Leader responds: Loss of Friarsgate funding
Published on Friday, 3rd July 2009
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Councillor David Smith and David Clancy, from Friarsgate developers S Harrison have responded to Michael Fabricants comments about Advantage West Midlands pulling out of the Friarsgate scheme:
Cllr David S. Smith, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: "Friarsgate is absolutely not dead. Quite the contrary, Friarsgate is very much alive. The AWM funding was only ever going to pay for less than 5% of the overall costs of the development, and was being used to pay for part of the costs of moving the police station, rather than for the shopping centre itself. Whilst we are of course disappointed by AWM's decision, it will in no way stop Friarsgate from moving forward.
As a council we are committed to Friarsgate, and whilst the current economic climate has slowed progress, we are still confident it will be one of the first developments of its kind to progress when the market picks up. Despite current conditions, interest from big name retailers is still very high and absolutely no retailers have pulled out."
Says David Clancy of developers S Harrison: "Retailer interest in Friarsgate remains high. It is the current banking situation that has delayed the project, not the lack of occupier interest. Indeed, we have spoken to many of the key retailers in the last month and they all remain committed to Friarsgate and want a store in the scheme as soon as possible."