By Jon Fairburn
It’s really great to see a developer with a good reputation working for the first time in the city. Let’s hope this also encourages more developers to look at other sites in the city.
The plans will see the redevelopment of the Swift House site, which is owned by the council, transformed into The Goods Yard, with
- 180 new homes,
- a 150 bed hotel,
- 25,000 sq ft of workspaces
- 10,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space
Personally, I’m very happy that we will have have quality accommodation right next to the University for all the visitors, students and guests that work with us. People will be able to walk straight out of the train station drop their bags at the hotel and then join us on campus. This ties in well with a new project by Paul Barratt and Prof Ruth Swetnam on the 15 minute campus to encourage less carbon intensive travel.
The addition of new workspaces hopefully targeting start-ups, creatives and digital businesses may also be one way to help keep graduates in the area and ties in well with the development of the Enterprise Zone on College Road.
Capital & Centric, who featured heavily in the BBC Two series Manctopia, are one of the UK’s most creative and active developers. They have worked on several award-winning projects in the North West, particularly Manchester and Liverpool, but this is the first time they have come down as far ‘south’ as Stoke-on-Trent, so it’s a real coup for the city.
The plan will see the present building demolished but its secret vaulted basement, which historically served as a goods yard and interchange between the railway and the canal, will be reimagined and opened up to the public as a workspace and leisure venue – possibly a waterside restaurant/bar.
There will be a new outdoor public space that links The Goods Yard to the train station, canal and wider area, and there’s even an ambition to create a water-taxi to Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium just one mile away. Located next to Stoke-on-Trent train station, and on the doorstep of Staffordshire University, the Trent and Mersey Canal and the A500, the site is in an ideal location for commuters, students, visitors and businesses.
The current ugly exterior will not be missed
So a promising start to 2021 and I can’t wait to see the project develop.
Jon Fairburn, Professor of Sustainable Development
You can follow me here on twitter @ProfJonFairburn