Following a public exhibition held last month, the investors behind the proposed £30 million Bell Yard scheme in Stratford-upon-Avon have decided to change the name of the development to Bell Court.
UK & European Investments made the decision following comments made by local residents and business owners during and after the exhibition.
John Stacey, Asset Management Director at UK & European Investments, said: “We had in excess of 700 people visit the public exhibition, 97% of whom agreed that in its current state, Stratford Town Square is in desperate need of investment and improvement.
“Having secured Everyman cinema as the anchor tenant for the proposed redevelopment of Stratford Town Square, we are now in a strong position to deliver a desirable and viable retail and leisure destination that can be enjoyed by the local community. Our deal with Everyman has also led to a number of approaches from other high quality tenants that are interested in being part of this exciting redevelopment.
“During the exhibition it became apparent that many people felt passionate about the proposed name of the scheme. In light of this we will be changing the name of the proposed development to Bell Court, which was the original name given to the development when it opened in 1987.”
In addition to using the historical name for the scheme, UK & European Investments is planning on re-installing the 14th Century bell that hung in Bell Court. Originally cast in 1320, the bell is believed to have hung in the Stratford-upon-Avon market where it sounded the start of trading to the town.
Mr Stacey said: “Our aim is for Bell Court to sympathetically reflect the historical context of Stratford-upon-Avon whilst being a contemporary leisure and shopping destination that both visitors and residents of the area can enjoy.”
UK & European Investments is hoping to submit a planning application for the proposed Bell Court scheme later this month. If planning is granted, the anchor tenant for the development will be a 12,000 sq ft, four screen, Everyman cinema. Subject to securing planning, construction will start later this year and when complete, the proposed Bell Court will deliver over 70,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant and leisure space.
UK & European Investments, acting as investment manager, owns the lease to Bell Court; two thirds of which is owned by Stratford District Council and one third by Stratford Town Trust.