ESG Herefordshire Ltd was established by Herefordshire Council and the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands, to lead the regeneration of 100 acres of central Hereford. A small, but dedicated team of development experts, led by chief executive, Jonathan Bretherton, has been recruited to co-ordinate the huge 15 – 20 year redevelopment programme. A Board of non-executive directors, chaired by Clive Richards OBE DL, sets and oversees policy and direction.
The project creates three distinct but interlinked zones – the Retail/Leisure Quarter, on the council owned 12.5 acre old livestock market, literally a few minutes walk from the city centre; the Civic Quarter, a vibrant mix of public buildings, private offices, shops and restaurants, and the new Blackfriars Urban Village, where around 1000 new homes will be built.
First mooted in 2003, envisaged by the City’s Unitary Development Plan, and in June, 2007, just eighteen months after being set up, ESG unveiled the Masterplan for public consultation. The proposals met with overwhelming public support, although the team recognises that there are naturally some concerns and a newly established Stakeholder Forum will work closely to find solutions to these.