Middlesbrough development will create jobs and boost town centre
The developer of a multi-million pound office scheme, which is transforming the heart of Middlesbrough, said the project will continue to attract jobs and breathe life into the town centre.
The first phase of the Centre Square development has already seen major employers move into two new buildings bringing 1,000 workers and announcing plans to recruit many more.
Despite the pandemic One and Two Centre Square are 90% occupied and the developer Ashall Projects said that it expects the letting of most of the remaining space will be concluded soon.
Following this initial success Ashall Projects has submitted an outline planning application for three more buildings in Centre Square which will provide space for a further 1,0000 office staff. Middlesbrough Council’s Planning and Development Committee has now approved the proposal.
Mark Ashall, the director of the developer Ashall Projects, said there continued to be a requirement for high quality office space in the town centre.
“These projects are highly complex and never straight-forward,” he said. “But the first part of the development has been a great success, despite the impact of COVID, and it shows that Middlesbrough is open and ready for business.”
He added: “Our new proposal will complete the transformation of Centre Square and create a new economic centre for the Tees Valley employing around 2,000 people. They in turn will breathe much needed life into the heart of Middlesbrough as local shops, bars, restaurants and gyms feel the benefit of an influx of spending power.
“This development will attract new employers to Middlesbrough and encourage existing employers to grow. It will also help keep businesses in the area and hopefully avoid repeats of Barclaycard’s decision to move its operation and staff from Teesside to Sunderland.”
The next phase of the Centre Square development will also see an enhancement of the biodiversity of the area.
The project architect Sarah Sabin – of Seymour Architecture – said there will be “more informal, less managed planting with more space for planting a mix of native and ornamental species to maximise the biodiversity value, in line with species recommendations from the ecologists.”
Ms Sabin told members of the Planning and Development Committee that the impact of the Centre Square development had already exceeded expectations.
Initially, she said, it was estimated that on completion the development would create 1,500 new jobs and boost the local economy by an additional £92.4m every year. But phase one alone had already seen more than 1,000 office workers move into Centre Square.
“This in turn has provided wider economic benefits for Middlesbrough which include an increased local spend in the town centre as well as generating additional rates revenue for the council, which can be reinvested in priority projects,” she told councillors.
The next stage of the development anticipates a further 1,000 jobs and Ms Sabin said in total the project will deliver 33% more than the original estimate, along with a similar increase in local spend and business rates.
Middlesbrough Council has already approved a planning application by Ashall Projects to build a four-storey 40,000 sq ft office building – Six Centre Square – on a vacant site in Melrose Street. Work will begin on this building once a major pre-let is concluded.