Crewe Town Centre Regeneration Programme

Partners across Crewe are working with Cheshire East Council to drive forward a positive future for the town and its communities and have ambitious plans to revitalise the town centre.

Along with many other towns across the country, Crewe has struggled to adapt to a change in shopping habits and a reduction in the number of retailers in the town centre.

But the vision is for a place where more people want to visit and stay for longer – a town centre offer that is based on more leisure uses, better facilities and a higher quality environment.

The town centre needs to become a mixed-used destination that is attractive both during the day and in the evenings – for shopping and as a place of choice to spend leisure time.

The council’s town centre regeneration programme (PDF, 3.01 MB) –  agreed in September 2017 –sets out how a steady decline in investment and footfall in the town centre will be addressed, as well as how to draw in spend from the wider South Cheshire area.

It supports the aims and priorities set out in the council’s corporate plan and a successful regeneration programme will not only deliver economic benefits, but it will also promote well-being for local residents and deliver a number of social benefits e.g. more cultural opportunities, improved education, skills levels and reduced health inequalities.

The regeneration programme for the town centre sets out a number of priorities, including:

  • Develop distinct areas of change adding a greater richness of experience and distinctiveness to the town centre – the Royal Arcade, the Civic and Cultural Quarter, the Northern Edge and Southern Gateway
  • The delivery of the Royal Arcade scheme as a new mixed-use attraction in the heart of the town centre, with a new high-quality bus station and multi-storey car park.
  • Capitalise on the delivery of recent major developments, including the  UTC and Lifestyle Centre, to reinforce shopping circuits and drive footfall.
  • Enhance the town centre’s public realm in pedestrian areas and at key gateways to the town centre, using high-quality design and materials, street furniture and public art
  • Diversify and enhance the Market offer

Having been identified as a location for a HS2  Hub Station, the council recognises the potential for significant economic growth, and the importance of ensuring that the town is geared up to make the most of this.

Key early stages of the regeneration programme have been completed, with the construction and opening of the Crewe Lifestyle Centre in 2016, and the development of the Crewe Engineering & Technical University Technical College, in two stages (September 2016 and September 2017).

In September 2017, the Council approved plans for £15million investment to support further key elements of the Crewe town centre regeneration programme. This is aligned to £10million Local Growth Fund grant through Cheshire & Warrington LEP and approximately £25million private sector investment.

Cheshire East Council is committed to working with local stakeholders including Crewe Town Council, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, local property owners and businesses to ensure that the regeneration programme is delivered in a way that maximise benefits and minimises disruption.

Royal Arcade

Following acquisition of the Royal Arcade site in Crewe town centre, the council has procured a development partner, Peveril Securities, to deliver a leisure-led, mixed-use development, which will include a new bus station and multi-storey car park.

Further information about the Royal Arcade.

Crewe Market Hall

In May 2021, the council reopened the Market Hall following a £3m refurbishment and remodelling of the Grade II listed building.

The venue is now brimming with a range of high-quality traders including fresh food retailers, independent eateries, artisans and makers, while also featuring pop-up stalls and an exciting and varied events programme.

The refurbishment has played an important role in Crewe repositioning itself as a prime leisure and retail destination.

More information can be found on the Crewe Market Hall webpage.

Crewe Public Realm Strategy

The council has developed a Public Realm Strategy for Crewe Town Centre following analysis of existing policy context, public realm and the history of the town centre.

Further information about the Crewe Public Realm Strategy.

Crewe Cultural Strategy

We are entering an exciting time for Crewe and recognise the value that culture has in supporting regeneration and driving positive change. A cultural strategy for Crewe will enable cultural organisations and individuals to work collaboratively to realise the cultural opportunities and the benefits to the strategic regeneration of Crewe. 

The council is supporting the Crewe Cultural Strategy (PDF, 3MB), which was developed by the Crewe Cultural Forum and supported and contributed to by more than one hundred Crewe residents, organisations, business and stakeholders.

Crewe History Centre

Further information about the Crewe History Centre

Towns Fund

Crewe has been allocated up to £22.9m of funding through the government’s Towns Fund for a package of 10 projects to support the town’s ongoing regeneration.

Business cases for the projects are being developed and will all be submitted to government by the end of summer 2022 for its agreement and sign off.

It is only then that a final funding offer would be made by government and physical works on the projects can begin.

The Towns Fund bid is being overseen by Crewe Town Board and Cheshire East Council is the accountable body.

More about the proposed Towns Fund projects for Crewe.

Future High Streets Fund

The council submitted a bid to the government’s Future High Streets Fund in summer 2020 and received a successful allocation of up to £14.1m in June 2021. 

A package of projects is being progressed and will support the ongoing regeneration of the town.

More about the Future High Streets Fund.

Planning policy

The Cheshire East Local Plan sets out the planning policy for the borough. Its ‘Site Allocations and Development Policies document’ (First Draft) identifies that, despite a period of dynamic change, town centres remain the focal point for much retailing, leisure and commerce. The plan seeks to support the role and function of town centres through this period of change, particularly by concentrating on core areas and activities. In recognition of their role as principal towns, more detailed policy is provided for Crewe and Macclesfield.

Further information about the Crewe Town Centre Planning Policy.

Page last reviewed: 11 August 2022