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Expert team assembled for riverside plan

Shropshire Council and its development manager, RivingtonHark, have appointed a design team and communications agency as they step up planning on the Smithfield Riverside regeneration project in Shrewsbury town centre.

The project is an ambitious regeneration plan for the area between the Darwin Centre, Roushill and the River Severn – incorporating the Riverside and Pride Hill centres.

Part of wider plans to attract new visitors, residents and workers into Shrewsbury and grow the local economy, the vision for Smithfield Riverside is to reconnect the underused area to the rest of the town centre.

Although early in the process, the plans are expected to deliver a vibrant mix of leisure, residential and office uses, complemented by world class outdoor public spaces that celebrate the riverside environment.

FaulknerBrowns Architects has been appointed to lead on the design and to bring together a high quality outline masterplan. 

Working alongside FaulknerBrowns are landscape architects Spacehub, whose designs will seek to create attractive new public realm and open up the area between the Darwin Centre and the River Severn.

Counter Context, a communications, PR and engagement company based in Sheffield, has been appointed to lead on stakeholder engagement and public consultation. The agency has worked on several major regeneration masterplans across the UK, including in Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester and Kirklees.

Lezley Picton, leader of Shropshire Council, said: “We are incredibly excited about the future of Shrewsbury town centre and our vision to regenerate the Smithfield and Riverside area is at the very heart of that. We are bringing together an expert development team who cover all aspects of urban regeneration to work alongside our talented team at the council.

“Utilising the team’s sector knowledge and experience, we are confident of delivering a transformational masterplan for the town.”

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for growth, regeneration and housing, said: "Smithfield Riverside is an opportunity to not only transform this area of the town centre, but act as a catalyst for future investment and growth across the whole of Shropshire. We are looking forward to developing the outline masterplan over the coming months and engagement with key stakeholder organisations is set to begin in the coming weeks.”

Spencer Winter, projects director at RivingtonHark, said: "We have facilitated a thorough procurement process and are delighted to now have the design and communications teams all in place."

Ben Sykes, partner at FaulknerBrowns Architects, said: "The project is an exciting opportunity to respond to the unique setting and architectural heritage of Shrewsbury, with a mixed-use masterplan for new homes, workspaces, leisure and public spaces that celebrates the riverside and better connects the site back to the town centre.”