A prosperous quaint county undergoing regeneration
Shropshire is located adjacent to north Wales, and just south of Cheshire. Shropshire is approximately three hours north-west of London, forty minutes from Birmingham and one hour from Manchester. It is connected to the rest of the United Kingdom via a number of road and rail links.
The town of Shrewsbury is becoming known as a centre for distribution and warehousing, as it is located on a junction point of the region’s road network. Battlefields Enterprise Park is on the outskirts of the town and five railway lines meet at Shrewsbury railway station. It has a retail output of over £299 million per year.
Opening in 2017, is the new Riverside shopping centre. Located in the heart of Shrewsbury with views of the River Severn, and with excellent access from the rail station, it will be anchored by a 95,000 sq ft Debenhams department store.
The property market throughout the county is very encouraging, average homes tend to be more expensive than the neighbouring counties of Staffordshire and West Midlands. Prices have seen an increase of 3% throughout the last year, bringing the average cost of a property to £199,466, according to Rightmove. The 2011 Census found 13.2% of the population privately rent their property.
There are a number of family homes being built all across Shropshire. The market town of Shifnal is expecting over 1,500 new homes by 2026. The current phase of the development is a 25-acre site which will have 200 homes. The site which is being developed by Barratt West Midlands and David Wilson Homes will cost in the region of £1.7 million. Together they have contributed £500,000 towards highway improvements and will be providing a public open space which is expected to cost around £250,000.
Also under construction in Ellesmere is the Waterside View Development. The Permission Homes development will have 64 three and four bedroom homes, near to local schools and commuter links. The site is due to be completed in October of 2016.
The census found population had grown 8% between 2001-2011, now standing at 306,129. 37% of the population are full-time employees. The top occupations in the area are skilled trades workers and professionals, both at 15%.
Economy & Employment
The RAF has a major impact in Shropshire with two bases present.
In Shropshire skilled trades and professionals take the lead for the highest employed, making a total of 30% of the county’s employment. Shropshire has a total of 37.2% of full-time employees. The GVA per employee is £43,854.
The Royal Air Force has two bases in Shropshire. RAF Cosford houses the #1 School for Technical Training and also the #1 Radio School. The RAF School of Physical Training and the Defence School of Photography are also based here.
RAF Shawbury is predominantly a training school, accommodating 1000 students annually. The Defence Helicopter Flying School trains aircrew for all the military services, along with next generation of helicopter instructors and air traffic controllers.
The 2015 figures released show Shropshire’s companies, which include the likes of Muller and Stadco produced a total turnover of £5.8 billion a 12.8 per cent increase on the previous year.
A similarly impressive statistic applied to the value of overseas exports from the county over the same period, with the value rising by 8.2% from £909 million to £984 million.
For more information download a free Shropshire Property Investment Guide.
Shropshire is soon to be unrecognisable with various regeneration projects throughout the county.
The Marches Local Enterprises Partnership (LEP), which covers Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire have seen more than £350 million invested from both public and private sectors, and a further £250 million is projected for investment over the next decade.
There is currently a bid for £102 million for 14 local projects. So far they have been allocated £75.3 million for seven schemes.
Shrewsbury’s new £184 million Riverside shopping centre is underway, it will be anchored by a Debenhams department store, alongside will be fifty more units for shops and restaurants.
Nearly 16,000 jobs and 9,000 homes could be created through a multi-million-pound new funding package for the county, including changes to six major junctions around Shrewsbury as well as improvements to traffic management and shopping areas.
In Shifnal, there is expected to be an extra 1,600 homes built in the next 10 years. The sites will be developed by Barrett West Midlands and David Wilson Home. Together they will contribute £500,000 to improve highways in the area as well as £250,000 for a new open public space.
Air: Shropshire is served by Birmingham Airport, which is 60 miles away by road. The airport offers both domestic flights within the UK, and international flights to destinations in Europe and beyond. Liverpool John Lennon Airport is 68 miles away by road, and East Midlands and Manchester airports are 76 and 77 miles away respectively.
Rail: All of Shropshire’s main towns and many smaller towns are served by National Rail with the exception of Oswestry, where the nearest rail station is Gobowen, 3 miles north. Mainline rail lines traverse Shropshire from north to south and east to west, and there are good direct rail connections with major cities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff.
Road: The A49 runs north-south through the middle of the county, and meets up with the A5 at Shrewsbury, leading to north Wales, and the M54 Motorway which links to the M6 and the West Midlands. Whilst the A49 links with towns to the north of the UK.
Bus: Timetabled and on-demand buses operate throughout Shropshire and provide links from neighbouring towns and counties. In addition, seasonal shuttle buses help access the attractions and countryside in the Shropshire hills to the south of Shrewsbury, including Much Wenlock, Church Stretton, Acton Scott and the Stiperstones. Both Shrewsbury and Ludlow are served by ‘park-and-ride’ services providing a direct express bus route to the town centres from free large car parks on the outskirts of town.
There are 83 primary, 21 secondary, 8 special and 7 independent schools, along with 5 further education colleges in Shropshire.
The Shropshire Council area has a completely comprehensive education system and has the highest educational attainment in the West Midlands region.
Notable schools include: The prestigious Shrewsbury School, which Charles Darwin attended and Oswestry School, which was founded in 1407. Concord College an independent private international school set in the grounds of Acton Burnell Castle. This co-educational day and boarding school admits students between the ages of 12 and 19 years, from the UK and overseas. The school is currently ranked 2nd in the independent schools league table.
Further and Higher Education: Around 2,000 full-time and 6,000 part-time students attend Shrewsbury College, it has working environments including a commercial restaurant and a student zone including a new Student Learning Centre and The Hub. The College is the main provider of vocational education in the county and has a wide range of courses available. In May 2012 Shrewsbury College was named by The National Data Service as the highest placed general FE college in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Staffordshire based on their success rates for young students. It has recently undergone a significant estates investment programme with over £15million being spent to create an exciting new campus at London Road.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & Dining: Shropshire’s market towns are filled with many varied independent shops. You can try one of the street markets, there is one in virtually every town and farmers markets and regular art and craft fairs too. There are plenty of cafés, tea rooms, restaurants, pubs and inns. Ludlow, for example, has more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else outside London.
Sport & Culture: There are a large number of sporting clubs and facilities in Shropshire a variety of established amateur, semi-pro and professional sports clubs. An example of professional sports in Shropshire is, Shrewsbury Town F.C. The team is in league one and finished the most recent season at 20th. The county is also home to one of five National Sports Centres. There are a range of attractions Shropshire from farm visits, castles and stately homes, museums and heritage sites to craft centres and galleries, parks, gardens and wildlife centres.
Green Spaces: Three of the county’s parks have achieved the prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award; Severn Valley Country Park, in Alveley. New England, near Highley, which has also been awarded the Green Heritage Award in recognition of its heritage conservation and interpretation, and Colemere is the most recent site to achieve the standard and was awarded Green Flag status in 2009.