St. Modwen has purchased a factory on Victoria Street, Hednesford, from automotive re-manufacturer ATP Industries Group, in a deal which unlocks the development potential of the £50 million Hednesford Gateway scheme in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.
The factory on Victoria Street will be demolished to clear the way for future development when ATP Industries Group relocates to an alternative site later this year. Following the demolition programme, a new 80,000 sq ft foodstore will be constructed on the Victoria Street phase of the Gateway scheme, subject to planning approval.
The Hednesford Gateway scheme comprises two sites, representing two distinct phases – Victoria Street and Rugeley Road. St. Modwen’s proposals for the project include a total of 48,000 sq ft of non-food retail space, a 17,500 sq ft discount foodstore, new community facilities and a new 648 space car park. The scheme will also see St. Modwen relocate the existing Hollywood Bingo Club and Drill Hall on Victoria Street to new purpose-built premises on the Rugeley Road phase of the scheme.
St. Modwen has also signed a development agreement with Cannock Chase Council for the Hednesford Gateway scheme, putting the developer and the Council in pole position to undertake one of the most significant regeneration projects in the town’s history.
Mark Watkins, development surveyor for St. Modwen, said: “The strategic acquisition of ATP Industries Group’s factory puts St. Modwen in a strong position to deliver on the £50 million vision for this key regeneration scheme, signalling the start of a new era for Hednesford. Working closely with Cannock Chase Council and other local stakeholders, St. Modwen is committed to securing a prosperous future for this area of the town, creating the right conditions for growth and assisting in the creation of new jobs.
“Last year we agreed a deal with a national operator for a new foodstore which will anchor the Gateway scheme, and we are now well placed to progress this major new facility.
“When ATP Industries Group identifies a new site and relocates its operations, we will commence demolition and ground clearing works, with construction of the new foodstore set to get under way as soon as possible after planning permission has been secured.”
For ATP Industries Group, the deal with St. Modwen represents the start of a new chapter in its history. Alan Smart, chairman and chief executive, explained: “Since locating in Hednesford in 1983, ATP Industries Group has built up an incredibly successful worldwide company from our Victoria Street base – 2009 was actually our 40th year in business.
“The approach from St. Modwen to acquire our site as part of the Hednesford town centre regeneration plan has meant that we will need to relocate our existing operations. To that end we have two priorities, firstly to find premises within the region in order to retain our specialist workforce who live in and around the area; and secondly to continue to provide a quality, highly responsive service to our international clients in order to continue our growth, thus offering further employment opportunities to local people.”
Cannock Chase Council has been working with St. Modwen as its regeneration partner for the Gateway scheme for a number of years. Neil Stanley, Leader of the Council explained the significance of the completed development agreement and the ATP Industries Group deal for the landmark project. He said: “No one should underestimate the time, effort and commitment required to deliver major regeneration schemes. In the current economic climate it is incredibly important to find ways of unlocking the development potential of sites in order to move regeneration forward.
“St. Modwen has achieved this here in Hednesford with this strategic acquisition, and we are hopeful that this latest deal will finally allow the new shopping schemes to be delivered, providing better facilities for local people and visitors, and acting as a catalyst for further inward investment for the town. Additionally, the development agreement between the Council and St. Modwen is a clear demonstration of our commitment to Hednesford’s regeneration, despite the current economic climate.”