A developer has now been selected for a scheme to bring new shops, restaurants and a cinema to the centre of Crewe.
Cordwell Property Group and Peveril Securities have been named as Cheshire East Council's intended development partners for the project to transform the Royal Arcade site - which includes the bus station and 26 retail units along Queensway and Victoria Street.
The authority had announced in 2015 it was starting the process to appoint a developer to work with on the scheme.
A formalised development agreement will be brought before the council’s cabinet in September.
William Warrack, managing director of Cordwell Property Group, said: “Our proposal is for a mixed-use leisure and retail scheme, supported by a 450 space multi-storey car park and a new bus station.
“It will offer more than 90,000 sqft of retail space in addition to an eight-screen cinema, gym and five restaurant units. They will be housed in a cutting-edge setting designed to stimulate pedestrian flows through a regenerated town centre.
"Our letting agents, Colliers, Knight Frank and New Street Commercial, are already in discussion with a leading cinema and gym operator together with a major household name retailer to anchor the scheme.”
The proposed scheme would still be subject to planning consent, which would be determined independently by the council’s strategic planning committee at a future date.
Artists impression of Royal Arcade from 2015
Councillor Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are focusing much of our energy in Crewe on the redevelopment of the Royal Arcade site as this will be the most important aspects of the town centre’s regeneration.
“It follows on from the success of Crewe Lifestyle Centre and Crewe University Technical College, which opened last year.
“However, we are mindful that there is much more that needs to be done and are developing plans for wider town centre regeneration, including options for the future of Crewe’s markets and new public realm.
“These ideas come from the dialogue we’ve had with our local councillors, Crewe Town Council, local businesses and residents. They reflect the council’s regeneration delivery framework and emerging plans for the Crewe Masterplan, which we will publish and consult on later in the summer.”