Business News

FOCUS ON CANNOCK CHASE Cannock Chase and other towns around it have ambitious plans for regeneration as they attempt to take advantage of initatives such as the HS2 high-speed railway scheme, which will link London nearby Birmingham. However, there is plenty going on now aimed at bringing jobs and prosperity to the region, including the £160m McArthur Glen retail outlet, which is due to open this year. Chamberlink’s Philip Parkin finds out more.

Designer future for the town

There is an awful lot going on to boost the economy of Cannock Chase and the towns that surround it. There’s a not only plenty of behind the scenes

activity to redevelop tired old town centres, but already a great deal of physical evidence on the ground. Not least is progress at the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet West Midlands, a £160m retail development near Cannock Chase which is due to open this year and will create 1,000 new jobs. Cannock Chase Council granted planning

approval for a designer outlet at Mill Green in September 2016, following extensive consultations with the local community, and construction began a year ago. Staffordshire County Council’s Helen Fisher said:

“The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands in Cannock is a hugely important development for Staffordshire and the wider region. “It will create jobs and bring visitors into

Cannock, boosting the local economy. Before this happens, the infrastructure needs to be in place and we are making every effort to get works completed as soon as possible.” Elsewhere in Cannock, there is plenty of other

redevelopment either going on or in the pipeline. Cannock Chase itself is at the centre of a development strategy that will see some 5,680 houses built in the town in the next two decades. People living in those houses will be able to take advantage of new investments now being

Job creator: an aerial view of McArthur Glen’s Cannock site

‘The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands in Cannock is a hugely important development for Staffordshire and the wider region’

planned to provide a much improved leisure and cultural offering in the town. The council says that the scale of the opportunities in the town centre which are available just by developing its own assets include up to 45,000 square metres of floorspace, including more than 6,800 square metres of leisure and retail space and 7,500 square metres of office space.

It’s all a far cry from Cannock’s beginnings as a

humble 13th Century market town. Other towns in the area are supporting the local economy, not least Rugeley, where there are significant employers such as those at Towers Business Park and shopping giant Amazon. Rugeley town centre is also the subject of extensive regeneration, and will also benefit from the redevelopment of the nearby disused power station.

A new name, a new look, a new home

Last December, Chase Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new name, a new look and a new base in the heart of Cannock. The Chamber was renamed Cannock Chase

Chamber of Commerce, not least because few people knew what ‘Chase’ meant. Cannock Chase Chamber director Chris Plant said that the key point to get over was that the

Chamber was there to represent businesses in the towns of Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley. “Other members of the GBCC group, outside

of our region, had previously voiced concerns about what and where ‘Chase’ actually is. “We as locals are familiar with the name but

others are not, and by adding the largest town within our authority area to our name, this will provide clarity to which business community this Chamber represents. “Although we are now called the Cannock

Chase Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to support the businesses which are located in the likes of Hednesford, Rugeley, Burntwood and South Staffordshire too, which make up a large proportion of Cannock Chase Chamber’s membership base”. The renamed Chamber also has a base in the

centre of Cannock, on Queen Street, and this is the first time it has had an office in the heart of the town. Mr Plant said: “Our big statement at the

moment is that we have opened our first ever office in Cannock. “Very soon, the new McArthur Glen shopping

Change of identity: Chamber president Steve Allen with Martyn Jupp and Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner

village will be opening, and while this will create jobs and put Cannock on the map, we as a Chamber will continue to do everything we can to protect the town centre traders.”


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