The Gower is set for regeneration
Telford & Wrekin Council receives green light to bring forward its comprehensive plans for the iconic Gower building in St Georges, Telford.
Telford & Wrekin Council working with St Georges & Priorslee Parish Council will be bringing forward a plan for the site which will protect the existing Gower Building, provide a new Parish Office and community space, provide enhanced play facilities on at least one play park within close vicinity of the Gower site and also provide a number of new quality homes.
This scheme will also allow St Georges C of E Primary School to significantly enhance the educational facilities available to pupils with more flexibility around their accommodation.
The site was recently subject to a speculative application to designate it as an Asset of Community Value. The application has been determined highlighting the importance of the building to the community but also confirming that its designation for community use is only viable if complementary uses come forward. The Council will now press on with its plans which will see the building protected for many years to come.
Councillor Lee Carter, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood, Commercial Services & Regeneration said: “Telford & Wrekin Council fully recognise that The Gower is an extremely iconic asset in the local community and it is our priority to ensure that a scheme is delivered which not only protects the future of the historic building but also finds an appropriate use for it.
There have been a number of failed attempts by community groups to bring forward a financially viable scheme for the site and unfortunately this has only led to the site being sterilised. The building would have fallen into greater disrepair had we not invested to fix the roof and secure the site. Recently the Parish Council fully explored options to turn the entire building into a community facility but again the independent advice received showed it was not financially viable given the cost of conversion.
“It is realistic to think that with the financial investment from the Council the listed building can be used both as a community asset and deliver good quality housing, ensuring there is a long term future for the building.”
The Council will be looking to submit a planning application as soon as possible with the aim to be on site by the Autumn of 2021 at the very latest with new facilities open towards the end of 2022.