Cannock town centre is poised for a significant facelift, with the district council’s planning committee set to give the thumbs up to its regeneration proposals. The ambitious blueprint includes the creation of a leisure and cultural hub, a revamped Prince of Wales Theatre, new eateries and pubs, and modern workspaces. These initiatives are aimed at revitalising the area bordered by Ringway, Church Street, and Market Hall.

In a significant boost to the regeneration project, the Cannock Chase Council bagged £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund in 2021. The council’s planning committee is due to deliberate on the preliminary proposals for the project on 20th September. The overarching goal is to carve out a fresh leisure, culture, and workspace precinct in the town centre’s north-eastern section. This would supplant more than 40,000 sq ft of derelict retail space, the old market hall area, and a dilapidated multistorey car park.

The proposal also envisions a new retail unit, additional care/retirement homes with up to 70 units, and a bicycle hub. Should the initial application, which is currently favoured, receive approval, a detailed planning application will be assessed in due course.

However, the plans have not been without their detractors. TJM Morris Limited, the proprietors of the Home Bargains retail chain, have voiced reservations. They underscored potential disruptions stemming from the proposed development and its phased demolition, which could adversely affect the trading performance of their shop and other businesses in the town centre.

Despite these apprehensions, the vision for Cannock’s transformation remains steadfast. The rejuvenated Prince of Wales Theatre will be at the heart of the scheme, promising enhanced performance experiences and top-notch amenities. The town centre will also welcome new co-working spaces, offices, cafes, bars, and restaurants. The objective is to boost footfall by diversifying Cannock’s offerings and moulding it into a bustling hub for both locals and tourists.