Plans to convert Bell Centre into food court for local producers
The idea, which also includes potential for a boutique hotel to operate from the first floor of the Nottingham Street building, is one of the proposals set out in a new document outlining a vision for future town centre developments.
It also includes plans to make better use of the livestock market site, Pera Business Park, Phoenix House and leisure facilities, with the aim of stimulating the local business and tourism economy and building on the town’s reputation as the UK’s rural capital of food.
Borough residents are being asked for their views on the plans through a consultation, which runs through until June 13 at 5pm.
The Bell Centre plans will be of particular interest to local people with many of the units currently vacant and regular social media posts about how the mall could be better used as a town asset.
The document for A Vision for Melton Mowbray Town Centre states: “The Bell Centre is a historically underused covered retail centre, owned by the Co-op
providing a concentration of retail uses and a link from the High Street to St Marys Way / Bell Centre car parks.
"It has been acknowledged that the Bell Centre needs investment and that its current configuration is not suitable for modern retailer requirements.
“As a key location on the High Street with good access to car parking, close to a cinema and other town centre leisure uses, the site has the potential for anchor uses to help transform the town centre.”
There are plans to liaise with the landowners and key stakeholders to put together a future plan, with the idea of creating a ‘distinct food and drink experience, unique to Melton Mowbray’, including a link with the adjacent Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, which is a major draw for tourists.
Melton Borough Council has worked with prominent business and community leaders and the wider Melton Place Board to develop the draft vision to shape the future of the town and identify opportunities for growth.
Councillor Rob Bindloss, portfolio holder for growth and prosperity, said: "Through developing a plan and identifying opportunities we can improve the area and help boost the economy in the town and, in turn, the wider borough.
“Through delivering the projects highlighted in the vision, we can continue to establish Melton Mowbray as a destination of choice for food experience, enterprise and innovation.”
Responses from the consultation will be used to adapt and refine the final vision of the Melton Mowbray Town Centre Vision.
Once agreed and adopted the Melton Mowbray Town Centre Vision will be used to inform future development in the town as well as future bids for funding to ensure the works and plans identified within the vision can be delivered. The adopted plan will be reviewed and updated annually.