Blueprints to create town centre in Rishi Sunak’s constituency unveiled
Planning documents have been lodged with the council for a facelift of Catterick Garrison town centre, which centres on the creation of a three-storey community and enterprise building alongside a “high volume glazed structure” to serve as a multi-purpose event space known as The Winter Garden.
Funding for the scheme in Rishi Sunak’s constituency attracted controversy earlier this year after being chosen by the Government as among a select group in Yorkshire and the North-East to receive a Levelling Up grant.
While those behind the Catterick Garrison scheme have claimed it would lead to a “supportive place for local enterprise”, boosting the wider area, campaigners for the North were disappointed the region did not receive more money.
Northern Powerhouse Partnership chief executive Henri Murison said: “This is a long way off the radical economic transformation we were promised and will not make a material difference to closing the North-South divide in productivity.”
The planning application also focuses on the creation of a public square and a 1,724sq m “mini plaza”, car parking, a community garden, a community orchard and terraced gardens in the area of Tesco supermarket and the Princes Gate Shopping Centre.
The regeneration scheme boundary extends towards Risedale School, including Coronation and Jubilee parks.
The documents state: “The development represents a sugnificant public investment in the town and wider area. The development delivers significant environmental benefits in the creation of a modern community facility on a brownfield and undertilised site. The proposal will bring with it economic, physical and social benefits.
“The proposed development represents a key regeneration scheme in Catterick Garrison which will have a transformational impact generating a number of comunity benefits.”
North Yorkshire Council leader Councillor Carl Les said the scheme, in an area with one of the highest levels of deprivation in the county, had been the only successful Levelling Up bid in the county.
Schemes such as a £49m project to redevelop Harrogate’s convention centre failed to convince the Government it would help increase business, while bids for £20m to advance Scarborough’s station gateway project and £19.9m to improve Malton Station were also rejected.
Coun Les said the developing town centre in Catterick Garrison would boost the local economy by enabling residents to shop locally rather than travel to Darlington or Teesside.
He said: “Catterick is an anomaly is that it is a definable centre of population, but actually made up of the joining points of three separate parish areas. Clearly it is a community that looks like a town, but for years it has never had a retail or community centre of any note.
“We’ve got the retail centre now with the various shop developments along Richmond Road, and this gives it a community centre to help give it an identity and focus.
“It will help bind the community together, not only the military community that lives around there, but the civilian population that supports the community.
“Anybody who says funding for the scheme is to do with the Prime Minister and his constituency just doesn’t understand how these processes work. The Prime Minister and the local MP would have been nowhere near the decision-making on this.
“This has been successful due to the needs and the evidence that we provided. I’m disappointed that the other Levelling Up fund bids did not get through and we will be looking at possibly resubmitting them with a stronger business case.”