Plans for a multi-million-pound redevelopment in the heart of a community is set to take a major step forward next week.
Ambitious proposals brought forward by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, working with Aspire Housing and Staffordshire County Council, to revitalise and regenerate Knutton village will bring investment, employment opportunities and much-needed housing and leisure facilities.
Using vacant land in the centre of the village, off High Street, the plans include an expanded enterprise centre for new and growing businesses, a village hall which would be locally managed, residential development and green space.
Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Transforming the centre of Knutton is a priority for the borough council and is an integral part of our Town Deal programme.
“Working closely with the community, we are now at the stage where our joint vision to regenerate the village can begin moving forward.
“Once the land sale is agreed our partners can begin implementing their plans to bring housing and employment space to the heart of the community.”
The project has undergone a full public consultation, which has led to some changes to reflect community needs. This included ensuring the new village hall is built on the High Street land with the retention and improvement of current play facilities nearby.
The whole scheme is supported by a £3.5 million allocation from the Newcastle Town Deal.
The High Street enterprise centre, operated by the county council, provides workshop units for start-up and growing small businesses, and its expansion will lead to more employment in Knutton and increased local spend in the area by employees, customers and suppliers.
A new village hall will see a £1 million investment through the Town Deal funding, with the borough council looking to bring in a community organisation to manage the facility. Housing developer Aspire will provide 54 residential properties with green space and play facilities to complete the regeneration package.
And as part of the Town Deal, new changing rooms have already been commissioned for the football pitches at the Wammy.
Next week [Nov 7] the borough council’s cabinet is set to approve the sale of borough council land to both Aspire Housing and Staffordshire County Council to pave the way for development, in addition to drawing up plans for the new village hall and submitting a planning application.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s deputy leader and portfolio leader for finance, town centres and growth Stephen Sweeney said: “The borough council will draw up plans for a sustainable village hall building which we anticipate as being a focal point for Knutton residents and, importantly, being managed by a community organisation.
“We look forward to progressing the scheme which we know will bring long-term benefits to the area and ensure it remains a thriving local hub in years to come.”
Philip White, Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County Council and Cabinet member for Economy and Skills, said: “The enterprise centre units at Knutton support a range of small and medium sized businesses which provide valuable services and jobs for many people.
“There is a demand for more of these units and we’re excited to see the project moving forward so it can help more businesses prosper and grow.”
Sinéad Butters, Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, said: “We're really excited to be involved in the regeneration proposals for Knutton Village and the development of much needed new affordable homes in the community.”