Mayoral powers look to regenerate Stockport’s Town Centre West

Andy Burnham

The transformation of Stockport Town Centre could be taken to the next level after Greater Manchester leaders gave the go-ahead at a meeting today (January 11) to consult on creating a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) to lead the regeneration of the Town Centre West area.

The ambition is for Town Centre West to become Greater Manchester’s newest, greenest and coolest affordable urban neighbourhood that is ideally placed to meet the challenges and opportunities that town centres face.

As a walkable neighbourhood in the heart of Stockport, Town Centre West will provide a choice of homes and workspace where residents and business will have enviable access to public transport and be among the best connected in the region.

And as Stockport’s popularity as a place to live grows, the council is doing all it can to maximise development of new homes on brownfield sites across the borough, with developments like the former Sorting Office site on the A6 already planned to start on site soon.

This means Stockport has significantly reduced the amount of land they need to release for development in the Green Belt.

At the same time the council wants to bring new homes across all tenures, and all of the supporting amenities, into the town centre, giving more people the chance to come and live in the heart of Stockport to enjoy everything on offer.

Cllr Kate Butler, Stockport Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration said: “We need to bring new homes into Stockport for the future, but are doing all we can to protect our borough’s green spaces.

“The Mayoral Development Corporation will help drive these developments shaping the future of our town.

“As these plans for the MDC develop, we’d like residents and businesses to have their say on how it would bring change to our town centre.”

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “I confirm our intention to consult on the creation of the first Mayoral Development Corporation in Greater Manchester and the first in the UK to focus on a town centre.

“The Stockport MDC, which will be locally-funded, will support the regeneration of Stockport town centre with a new plan for the area around the famous railway arches.

“It will be supported by the new Stockport Interchange – a pioneering example of how new homes and quality open space can be integrated within new public transport infrastructure.

“If successful, we will extend the MDC approach to other towns through our existing Town Centre Challenge.”

He added: “Reversing the decline of towns in Greater Manchester is a big prize and we recognise that it will not come with an old-fashioned piecemeal approach to town centre development.

“We need to help councils galvanise partners around a shared masterplan and use new powers to make it happen.

“The great attraction of Mayoral Development Corporations is that they simultaneously allow us to tackle two big problems – town centre decline and the housing crisis. It provides an integrated solution.”