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Published on : March 26, 2024 15:43

It’s an exciting year for Stockport as regeneration plans continue!

2024 is turning into a bumper year for our hometown of Stockport, with the town gaining national recognition and the arrival of several new and exciting developments!

Stockport was named as the best place to live in the North West by the Sunday Times earlier this month, and shortly after Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham opened the town’s new state-of-the-art interchange and adjoining Viaduct Park. 

These developments are part of an ambitious £1 billion package of investments designed to make Stockport even more attractive as a welcoming place to live, work, play, and connect. 

Work to rejuvenate Stockport has been ongoing for some time, but is now really beginning to pick up pace! By combining beautiful heritage buildings with great new architecture, the goal is to transform Stockport into a thriving town that its residents can continue to be proud of.

“Stockport has one of the largest regeneration programmes nationally – so it’s a very exciting time for the borough with many developments being delivered that people are now beginning to see, such as Stockport Interchange and our fabulous new Viaduct Park,” says Cllr Colin MacAlister, Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Housing.

“This year will see many of our most significant regeneration projects come to fruition. The Council is busy with projects in Merseyway, including Stockroom – the brand new interactive learning and discovery centre, the redevelopment of the former BHS building, which is attracting national retailers whilst making sure the centre has greenery with attractive places to walk through and rest.”

The new transport hub will seamlessly connect Stockport Exchange, the train station and the town centre via a new walking and cycling bridge. Not only does it make visiting our fabulous town easier than ever, but it will also be the centrepiece of Stockport’s public transport network. 

Residential Developments to Arrive in May

A masterplan for the award-winning Stockport Exchange site was approved in 2014, with 1, 2 and 3 Stockport Exchange all now fully constructed.  A further residential aspect of the development is due to be completed in May. 

Stockport’s exchange development has already resulted in the provision of high-quality, accessible and sustainable workspace right next to the train station. The first office block was fully occupied in under six months and the second building is also fully let. 

A third recently completed space includes three Grade A commercial offices, two multistorey car parks and a hotel. Tenants include Stagecoach, MusicMagpie, Holiday Inn Express, Sainsbury’s, BASF and Industrials REIT.  

Plans will be submitted at the end of March by the council and nationwide placemaker Muse to create the next chapter, Phase 4, of this development. This stage of the plan will connect landmark greenspace with urban living and highly efficient transport connectivity. 

It will outline plans for a 60,000 sq ft office building, that will continue to attract new employers and jobs to the town, with ground floor spaces for shops, cafes, bars or restaurants and a fully accessible and high-quality landscaped public space and approach to the railway station.  

The plans for 100 apartments on the site will cater to Stockport’s growing demand for high-quality accommodation that provides a competitive alternative to neighbouring Manchester, as well as an additional 185,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.

An evolving skyline

To make room for these new developments demolition of five properties (76 – 84 Wellington Road South) has been completed by PP O’Connor. The firm was appointed by the council last year to make way for future phases. 

The properties had been unoccupied for some time and had fallen into a state of disrepair. Their opens up views into the wider Stockport Exchange estate and temporary landscaping will be put where the buildings once stood. Work is also underway for a temporary artwork feature at the junction of the A6 and Railway Road. 

A vibrant, creative Stockport

Elsewhere in the town centre, work is progressing on Stockport’s innovative space for creativity, discovery and inspiration at the heart of the town centre, Stockroom, which will open later this year.

Funds have been provided by the council and Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation to develop the late-18th Century Weir Mill. £60 million has been allocated for the transformation by Capital & Centric, which will create more than 250 apartments in the restored listed mill buildings and two neighbouring new-build blocks.

The Council has also invested in a new public realm along Merseyway, the old herringbone brick paving has been replaced with granite and stone slabs and a variety of new seating and planters are being installed to add greenery making the area an attractive place to walk through and rest.

Transforming Stockport’s Underbanks 

Stockport’s historic Underbanks continues to live up to the Sunday Times’s description as ‘one of the coolest little corners of the country’. With support from the council, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and many partners, a host of developments will come to fruition in 2024.

Demolition work started at 29-35 Little Underbank by developers Hall and Co in January, with 12 apartments available to purchase, as well as three commercial units, which should be completed by early 2025.

At the former Santander Bank on Great Underbank, plans are underway which will see it transformed into a shared workspace over three floors. The area also continues to be a magnet for creatives and independent businesses.

The ground floor of the iconic White Lion building, one of Greater Manchester’s most historic pubs, is also set to re-open next month after being vacant for more than 10 years. The Grade II listed building was acquired by the council as part of the £7m investment into the regeneration of the Market Place and Underbanks.

The upper floors were transformed into 11 luxury apartments in 2020,  and the pub has been refurbished by Jon Dootson and Paul Astill – who both have extensive experience within the licensed trade with their portfolio of venues, including nearby Alfredos, and Tib Street Tavern and Cord Bar in the Northern Quarter in Manchester and will feature a large outdoor seating area and function rooms. 

Stockport looks better than ever!

With so much going on, Stockport is on track to be bigger and better than ever – and we couldn’t be more excited! We love our hometown and couldn’t be happier to see it rejuvenated with a refreshing second wind. 

We’ll continue to follow events as they progress and look forward to seeing you out and about whether you live and work or are just visiting Stockport. 

“We really are bringing life back into the Town Centre,” Cllr Macalister concludes. “Stockport is not just the best place to live, it’s the best place to shop, work and relax.”

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