Confidence high over deal for major retail development in Grimsby's Freshney Place
CONFIDENCE is high that a deal will soon be struck to bring a major new retail development to Freshney Place.
The relocation of Grimsby's town centre bus station would pave the way for a large single retail unit and room for restaurants, and although no names have been revealed, hopes of success are high.
At a meeting of the Special Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Panel, at Grimsby Town Hall, Jason Longhurst, council head of development, said: "The retail extension is not a done deal but our confidence is high and we hope to be in a position of clarity very soon."
The £6-million scheme – announced last month – will scrap the existing bus station in Riverhead Square to make way for a transport interchange including real time travel updates at each of the 10 stops located in Victoria Street, George Street and Town Hall Street.
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A Superstop facility will be provided to include toilets, waiting areas and bus information.
And as part of the plan, North East Lincolnshire Council has been working closely with shopping centre bosses on a potential expansion plan that would fit in with the redeveloped Riverhead area.
When the proposals were unveiled, centre manager Amanda Austin said: "We are working up plans in collaboration with North East Lincolnshire Council that respond to these proposals and will enhance the shopping centre going forward, and hope to confirm more details shortly."
The whole project needs to be finished in two years' time otherwise funding will be lost.
Mr Longhurst told the meeting: "We have a tight timeframe to deliver this scheme.
"If we don't finish it in the next two years we will lose the funding and it is as simple as that.
"We have pored over every consultation to deliver a comprehensive package. We are looking at the future development of the town through transport.
"The project will give the feel and confidence of a town centre which mixes technology with civic needs and getting buses into and out of town. This is the safest and most accessible scheme that still meets the original brief."
The changes will include new taxi facilities on Victoria Street West opposite Dial Square and all day waiting would be created for 12 taxis on Victoria Street South, as well as three new taxi ranks on Osbourne Street and Bethlehem Street, providing an extra seven taxi spaces.
Disabled parking currently on Victoria Street West will be increased and provided on New Street.
The Station Approach development will give greater priority to pedestrians and cyclists and taxi spaces will be reduced from 13 to six.
A clearer path into the town will also be created as part of the Station Approach development.
Work will start in spring, and hopefully be completed by early 2014.
Keep reading your Grimsby Telegraph for more updates.
Times a-changing more than 50 years ago – Bygones, page 16.