business in, that will mean more shops and more people.”
The land, in Trinity Street and Queen Street, has 62,000 sq ft of floor space.
The city council owns the 85-space Cornmarket car park, while Worcestershire County Council owns Trinity House, which has been largely mothballed in recent months.
Trinity House used to house the archives and archaeology department, but it moved to the Hive last year, leaving the site neglected.
Halls Wilkins Commercial will be given the job of testing the market place and tempting buyers into taking the land on.
Rob Champion, a senior partner in the company, said: “Both councils would welcome a gateway development that boosts the area’s offering.
"This creates an exciting opportunity to see one of the city’s key areas being transformed, with the potential to attract some significant occupiers and deliver a genuine mix of uses.”
Under the proposed new deal, a developer would be tasked with creating a shopping complex on site, with both councils making millions from a joint sale.
Any buyer would have to guarantee at least one ground floor of retail or leisure, meaning they would have the option of creating several more floors above it of whatever they like, subject to planning approval.