Developers who built The Shard set to transform Stevenage town centre with £350m scheme
PUBLISHED: 17:24 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:51 19 February 2018
The developers who built London's The Shard are to pump £350 million into the redevelopment of Stevenage town centre.
Stevenage Borough Council has appointed internationally-renowned developers Mace Group Ltd to regenerate the central section of town known as SG1, with facilities including flats, new shops and cafes, tree-lined avenues and a new square.
There will be an integrated public services hub including a library, new council offices, an advice centre and exhibition space – so all town-run services can be accessed in the same place.
Mace was selected by Stevenage Borough Council as its successful partner following a tendering process that saw three other national developers competing for the work.
SG1 covers the western side of the town centre – where the council offices, the Plaza, bus station and several surface car parks are currently located. These will be swept away and replaced with the new facilities – in a plan which the council hopes will be the catalyst to bring in other landlords, investors and developers on-board to modernise the core of the town .
Mace’s scheme aims to celebrate the post-war heritage and 1960s design of the first new town, while bringing it into the 21st century – and this vision it hopes will be reflected in the design of the buildings.
Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “This appointment makes large-scale regeneration of our town centre a reality. Mace’s scheme will complement the development already underway – most notably in Park Place – providing new spaces, facilities and homes in the centre of Stevenage and a boost to our local economy with the potential for hundreds of new jobs and training opportunities for local people.
“The commitment of the council, our partners, local businesses and the property sector specialists that have helped us reach this milestone all demonstrate Stevenage’s significance as a local and regional centre.”
The leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Councillor David Williams, added: “I am very supportive of Mace’s imaginative and impressive scheme. The involvement of some of the planning and property world’s leading players in drawing up the plans gives me confidence that they will be truly transformative. I also welcome the experience and strong track record that Mace will bring to this important regeneration initiative.
“What’s good for Stevenage is good for Hertfordshire.”
Major projects Mace has overseen include the London Eye, the revamped London Bridge and The Venetian in Macau.
It has five international hubs – in London, New York City, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Dubai/Doha – and operates in more than 70 countries. It is also building Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s new ground in North London, set for completion later this year.
The 95-storey The Shard is the tallest building in the UK and had to be delivered to a fixed £435 million budget.
David Grover, chief operating officer of development at Mace, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the development partner for this exciting landmark opportunity to transform Stevenage town centre, and deliver new homes, shops, jobs and other fantastic benefits for the town and its residents. We are looking forward to working closely with the council, local businesses and the wider community to develop our joint vision and will bring forward proposals for consultation in 2018.”
Andrew Percival – chair of Stevenage First, a consortium which oversaw the development of a 20-year framework to facilitate the regeneration of Stevenage town centre – said: “Today’s exciting announcement is the result of more than two years of work by the Stevenage First partnership to develop a robust framework for the future of the town centre.
“Mace is proposing an exciting and carefully considered scheme that will give Stevenage a modern, vibrant central area where people can live, work and play. The proposed investment by Mace demonstrates its significant confidence in the future of the town, reimagining the New Town concept while maintaining clear links to Stevenage’s unique heritage.”