Torbay Council will build student accommodation, for 300 students, on part of the Torquay Town Hall Car Park – now known as Upton Place.
Just one month after the council agreed a strategy for Town Centre Regeneration, it has provided another huge boost to transforming Torbay’s town centres by approving this project.
Once delivered, the project will have huge benefits. It will increase footfall and spend in Torquay’s High Street, supporting local businesses and encouraging further investment. It will meet the needs of a local major business and supports the education sector, which is extremely valuable to Torbay’s economy.
Richard Haddock, Executive Lead for Business and Chairman of the Town Centres Regeneration Board, said: “Businesses, residents and Councillors have asked us to get on with transforming the town centres. That’s exactly what we are doing – getting on with it. This is a really positive start and there is plenty more to come. There are more projects being lined up to deliver the Council’s regeneration strategy. Business cases for Council investment, for sites such as part of the Terrace Car Park and Paignton Harbour, will be presented to Council in July. Torbay’s time is now.”
The Council will borrow up to £14.2M to build the accommodation, which will include a dining area, social area and gym. It will then lease the accommodation, for 25 years, to a local education provider.
It will provide much needed revenue income to the Council, some of which will be used to support other town centre regeneration projects – such as refurbishment of the multi-storey car park at Lower Union Lane and improved public realm around Castle Circus. These projects have been identified by potential investors as essential to successful town centres, offering a better experience to shoppers and visitors.
Pat Steward, Director of the Town Centre Regeneration Programme, said: “This project is the win, win, one that everyone aims for. It works for the client, for the Council and for the town centre. A slight loss of parking income and spaces is more than outweighed by rental income and parking capacity in the Lower Union Lane multi storey. Some proceeds from the development will support delivery of better public space, which links with use of Great Places funding. Refurbishment of the Lower Union Car Park also helps to deliver the new Destination Management Plan. This is one of a growing number of good news stories about Torbay.”
The Council will be submitting a planning application for the student accommodation later this year and hopes to start work on site in spring 2018. The accommodation will be available for the start of the academic year in 2019.
TDA is leading on town centre regeneration on behalf of Torbay Council. It will soon be tendering design and build contracts for projects. It will also be looking for development and regeneration specialists to join or advise the TDA’s town centres project team.
With an improving transport infrastructure, a growing number of important businesses and clusters of businesses, who work closely with a strong education sector, the future for Torbay is hugely positive.
For more information on the investment opportunities in Torbay visit www.investintorbay.com