STOKE-ON-TRENT’S newest regeneration project has reached a major new milestone.
Construction of Capital&Centric’s Goods Yard has reached its highest point, with the 10-floor, 34m new build that will house some 174 design-led rental apartments now standing tall over the Trent & Mersey Canal. With the main structure now done, work will soon start to create the striking façade.
At the same time, a sneak peek inside the below-ground Vaults Warehouse has been released. A mezzanine floor, a 1980s addition to the space, has now been part removed – a major engineering feat involving the careful removal of around 300 tonnes of material – to reveal the impressive double-height of the red brick warehouse. Once complete, it’ll boast feature staircases descending from the public garden, with windows embedded in the garden floor streaming light into the warehouse from above.
The plan is for the space to become a leisure destination with events, co-working and a foodhall.
Also progressing is the Pavilion. The steel structure for the new workspaces is going up rapidly, with Capital&Centric set to begin the hunt for occupiers in early 2024.
Social impact developers Capital&Centric and Stoke-on-Trent City Council are marking a year since construction began on-site in October 2022.
In this short time, the local impact has already been significant – with the site employing over 70 workers from Stoke-on-Trent, with local people classed as long-term unemployed also offered opportunities in the construction supply chain. Efforts are also being made to get new talent into careers in regeneration, with four work placements on the go and 33 employees across sub-contractors who are new to the industry. Over 800 students from local colleges, schools and universities have also benefited from educational support and advice on careers in the industry.
Tom Wilmot, Joint Managing Director at Capital&Centric, said:
“The site has transformed so much. It’s hard to believe it’s only this time last year when we got going to clear some of the old sheds on site. In that time, we’ve reached the highest point with the apartment building, revealed the original below ground warehouse in all its double-height glory and made a great start on the Pavilion workspace. We’ve also connected the neighbourhood to the District Heat Network so it will be heated by more sustainable, low carbon energy.
“Goods Yard sits in such a prominent spot next to Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station that you can’t miss the change that’s underway. The year ahead will be a really exciting one, with the spaces taking shape and our team gearing up to welcome the first residents, businesses and visitors. It’ll be a massive moment for Stoke-on-Trent when we open and we really can’t wait.”
It’s planned for the district to be super sustainable, with work to connect Goods Yard to the local, low carbon District Heat Network recently completed. The whole neighbourhood is expected to be done by around Spring 2025.
Councillor Chris Robinson, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:
“It’s very exciting to mark this significant milestone just one year on from the start of construction. The impact of Goods Yard is not just visual, throughout the construction local people have benefited from employment, work experience and educational support which is set to continue and grow.
“We look forward to providing a choice of living and leisure facilities for the people of Stoke-on-Trent and attracting people to the area. There’ll be space to encourage business growth with opportunities for home grown talent.
“The site is ideally located near to rail and canal and will be enhanced by the improvement works to Station Road and College Road providing better access for pedestrians and cyclists as well as links to rail and bus routes.”
Joining the team on site were young people from Stoke-on-Trent College, who’ve been inspired to get involved in regeneration careers. Earlier this year they took part in a week-long ‘Regeneration Brainery’ – an immersive, not-for-profit programme set up by Capital&Centric to get young people fired-up about a career in property.
Among them was Lewis-James Hindmarsh and Jennifer Wood, local young people who took part in the programme.
Lisa Capper MBE, CEO and Principal Stoke on Trent College, said:
“The partnership with Capital&Centric and Stoke-on-Trent City Council has offered our students fantastic exposure to industry and hands-on work experience in regeneration, property and construction.
“The Regeneration Brainery is an innovative programme which has inspired our young people through a first-hand look at development projects across the city and also further afield. Our students were thrilled to be part of the Goods Yard site project and be part of the exciting milestone within the development programme.”