Walsall Council

The development will have a very positive impact on people in the local community.

Simon Neilson | Executive Director for Economy and Environment, Walsall Council

Completed

Walsall Council revitalises the Old Square Shopping Centre to drive economic development in the area, resulting in a 20% increase in footfall and the creation of 170 new jobs.

There were a number of vacant retail units in Walsall’s ‘Old Square’ Shopping Centre which led to overall shopper footfall moving into decline. In order to address this local economic challenge, Walsall Council developed a strategy to regenerate the town centre and attract new retailers and with them, new shoppers.

The council allocated £7M for the redevelopment of an existing retail space, to create two new units at ‘Old Square’ Shopping Centre in Walsall town centre.

The original proposal for the building work was created by a private sector investment firm. However, due to funding delays on the project, Walsall Council took charge and financed the scheme, as they could see how vital the project would be to the regeneration of Walsall town centre.

Given their tight timescales, they appointed Pick Everard via the Scape PM&QS framework to provide project management, quantity surveying and design technical advisory services.

A due diligence exercise to assess the viability of the original proposal, had to be completed within two weeks. This timeframe was crucial as Primark and Co-operative were contractually committed to occupying space within the redevelopment.

The completed retail units were handed over to the Co-operative on 2nd April and Primark on 7th April, meeting the project targets.

It has been a huge success, and development has been ‘Highly commended’ for its use of NEC recognised procedures at the NEC Users’ Group Awards 2015. As well as the new, high profile tenants, existing businesses such as Debenhams have committed to staying too.

The redevelopment of ‘Old Square’ Shopping Centre has created 170 jobs and unofficial figures report that footfall has increased by as much as 20%. Other town centre developers are moving their proposed development schemes in Walsall forward to capitalise on the increased levels of footfall.

PROJECT STATISTICS

Sector

Local Authority Regeneration

Value

£5.8 million

Local spend within 30 miles

76%

Waste diverted from landfill

99%

Apprenticeship weeks on site

126

Supply chain paid within 30 days

100%

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