Businesses in Shrewsbury are “enthusiastic and excited” about ambitious plans to transform a significant area of the town centre. 

Shropshire Council has unveiled proposals to dramatically change the Riverside area of the town, involving the regeneration of the Riverside and Pride Hill shopping centres, along with Raven Meadows multi-storey car park. 

Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District) which represents more than 500 businesses in the town centre, has welcomed the plans. 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “Speaking to a number of businesses since the plans were announced, it’s fair to say there is real enthusiasm and excitement for the plans which would transform this important part of town. 

“The Riverside area is not currently in good shape and this investment would be a huge boost for the local economy. 

“The Council relocating its offices into the town centre is something we’ve been supportive of for a long time as this would bring several hundred people into the town centre every day, helping to kickstart a more vibrant office working environment.” 

Darren Tomkins, owner of Gindifferent in Shrewsbury Market Hall and Shrewsbury BID board member, said: “These plans look really exciting and would undoubtedly help bring more people into the town centre, with a great mix of leisure, hospitality and residential. 

“I look forward to seeing and hearing more about how we can work together to bring these plans into fruition.” 

Jonathan Soden, of The Soden Collection in Wyle Cop and Shrewsbury BID board member, said: “A major priority for the BID is to create an environment which encourages people to spend longer in the town centre, and these proposals would certainly add to that. 

“We all want to make more use of the river, and the idea of opening up the town to the river in this way is really interesting.” 

Tina Boyle, of Acoustic Boutique in High Street and Shrewsbury BID board member, added: “It’s early days and I’m sure more detailed work will be done on the design of the buildings, but the overall proposal to regenerate the Riverside area of town is very much something we welcome. 

“We already have a thriving town centre, which is performing above the national average in terms of footfall and vacancy rates, but exciting regeneration projects like this will only improve the local economy and town centre offer.” 

Read more about the plans here.