BBC Look East came to town on 13 January 2020 to discuss the ongoing work on the Town Square and our wider plans for SG1 – take a look at the footage and let us know your thoughts

Stevenage mixes it up the Grimsey way

Estates Gazette – Stevenage mixes it up the Grimsey Way
Sharon Taylor
18 October 2019

If you listen to external commentators, Stevenage hasn’t always enjoyed the most positive reputation. However, those inside the town sometimes find that surprising. After all, we’re home to major, international, sector-leading businesses, Green Flag-listed parks, scientific innovation and much more. In truth, negativity about Stevenage is largely unfair and misplaced.

But it would be remiss to ignore that some areas of our town need a little bit of love. Stevenage was the UK’s first new town, built more or less all at once, with the result that everything has aged at the same time, leaving the central spaces requiring investment. The masterplan for Stevenage meant that the town centre was designed as a traditional 9 to 5 shopping precinct, with limited homes, restaurants and bars within the area itself. That is now seen as an outdated approach.

As a progressive council we are looking to the future. In conjunction with partners including Mace, Reef Estates, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Herts County Council and more, we have launched a 20-year, £1bn regeneration programme designed to transform the town’s central spaces and reimagine what it can offer to residents and visitors both now and in the future.

There is an interesting synergy between the vision for Stevenage and the findings from the 2015 Grimsey Review, and we aim to make Stevenage a place where people want to live, work, play and relax.

As we all now know, Grimsey’s study outlined that retail-only town centres are a thing of the past. Nationally over 150,000 retail jobs were lost in 2018, and a further 164,000 are expected to go this year.

This isn’t solely a Stevenage issue, but as the UK’s first pedestrianised town centre, this is a significant concern for us. Any visitors to Stevenage will know that its central spaces are dominated by retail provision. In our town the main assets are segmented and often require additional transportation to move from site to site. The majority of leisure uses are found in the retail park adjacent to the railway station which leaves the town centre empty after 5pm.

Grimsey highlighted that towns must instead look to mixed-use regeneration in order to drive footfall, further investment and, ultimately, to survive. Following these principles has meant we are moving away from a strictly retail model and are working with Mace and Reef, among others, to introduce new food and beverage, residential, leisure and commercial facilities into our central spaces.

We’re keeping the key components of our town, while bringing in new opportunities and facilities, with developments also aligned to our new cultural strategy. While development is only just under way, we’ve already had interest from a diverse range of brands looking to move into an area set for the largest regeneration in the East of England, and that’s just for the spaces that are already available.

Another key aspect of the review, particularly in the Mace-led SG1 scheme, is the focus on placemaking.

While Stevenage in its current form does provide a range of public spaces, our offer is inefficient and needs improvement. Currently, public services are split across six separate buildings, which creates six sets of heating, electric and water bills as well as various other costs. SG1 will deliver a solution by creating a shared public and voluntary services hub that will include charities, a library, job centre, café, council offices and more under one roof in order to lower costs and create flexible public spaces that contribute to a more vibrant look and feel in the area.

This part of our vision has been supported by the country-wide programme ‘One Public Estate’, and underpins the way in which the public sector is moving.

Stevenage is undergoing major change. No other town is launching such a significant and ambitious regeneration programme, but then again no town is quite like Stevenage. We want our town to have the reputation it deserves. We want to be known for our incredible green spaces and world-class employers. The regeneration of the town centre will be a challenging and long-term process but, as Grimsey said, “if it was that simple then people would have done it already”.

Sharon Taylor is leader of Stevenage Borough Council

Read the article on the EG website

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Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst chosen as Opportunity Zone

Local Enterprise Partnership – Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst chosen as Life Sciences Opportunity Zone
8 October 2019

Nadhim Zahawi MP has announced that Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) has been successful in its application to become a Life Sciences Opportunity Zone.

The assessment panel consisted of senior industry life science experts and senior government officials. In a letter to Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Chief Executive Officer Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, the Minister stated: “l am delighted to tell you that your application has been successful. The panel were impressed by your plans to grow what is already a successful biomedical campus.”

The Minister made the formal announcement at Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Annual Conference on Monday 7th October, addressing 200 delegates. The audience heard how GlaxoSmithKline, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and SBC have built a world-class cluster in advanced therapies on the Campus that is delivering a positive impact on UK plc and global healthcare.

With both SBC and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s first large scale manufacturing centre on the Campus, companies can benefit from close proximity to research, development and manufacturing. This unique co-location has been a key driver of growth in this revolutionary therapy area. Occupiers of the SBC Campus have raised almost £1bn of investment, of which over 60% has been invested into cell and gene therapy companies.

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, Chief Executive Officer at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, commented: “We are delighted to receive Life Sciences Opportunity Zone designation for the Stevenage Advanced Therapeutics Campus. I would like to thank our supporting partners in the successful bid, namely GlaxoSmithKline, Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult, LifeArc, Kadans Science Partner, University of Hertfordshire, Royal Veterinary College and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. I look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of this globally recognised cluster for advanced therapeutics.”

Paul Witcombe, Head of Enterprise and Innovation, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst has made a huge contribution to the rapid clustering of world-class corporate and academic research excellence on the GSK Campus at Stevenage. By awarding it opportunity zone status, SBC can strengthen the UK’s sectorial advantage and Hertfordshire’s position within the Oxford-London-Cambridge golden research triangle.”

Dr Stephen Ward, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, stated: “The global uniqueness of having research, development and manufacturing closely connected within the campus and its surrounding geography is a key driver for growth and needs to be capitalised upon to ensure the economic and health benefits can be fully realised for the UK.”

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is one of six Life Sciences Opportunity Zones that will connect together to promote the sector on an international stage.

In the second Life Sciences Sector Deal, the government committed to take action to help areas with clear life sciences strengths to grow. Life Sciences Opportunity Zones (LSOZ) are a key part of this and will promote life science parks to potential investors. They highlight the opportunities of the area, such as vacant lab space, land to build new facilities, or links with higher education, amongst others. This helps to deliver the recommendation of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy for government to support the growth of life sciences clusters.

In its emerging Local Industrial Strategy, Hertfordshire LEP recognises the importance of this sector to the local and UK economy. Over the past decade, it states, the county has excelled in growing a cell and gene cluster which is of global significance. “This must flourish with synergistic links to London and Cambridge…there is a particular concentration on which to build along a “science corridor” along the A1(M) – from Hatfield through Stevenage towards the north Hertfordshire towns.”

https://www.hertfordshirelep.com/news-events/news/business-and-industry-minister-announces-stevenage-bioscience-catalyst-as-one-of-six-new-life-sciences-opportunity-zones-in-uk/

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Stevenage regeneration set for £25m windfall

The Comet – Stevenage regeneration set for £25m windfall
Georgia Barrow
12 September 2019

Stevenage has been selected as one of 100 town centres to receive government funding to help develop regeneration plans – and the windfall could be up to £25 million.

The town centre regeneration is already under way, and has now been guaranteed a slice of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund which is designed to support towns to “build prosperous futures”.

Leader of the council Sharon Taylor said: “The government’s move to include Stevenage in its new Towns Fund is a step in the right direction.

“We have been making great progress with the regeneration of Stevenage town centre, with investment into public realm, kickstarting the regeneration of Queensway, and commencing a major redevelopment partnership with Mace.

“We have worked closely with local partners and businesses to drive the regeneration of the town and will continue to work together to make this revitalisation of the town a success.

“We are proud that our work has been recognised and will encourage government to work at pace to support our regeneration plans.”

Selected town centres include places with industrial and economic heritage, but may not have always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.

“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.
”I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place.

“I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.”

https://www.thecomet.net/news/stevenage-town-fund-regeneration-1-6262773

Find out more about our plans for regeneration

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our brand new visitor centre in Stevenage Town Square.

Visitor Centre opening

The centre will be open Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm and will provide residents and visitors with an opportunity to learn more about our town’s regeneration programme and our plans for the future as well as gaining more insight about Stevenage’s heritage.

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience a Virtual Reality, 3D fly through video of the regeneration schemes, as well as exclusive video content from some key Stevenage stakeholders. Younger visitors will also have the chance to build their town of the future on our scale LEGO diorama of the Town Centre and to find out more information about all of the regeneration schemes.

If you’re interested in seeing the visitor centre head down today and find out about the future of our town – alternatively, take a look around the rest of the website or take a look at our social media channels to learn more.

The regeneration  currently underway in Stevenage is a 20-year, £1bn programme designed to transform the town centre and what it offers to residents and visitors, both now and in the future. Along with our development partners, including Mace, the firm behind The Shard, London Eye and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Reef Estates, we are transforming the central areas of Stevenage, introducing new residential, retail, commercial and leisure facilities. Mace’s SG1 scheme is the single largest programme but the town is also set to benefit from Reef’s £50m transformation of Queensway North, that is currently underway, and from the relocation and upgrade of the bus interchange, amongst many others. Work will begin on the Town Square in late 2020 while many schemes such as the redevelopment of Market Place, along with the Brickdale House and Skyline schemes, have already been completed.

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Public consultation for £1bn revamp announced

The Comet – SG1 Public Consultation for £1bn revamp announced
Jacob Thorburn
10 July 2019

It’s almost time to have your say on the £1 billion plans to revamp Stevenage’s town centre, as the SG1 public consultation period launches next week.

This consultation for the SG1 plans is the latest part of Stevenage Borough Council’s 20-year regeneration proposal.

The borough council first announced the current 14.5-acre regeneration plans last year.

If approved, residents can expect to see new homes, shops, offices, leisure facilities and public services introduced to SG1 and the surrounding area.

The regeneration will be delivered in phases over the next ten years – with the former police station on Southgate and parking close to Westgate Shopping Centre all earmarked for new development plots.

Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, is encouraging as many people as possible to attend the three-day consultation and have their say.

She said: “We are very excited about the SG1 public consultation. SG1 is a major part of our wider regeneration programme and we have been very impressed by the plans for the town centre.

“We hope our residents will be similarly impressed when they see the designs at the event later this month.”

Mace Group Ltd, who worked on The Shard in London, has been selected as the council’s partner for this regeneration project.

Kevin Cowin, development director at Mace, says the company is committed to making Stevenage fit for both today and the future.

He said: “SG1 delivers the council’s vision for the town centre. The places we intend to create will be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.”

This is the largest piece of town centre regeneration in eastern England and a project that the town merits given its importance.

It introduces high quality design that will be truly transformative: new buildings and well-connected landscaped public spaces.”

Mace’s consultation will be held at the former Subway unit in the Plaza in Stevenage Town Centre.

You can attend the event between 10am and 4pm from Friday to Sunday, July 19 to 21.

Comments can also be left online at http://sg1consult.info from now until the end of September.

Find out more about our plans for regeneration 

Stevenage is getting Even Better

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new brand – Stevenage Even Better – a platform to communicate all the planned changes for our town to our residents and visitors.

This website will act as a one stop shop for all regeneration news and will be regularly updated with the latest news about the various schemes designed to benefit our town. You can find out about Mace’s SG1 scheme, Reef’s £50m transformation of Queensway North and the numerous other regeneration programmes that are already completed, currently underway or just around the corner.

In other exciting news, our Visitor Centre also opens today in our Town Square. Visitors can check out a full virtual 3D fly through our future town while younger guests can also create their town of the future out of Lego and build it on our replica of Stevenage Town Centre. You can also see exclusive videos and speak directly to our regeneration team about how the 20-year programme can benefit you.

Please take a while to look around the website and our new Twitter and Instagram pages (@StevenageBetter) and let us know what you think of our plans to make Stevenage Even Better

The regeneration currently underway in Stevenage is a 20-year, £1bn programme designed to transform the town centre and what it offers to residents and visitors, both now and in the future. Along with our development partners, including Mace, the firm behind The Shard, London Eye and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Reef Estates, we are transforming the central areas of Stevenage, introducing new residential, retail, commercial and leisure facilities. Mace’s SG1 scheme is the single largest programme but the town is also set to benefit from Reef’s £50m transformation of Queensway North, that is currently underway, and from the relocation and upgrade of the bus interchange, amongst many others. Work will begin on the Town Square in late 2020 while many schemes such as the redevelopment of Market Place, along with the Brickdale House and Skyline schemes, have already been completed.

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Reef to develop £50m Queensway North scheme

Property Week – Reef to develop £50m Queensway North scheme with backing from Aviva
Guy Montague-Jones
13 December 2018

Stevenage Borough Council, mixed-use developer Reef Group and Aviva Investors have teamed up to deliver a £50m regeneration scheme in Stevenage.

The Queensway North regeneration scheme will transform the former Marks & Spencer store and adjoining retail parade in the Hertfordshire town into a mixed-use scheme consisting of 45,000 sq ft of new retail and restaurant space, a gym, new offices, an innovation and technology centre, and 116 flats.

Planning permission was obtained in August of this year and construction will start early next year. The first phase comprising the commercial aspect of the scheme is scheduled to complete at the end of 2019 and the second residential phase is due to be completed 12 months later at the end of 2020.

Development of the Queensway North area forms the first phase of Stevenage council’s £1bn, 20-year regeneration programme.

Leader of Stevenage Borough Council Sharon Taylor said: “Our vision is to reinvigorate the centre of Stevenage, and with Reef Group now on board we’re in a great position to deliver on this vision.”

Aviva Investors is funding the scheme.

Mark Wells, director of Aviva Investors, added: “We are delighted to have entered into this long term partnership with Stevenage Borough Council and Reef Group. Reef and the Council have impressive plans for the scheme which will give the town centre a new lease of life, supporting both housing need and economic development.”

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Stevenage – a journey to utopia

Town and Country Planning Association
Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Steveange Borough Council and Cllr John Gardner, Executive Councillor for Environment & Regeneration at Stevenage Borough Council
December 2018

‘Can towns be built in which all kinds of people can live and work together happily and productively? Towns with plenty of shops and cinemas, health centres and schools, but in a setting where the trees and fields of the countryside are never far away? Those associated with New Town projects believe the answer is yes.’

So reads an excerpt from a late-1940s copy of The New Town of Stevenage publication. Over 70 years on from the creation of the UK’s first New Town, and with large-scale regeneration plans for the town already in motion, the sentiment from the above quote remains just as relevant for us at Stevenage Borough Council today as it was back then.

The pioneering Stevenage New Town designated in 1946 created neighbourhoods and communities, provided new modern homes, brought culture to the town, attracted businesses, and created a sense of civic pride. Seven decades on, we have the very same aspirations for today’s residents. We want to invest for the future, and reinvigorate, improve and develop our entire town so that we can create new and promising opportunities for future generations.

Originally a quiet farming town of just 6,000 people, Stevenage was the first New Town site chosen under the 1946 New Towns Act, in a development programme implemented by the government to tackle slum overcrowding in London and to rebuild post-war Britain. Throughout the process of re-making Stevenage, the town went from strength to strength; the population swelled with people looking for their own home near the countryside, a range of multinational corporations and small businesses set up shop and provided jobs, and the Queen paid a visit to open up the UK’s first pedestrianised, traffic-free shopping zone.

Over the next three decades, an arts and leisure centre (including the Gordon Craig Theatre), the Westgate Shopping Centre and the Plaza were added to the town centre.

Stevenage today

Now, Stevenage has a population of 87,000, is home to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, aerospace, and defence companies, and still has a range of retail and shopping options. While this may paint a pretty picture, there are, however, critical issues which need to be addressed in Stevenage, as in other New Towns.

To the naked eye, the most evident area in need of some attention is the slightly dated shopping area in the town centre. The once-popular concrete style, which embraced modernism and is still on show in Stevenage, is not quite as in vogue as it once was, and makes the town square and many of the shops look a little unloved.

A less visible problem lies with the enforced sales of New Town assets following the 1979 general election – the way in which assets were sold off to private landowners, and the issues this caused, have been well documented. Our ambitious 20-year regeneration programme aims to address these issues, restoring Stevenage back to its former glory and making it even better.

The iconic clocktower in Stevenage's centre in it's heyday

The Market Place shopping street in it's heyday

The Stevenage regeneration framework

With our £1billion regeneration plans, we are transforming Stevenage into a place where people can live, work and enjoy life to the fullest, through significant improvements to aspects of both urban life and rural escape. We have planned a number of schemes to regenerate Stevenage, which are set to be completed over a 20-year programme. The schemes are contained within the framework for Stevenage Central, produced for us by David Lock Associates.

The schemes consist of a mix of multi-million pound, residential-led, mixed-use developments that will breathe new life into the town centre, as well as significant transport and public realm improvements. The renewal will follow the same principles employed when building the 1946 New Town, adapted for a modern setting. Just as the former Development Corporation did, we will deliver high-quality housing fit for the demands of this day and age, with more green spaces and amenities on people’s doorsteps.

In post-war Britain, the people flocked to Stevenage to take advantage of job opportunities with easy access to the countryside. Whereas Stevenage’s pioneers would have moved to within a 30-minute cycle or walk from their work, now Stevenage gives commuters the enviable option of utilising excellent transport connections into Central London and Cambridge in the same amount of time. The additional housing and town improvements will put Stevenage back on the map for our population, as well as for anyone wanting to make the move out of London to homes where residents can get the best of both working in the city and living in the countryside.

We have already started to reinvigorate our high streets by renovating areas of the town centre, with added green spaces, dedicated seating areas, and children’s play equipment. A refreshed town centre, with added street lighting and a more inviting environs, also aims to reboot a once-thriving evening economy. These improvements, along with significant mixed-use retail, residential and public realm plans, will rejuvenate the town centre and make Stevenage the exciting destination it once was.

While the town will be getting a significant facelift over the next 20 years, one of the key principles of our regeneration scheme is to make sure that it is still recognisable, treasuring and protecting the historic landmarks and countryside that make Stevenage unique. To ensure this is the case, inspiration for many of the new buildings and developments draws on Stevenage’s rich culture and heritage, and we will be working to make sure that there will be no unsightly juxtaposition between the old and new.

Regeneration challenges

Just as the initial planning of the 1946 New Town was faced with some considerable opposition, our regeneration will not be without its challenges either – but we are well equipped to tackle them head on.

There is no better example than the Local Plan, which was found to be sound by the government’s own inspector over a year ago, yet continues to be affected by a holding direction without any resolution. In the meantime, the council has continued to press ahead with the procurement of our development partner Mace, has supported the regeneration of Park Place, and has delivered a range of public realm improvements.

The wide mix of land ownerships has also been a significant challenge. Delivering wholesale regeneration on the scale needed to boost the town centre is difficult to deliver when land has been sub-divided and leases sold off. The council has worked over the past few years to consolidate land ownership, and it has been the vital partnership working together with Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, and the NHS which has helped to shape a deliverable proposition.

One of the major challenges facing the town – and high streets all over the country – is the changing face of retail. As more people opt to shop online and high street stores fold, Stevenage town centre needs to evolve and adapt to the public’s changing retail expectations.

To meet them we are changing the town centre to give a new type of retail and leisure experience; on top of significant improvements to existing retail units to provide modern frontages and suitably sized units, we are opening a number of new dining options, introducing state-of-the-art leisure facilities, providing flexible office space, and encouraging temporary uses while plans are advanced. This new look will give the public not only somewhere to shop, but also a place to relax, unwind, and socialise with friends, family or colleagues, any time of the week.

Our regeneration schemes

To reach our ambitious targets for regeneration, we have partnered with leading developers Mace and Reef Group, both of which have excellent experience and reputations for delivering regeneration programmes both in the UK and abroad.

Mace is an international developer and construction company that has helped to shape cities around the world. We have partnered with them for the SG1 scheme, one of the biggest town centre regeneration schemes in the East of England, with a gross development value of around £350million.

The SG1 scheme has nine development sites, and will create a new town for today’s modern way of living – it will involve building new contemporary homes, creating one central location for community facilities, adding a pedestrian boulevard from the town square to the station, improving our public spaces, and attracting shops, bars and restaurants into new retail space in the centre of the town.

Reef Group is one of the UK’s leading retail developers, specialising in urban regeneration and mixed-use development and investment. We will be working with Reef on the Queensway North project: a retail-led, mixed-use scheme that will deliver significant improvements to an existing retail block in the centre of town.

The town centre is to be given a new look in sympathy with it's heritage

The Queensway North scheme has a GDV (gross development value) of £50million, and will form an important part of our overall regeneration programme. The mixed-use retail and residential scheme is the first of its kind for Stevenage, and is set to deliver around 45,000square feet of retail space and restaurants, as well as a gym, office space, residential units, and major improvements to the surrounding public realm.

This extension to Stevenage town centre’s leisure and cultural offering will revive the evening economy in the area, attract new retailers to the town, and will once again make Stevenage an appealing place to shop and visit.

These are just two of the schemes we are set to see in Stevenage over the course of our £1billion, 20-year regeneration scheme. The time is right for regeneration. Over 70 years on from the designation of the original New Town, we at Stevenage Borough Council are excited to have the chance to re-imagine Stevenage again, and transform it to realise its full potential. The Stevenage journey to utopia continues.

Find out more about the Stevenage Regeneration programme 

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE is Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, and Cllr John Gardner is Executive Councillor for Environment & Regeneration at Stevenage Borough Council.

Regeneration start date set for 2020 as Mace signs contract

The Comet – Regeneration start date set for 2020 as Mace sign contract

Georgia Barrow

14 March 2019

A formal commitment has been made between Stevenage Borough Council and developers Mace Group Ltd for the redevelopment of Stevenage’s town centre, with work set to begin in 2020.

Mace – which built London’s The Shard – were selected by the council last year following a tendering process which saw three other national developers competing for the work.

But the council today announced the signing of a new official agreement to work in partnership with Mace on the long-term transformation, securing a formal commitment.

The agreement builds on the council’s vision for the first phase of the regeneration which seeks to revamp the western side of the town centre where The Plaza, bus station, council offices, and several car parks are currently located – known as SG1.

Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “This is an exciting time for Stevenage and the future of our town centre. Signing this deal with Mace highlights our ambitious vision for Stevenage as we grow our town and improve the services, environment and facilities we currently offer to residents.

“We’ve seen a number of projects already completed in our town centre as part of the regeneration programme including Market Place, Vista Tower and updating our public spaces.

“SG1 will be transformational, and drive significant, positive change for our town centre. We’re delighted to have Mace on board and can’t wait for development to get under way.”

SG1 is one of the largest regeneration schemes in the region with a gross development value of around £350 million.

The mixed-use regeneration scheme includes plans to create a series of new streets within Stevenage, as well as a redesigned Town Square.

The development will also create new public spaces as well as a public services hub – which will include a new library and health facilities – bringing key council services into one building.

David Grover, Mace’s chief operating officer for development, said: “This agreement marks a major step forward for the transformation of Stevenage town centre.

“With a contract agreed we can now get started in earnest in delivering the regeneration of the town centre – I look forward to seeing our exciting plans come to life.”

Andrew Percival, chairman of the Stevenage First partnership, added: “Today’s contract signing represents a significant milestone in the opportunity to deliver a town centre that’s fit for the 21st century and offers modern facilities and amenities for residents and visitors to live, work and play.

“The scheme that Mace has developed aligns with Stevenage’s heritage as the UK’s first new town and highlights their confidence in its future growth prospects. We’re delighted to announce that the contract is in place and look forward to working in partnership with Mace.”

Earlier this year the Comet reported on improvements made to Market Place which saw the council working with Meeres Civil Engineering, which included new seating, greenery and play equipment.

Preliminary works are also under way for a £50 million revamp to Queensway North – a shopping area of the town – under a partnership between Stevenage Borough Council and Reef Group.

Building work – which was due to begin at the end of January – is set to begin in the coming weeks.

Residents and businesses will be invited to have their say on the SG1 regeneration with a consultation planned for this summer.

Work is expected to take place over several phases, with the first construction project starting in 2020.

https://www.thecomet.net/news/stevenage-town-centre-regeneration-mace-contract-1-5935962