February 28 2008

Stanhope is named developer for Hereford’s new retail quarter . This announcement kicks off city’s biggest regeneration for nearly 1000 years Hereford’s revitalisation as a shopping, business and leisure destination has taken a major step forward with the appointment of the developer for the city’s new £200-million retail quarter.

Herefordshire Council, Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the board of ESG Herefordshire Ltd announced today (Thursday 28 February) that Stanhope would be undertaking the regeneration of the 12.5-acre retail development. It is the first slice of the 100-acre Edgar Street Grid site, which is Hereford’s biggest development project since the building of its ancient cathedral in the twelfth century.

Almost entirely owned by Herefordshire Council, the retail quarter will breathe new life into Hereford and complement the city’s historic core, creating 1200 new jobs and needing 600 workers to build it. The final choice of one of three bidders required the agreement of the council’s cabinet and the ESG Herefordshire board, and the blessing of Advantage West Midlands, which together with the council set up the ESG joint venture company. Work will start on the retail quarter in the spring of 2010, after the relocation of the city’s livestock market to a new site to the north east of Hereford. The council will also relocate its Info Shop within the ESG civic quarter. The plans include Hereford’s first multi-screen cinema, a host of cafes, bars and bistros, a department store and high quality retail outlets, all helping to generate a thriving new evening economy. A new link road is planned to help ease the city’s traffic congestion.

“This week we are now much closer to the creation of a new and vibrant retail quarter for Hereford”, said leader of the council Roger Phillips. “The appointment of Stanhope crystallises our aspirations for our city and our county. The new quarter will galvanise our local economy, bring in more visitors, create more jobs and provide excitement and entertainment for everyone, not least our young people who need more leisure opportunities as well as a reason to stay in and invest part of their future with us in Herefordshire”.

Clive Richards OBE DL, chair of the ESG board, added: “The project has won overwhelming support from local people, who see it as a golden opportunity to help create a new Hereford for the 21st century. The new retail quarter will attract new visitors but also let our community see the city in a new light. From the very beginning we have worked with established city centre retailers and undertaken to ensure the new quarter will complement the historic city centre, so that everyone can share it its success”.

Mark Pearce, corporate director for economic regeneration at Advantage West Midlands, said: "This is a pivotal moment for the Edgar Street Grid development. A great deal of work has taken place in order to get to this vital stage but Advantage West Midlands and our partners have remained strong in our belief that an exciting, vibrant and prosperous future lies ahead for the city centre”.

Stanhope will progress the planning process, negotiate with various agencies, demolish existing buildings and construct the approved scheme, letting to retailers, restaurants, and leisure providers, and manage the completed scheme according to its agreement with Herefordshire Council.

Stanhope has over 20 year’s experience as developers and has been involved in the delivery of projects worth more than £12 billion in central London and the south east of England.

“Over the last 12 months we have seen for ourselves the strong emotional attachment the people of Hereford have with the city’s wonderful historic central area”, said Alistair Shaw of Stanhope. “Quality, sensitivity and distinctiveness have therefore been central to our design approach”.

Bounded by Commercial Road, Blueschool Street and Edgar Street, the ESG area stretches up to Hereford railway station. The entire project will take 15 years to complete and will also include a 1000-home urban village recreating the old Hereford to Gloucester canal basin and improving the Widemarsh Brook; as well as a new civic quarter and several new town squares, new boulevards linking the railway station to the city centre and a natural wildlife habitat.

For information:
Herefordshire Council: 01432 260006
Stanhope: 0207 009 6251