Developer and regeneration specialist U+I, has released new computer-generated images showing some of the planned buildings and companies that have signed up to the £57 million regeneration project.
U+I are part of the Spirit of Sittingbourne consortium overseeing the regeneration of Sittingbourne town centre, which also includes Swale Borough Council, Quinn Estates and Essential Land.
The new images show the first two restaurants to be confirmed - Pizza Express and Wildwood - which will occupy space in the eight-screen cinema building, next to a 63-bed Travelodge hotel.
Another of the images shows how discount store Home Bargains could look in new units on what is currently the Princes Street depot off Eurolink Way.
The new images are aimed to highlight the project’s “open space and impressive welcome for visitors with a clear connection from the train station to the high street”.
A start date for the work has yet to be released, however changes to the road layout in front of the railway station is due to signal the start.
Richard Upton, deputy CEO of U+I said: “Signing up these businesses demonstrates how much interest and opportunity there is in Sittingbourne and our commitment to the ongoing revitalisation of the area.
“We expect that news of this will draw more leisure and retail operators to the town centre – helping to make Sittingbourne a true destination town.”
Other new restaurants and shops to be included in the project are a Costa drive through and Iceland’s Food Warehouse brand, both on the Princes Street site. The identity of another four restaurant chains, including one in the hotel building, are yet to be announced. There will also be a new multi-storey car park and 213 new homes.
Will Mooney, partner at Carter Jonas, acting as outsourced development manager for Travelodge, said: “Sittingbourne is an important location for Travelodge. We have been trying to secure a quality site for some years.
“The quality of the scheme, the central location and associated retail and cinema occupiers were key to Travelodge’s decision in committing to the town.”
Russell Kirkham, head of acquisitions at Pizza Express, said: “We’re thrilled to announce that Pizza Express will be arriving in Sittingbourne as part of this exciting new regeneration development. The project looks set to put Sittingbourne on the map and it’s great to be a part of it.”
A spokesman for Wildwood, said: “We are delighted to announce that we will be joining this important town centre initiative and look forward to working with Swale council and U+I to open our doors to the residents and visitors of Sittingbourne.”
Cllr Andrew Bowles, leader of Swale council said: “Our ultimate aim for this regeneration scheme is to breathe new life into the town centre, so existing shops can thrive, and new businesses choose to open in the area.
“The cinema will be complimented by the restaurants and hotel, and will provide a welcome boost in the number of visitors to the town.
“We know people are impatient to see work begin, but this is a complex development, with many interlinked aspects that need to be resolved to make sure the scheme is the success the town deserves.”
Mark Quinn, chairman of Quinn Estates, the operator of the project, added: “The announcement shows confidence from wider businesses and retailers in our plans for Sittingbourne’s regeneration.
“It also reflects the hard work of the Spirit of Sittingbourne team and shows we can deliver what this town needs and deserves.”
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