Aviva Investors, the global asset manager business of Aviva plc, has provided funding to Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) and the Reef Group for the £50m Queensway North Regeneration scheme comprising the former Marks & Spencer and adjoining retail parade to spearhead.
Development of the Queensway North area will form a significant early phase and important part of Stevenage’s £1bn, 20-year regeneration programme. The ambitious scheme will be the first of Stevenage Borough Council’s mixed use regeneration projects.
The major mixed use commercial and residential regeneration includes plans to extensively refurbish and improve the existing main shopping area in and around the block on the east side of Queensway North, and building new housing. The development consists of approximately 45,000 square foot of new retail and restaurant space, a gym, new office and innovation and technology centre and 116 apartments.
Planning permission was obtained in August of this year and construction will start on-site early next year. The first phase comprising the commercial aspect of the scheme will be complete at the end of 2019, with the second phase of 102 new homes set to be completed 12 months later at the end of 2020.
Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Sharon Taylor, gave the following comment regarding the upcoming partnership with Reef Group:
“Our vision it to reinvigorate the centre of Stevenage, and with Reef Group now on board we’re in a great position to deliver on this vision. Together we’re bringing a new and different type of shopping experience, an innovation hub and more homes into the heart of our town, which will create a new and vibrant place for more people to shop, work and play”.
Chief Executive of Reef Group, Piers Slater, said:
“Working closely with Stevenage Borough Council, Reef Group are excited to have been able to embark on our shared vision to regenerate this important area of Stevenage. We’re delighted to be bringing new investment, occupiers and uses to create a new district where people want to work, shop, and live”.
Mark Wells, Director, Aviva Investors, said:
“We are delighted to have entered into this long term partnership with Stevenage Borough Council and Reef Group. Reef and the Council have impressive plans for the scheme which will give the town centre a new lease of life, supporting both housing need and economic development.”