Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Deal projects

Objective 2: to diversify and enhance the town centre experience by encouraging new uses to increase demand, footfall and boost the dwell time of residents and visitors

Investment in town centre gateway sites

The Zanzibar building is a former nightclub which has been vacant for approximately 16 years.

It offers 36,000 square feet of floor space and is located in a prominent position on the A52 - a key route into Newcastle town centre.

Investment at this key gateway site will build upon the Advance Town Deal scheme to acquire and demolish the former nightclub. It will also unlock an additional £13.9m of funding in the Zanzibar site.

Town Deal investment will also fund the demolition of the Midway multi storey carpark to make way for the development of 126 new homes.

This will comprise a mix of homes for key workers and young professionals and extra care accommodation. Town Deal funding will unlock this site for development. Creating a more appropriate use for a site so close to the retail core will complement the emerging residential quarter of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Sub-group membership

  • Dan Gray - Aspire
  • Phil Butters - Keele University
  • Gail Edwards - Staffordshire County Council
  • Richard Corfe - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
  • Simon McEneny - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council

Astley Centre for Circus and Performing Arts

Newcastle under Lyme’s unique contribution to world culture is as the birthplace of the man who invented the modern circus, Philip Astley.

Astley’s has been celebrated by the successful delivery of town centre events as AstleyFest - a celebration of the 250th anniversary of modern circus; and the annual ‘Homecoming’ - a circus inspired event hosted in Newcastle town centre.

The Astley Centre will build on these successful events and the presence of the New Vic Theatre to develop a dedicated Centre for Circus in the town centre.

The Centre will embrace content creation, training and skills development; education and participation; history, research and pedagogy (‘circademia’) and tourism and heritage.

Features will include workspace, fully equipped studios, education space and accommodation all housed in a repurposed building, plus a dedicated and fully equipped site to pitch big tops.

This project presents the opportunity to permanently establish Newcastle-under-Lyme as a world centre of circus.

This makes a bold statement about culture led regeneration, offering a focal point for the county’s tourism strategy and adding to Newcastle’s offer as a thriving place for people to live and work.

Sub-group membership

  • Fiona Wallace - New Vic Theatre
  • Ann Pittard - Keele University
  • Elaine Needham - Realise
  • Nicky Twemlow - YMCA
  • Tina McDonald - NSCG Performing Arts
  • Andrew Van Buren - Van Buren Organisation
  • T Heskins - New Vic Theatre
  • Gary White - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council (councillor)
  • Vicki Amedume - New Vic Theatre
  • Stefan Brzozowski - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
  • Mark Laywood - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council

Digital Society Centre

A new hub facility located in the Town Deal area that will provide flexible spaces for learning and small businesses. It will drive productivity and increase skill levels in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire.

The focus is on areas of high growth and increasing need in day-to-day life for accessing and delivering public services.

These include areas such as digital skills, data analytics and artificial intelligence. The Digital Society Centre will build upon the knowledge and assets of Keele University and Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group.

In particular, it will complement proposals for a town centre-based Institute of Technology and the smart ‘Living Lab’ in Keele’s new IC7 innovation centre.

Sub-group membership

  • Grant Sharman - Aspire
  • Rob Lawley - Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce
  • Trevor McMillan - Keele University
  • Paul Hodgkinson - Keele University
  • Paul Chatwin - Staffordshire County Council
  • Craig Hodgson - Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group
  • Andy Snape - Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group
  • Simon McEneny - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
  • Stefan Brzozowski - Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council