25 May 2016
Image credit: Group Ginger
"New development will create 1,000 jobs and inject millions into the local economy."
Property regeneration specialist U+I has been granted planning permission for the Friarsgate development in Lichfield. The long-awaited regeneration project will create a major new hub for Lichfield City centre, providing new retail, leisure and residential space, while preserving the traditions of the city.
Located in the heart of the city centre, the development will create a new destination for Lichfield, giving the boost in development and infrastructure that this growing city requires. An extensive consultation process led by U+I helped to build support across the community and culminated in the decision to grant planning permission.
Providing high quality leisure facilities is crucial to the vision for Friarsgate and the new development will deliver a multi-screen cinema complemented by a new gym, up to ten restaurants and approximately 25 shops. The combination of leisure and retail opportunities is expected increase shopping turnover from £55m to £107m by 2022.
Designed by architects, Group Ginger, the mixed-use development will offer 82 apartments, 11 townhouses and a brand new landscaped public area for visitors to enjoy. Transport connectivity within Lichfield will benefit from a new bus station, located near to the railway station and 500 safe, accessible car parking spaces.
In total, the Friarsgate project is forecast to create 1,000 new jobs in the community, which equates to 660 full-time equivalent jobs.
Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I said: “We are delighted that our planning application has been accepted and we can begin the work of turning our vision for Friarsgate into a reality. Following extensive public consultation last summer, when we spoke to hundreds of residents, partners and local businesses, we know we have a project that has the support and goodwill of the community. U+I is passionate about building mixed-use, sustainable communities and this project will transform the centre of Lichfield, bringing jobs and growth to the area in the process”.
Cllr Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, commented: “I’m delighted that our planning committee unanimously approved the Friarsgate scheme, which is set to bring new shops, restaurants and hundreds of jobs to the city. The scheme will also deliver a gym and cinema, which we know local families and young people have been keen to see developed in Lichfield for many years. We will be working closely with U&I and our city partners over the coming months to help ensure the new development enhances Lichfield overall and delivers footfall and growth to all areas of our city.”
Multi-disciplinary consultancy WYG provided the town planning and environmental services for Friarsgate and Paul Shuker, Head of the Manchester planning team, said: “We are very proud to have contributed to securing this important planning decision for this very prestigious regeneration project after 15 months of collaborative working with a wide range of stakeholders.”
For more information please visit www.visitfriarsgate.co.uk.