A plan to regenerate Woking town centre that will create nearly 1,000 jobs and feature a new state-of-the-art fire station has been backed by Surrey County Council.
The authority has agreed to join forces with Woking Borough Council and private company Moyallen to transform the Bandstand Square area of the town.
A new Marks & Spencer store will be the commercial cornerstone of the new complex, which will also feature shops, restaurants, apartments, a hotel and parking.
As part of the scheme, the county council will open a 21st century fire station, which will include better training facilities and improved working areas for firefighters.
Hundreds of building jobs are expected to be created, with a further 600 provided when the scheme is completed.
Woking Borough Council unveiled the plan earlier this month with work due to start in April 2014, subject to all the necessary consents. The development is expected to be completed in 2017.
Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge said: “It is important that the county council does everything possible to promote jobs and businesses in Surrey. This is a fantastic scheme that will transform Woking, providing up to a 1,000 jobs, a new fire station to meet modern demands, restaurants and new homes.”
Woking Borough Council Leader John Kingsbury said: “This is one of the most exciting developments Woking has ever contemplated, which will revitalise the town centre and attract hundreds of new jobs.
“I believe that our joint endeavour will provide a positive sign to the private sector and encourage them to come forward with further new developments to regenerate other areas of our town.”
Cabinet Member for Assets and Regeneration Programmes Tony Samuels said: “We’re delighted to join forces with the borough council and Moyallen to ensure Woking has a town centre that remains economically healthy that residents and visitors want to come to.”
To watch the discussion at Surrey County Council’s Cabinet meeting, follow this link.