The Spirit of Sittingbourne was formed with the single vision of making Sittingbourne a better place to live, breathing life into the town centre through innovation and regeneration.
The development is a £100 million Public Private Partnership between U+I, Swale Borough Council, Quinn Estates and Essential Land. The scheme includes the remodelling of the town centre and the introduction of a new highway arrangement outside the railway station, to create a more pedestrian friendly environment without restricting traffic flow.
In March 2015, Swale Borough’s Council’s planning committee granted planning approval for the £59m phase 1 of the development project, a major mixed-use scheme.
Part of the plans include Princess Street Retail Park, which opened in July 2018 with The Food Warehouse from Iceland, HomeBargains and a Costa Coffee. The leisure quarter is now under construction and once complete, will link the High Street and mainline train station. A new public realm will be provided with an 8-screen cinema, Travelodge Hotel and 6 new restaurants, bringing an estimated 400,000 additional visitors a year to the town. A new 308-space multi-storey car park is complete and once open, will provide central, easy parking close to Sittingbourne’s new amenities and public spaces in the town centre. 213 much needed homes are also part of the masterplan and will bring a new community right into the town centre.
Overall the scheme will deliver around £330m into Sittingbourne over the next 10 years, and create around 700 new jobs within phase 1 and 230 of these generated by the new cinema, retail and restaurants.
Construction on the leisure quarter is due to be completed in 2019, therefore we expect the cinema and retail offerings and hotel to be open by early 2020.