Hereford Council has selected Stanhope as preferred developer for the £210m redevelopment of Hereford town centre.

Stanhope has been selected by the council, Advantage West Midlands and ESG Herefordshire to provide 350,000 sq ft of retail space for the town’s retail quarter.

Stanhope will also build a cinema, 200 residential units and a number of cafes, bars and restaurants.

The scheme includes a department store, which will be the first major department store for Hereford, as well as infrastructure improvements for the town.

Stanhope's selection marks one of the first major successes for the firm's new strategy to switch up to 50% of its focus onto town centre regeneration, both inside and outside its traditional heart land in the south east.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope, said: 'Through bringing together our extensive skills in sustainable development and transferring the knowledge gained on our current regeneration schemes in Stevenage, Bracknell and Croydon, we have designed a solution that reflects our partners’ strategy for the development of Hereford and believe that the facilities and services that we will deliver will continue to benefit the local community well into the future. '

He added: 'We're not going to abandon our home patch of central London but we think we have a mix of skills which can be brought to bear on town centre regeneration in a wider geographical area.'

Mark Pearce, corporate director for economic regeneration at Advantage West Midlands, said: 'This is a pivotal moment for the Edgar Street Grid development. A great deal of work has taken place in order to get to this vital stage but Advantage West Midlands and our partners have remained strong in our belief that an exciting, vibrant and prosperous future lies ahead for the city centre.'

Work on site is expected to commence in 2010, with completion scheduled for 2012. Stanhope and its public sector partners will now work together to secure planning permission.