Plans submitted for Centre Square East development in Middlesbrough

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Developer Ashall Projects has submitted a planning application for a key redevelopment site in central Middlesbrough.

The plans for Centre Square East will see Ashall Projects transform the land around Centre Square through the development of circa 210,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, enhanced public realm and landscaping with additional food and beverage outlets.

Ashall’s plans form part of Middlesbrough Borough Council’s £74m Investment Prospectus which was launched to the public last month and includes plans to create 5,000 jobs across the town.

Up to 1,500 jobs could be created throughout the Centre Square development alone if plans are given the go-ahead.

Centre Square has the potential to be a centre for business activity capable of providing the best office accommodation between Leeds to the south and Newcastle to the north, providing a significant boost to the local economy.

Mark Ashall, Director of Ashall Projects, said: “The Centre for Cities report that was commissioned recently states that the successful major towns and cities in the future will be those who offer the wide array of amenities and supporting infrastructure needed to attract the employers who provide knowledge intensive jobs.

“Middlesbrough has a good level of retail provision but has a lower proportion of office workers than other major towns in the regions and lacks the quality office space needed to attract leading national businesses to move to the town.

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to transform the business offering within the town centre.  Our aim is to create a new distinctive commercial hub at the cultural and civic heart of Middlesbrough which is integrated with high quality public realm, green space and local amenities – a desirable place to work, visit and relax.

“The proposals were well received at the public consultation, and we are delighted to submit a planning application for this scheme which will introduce new modern Grade A office accommodation surrounded by public amenity space.

“An essential element of these proposals is the provision of attractive public realm and green space.”

The planning application submission follows an extensive public consultation which took place last month. Ashall Projects, Seymour Architecture and award-winning landscape architects, Colour, presented plans to council members and business leaders and consulted the public on proposed designs for the scheme.

Fundamental to this planning application is the quality and diversity of public realm within which offices have been placed.  The masterplan sets out a vision of interconnected public spaces within the wider Centre Square area which will provide a setting for events and entertainment whether formal or informal.  The proposed new offices will frame a new square in front of the Law Courts with a series of interactive water features, lush planting and many attractive seating opportunities for local residents, offices workers and visitors alike.

Cheshire-based Ashall Projects has previously worked on the redevelopment of Centre Square, converting Cook and Endeavour House into the highly successful Holiday Inn Express hotel.

The company also has experience developing major office schemes, including the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside, which has over 1.5million sq ft of office space. Major occupiers there include Orange, Proctor and Gamble, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Santander and Northumbria NHS.

Feedback from the consultation period includes:

Stephen Vallely of Coppice Road, Middlesbrough, said: “The development looks very modern and pleasing to the eye. It will be good for the modernisation of the town and will replace some of the more dated buildings and areas that are tired and old.”

Mark Winter of Albert Road, Middlesbrough, said: “Exceptional design and great for the area. Be great to welcome more corporates to the area.”