The struggling centre at the heart of Evesham town centre was purchased by Chase Commercial Ltd and its funding partners 12 months ago. Since that time, the developers have been exploring options for what can be done to breathe new life back into Evesham and have now unveiled concept drawings ahead of formal public consultation next year.
The initial proposals seek to create an open air mixed-use regeneration scheme, featuring a reduced amount of retail, alongside restaurants, cafés and eateries, as well as leisure and community facilities.
The regeneration concepts may also include a boutique hotel and residential apartments, all targeted at revitalising Evesham.
Julian Meredith, Managing Director at Chase Commercial Ltd, comments: “These initial concept images show an exciting regeneration opportunity for Evesham town centre, one that the public can be proud of and enjoy. It is early days and the design process is a fluid one, but we are now discussing the concepts with potential occupiers to help inform the design process, as well as releasing these images to assure local people of our commitment to enhancing the town centre.
“We are also committed to maintaining the existing shopping centre, which will continue to trade as normal ahead of any future development. We have also been working hard on the existing ownership and are extremely pleased with the progress we have made at Market Square, where vitality has returned with the additions of Orto Lounge, Coffee #1 and the soon to open wine bar. Options are still being considered for the Public Hall, which has been mothballed by previous owners.”
Mr Meredith added: “The retail sector across the UK continues to experience challenging times as shopping patterns change and online competition grows. This seismic shift, coupled with the continued increase of out-of-town retail in Evesham at both The Valley and the recently announced Sinclair Retail Park, means that the town centre must undergo significant redevelopment in order to provide the retail and leisure experience that the town’s inhabitants and tourists alike are now seeking.
“As it presently stands, Riverside turns it back on the Bell Tower, the Abbey, the beautiful open space of Corporation Meadow and of course, the River Avon; the jewels in the crown of Evesham town centre. Our aim is to provide a link between these assets and the town centre to encourage pedestrian flow and make the most of these wonderful features.
“We look forward to progressing with our proposals and consulting with the community in much more detail next year.”
Phil Merrick of Wychavon District Council commented: “As a Local Authority we are very excited about the potential of what can be achieved for Evesham by the redevelopment of the Riverside and are keen to work with Chase Commercial.
All parties are aware that there is a way to go but these initial concept images show a good starting point and will complement the start that has been made with the delivery of the new Waitrose store and the improvements to the existing Market Place.”
A full public consultation exercise will take place in 2019, but a Freephone number, 08000 356 480, is available for any pressing questions.