Iconic Weir Mill acquired by developer to create £60m mixed-use community

Weir Mill, Stockport

Manchester developer Capital&Centric has completed the purchase of the historic Weir Mill in Stockport town centre, for an undisclosed sum.

It plans to create a thriving new mixed-use community.

In the developer’s first foray into the town, the £60m project will create around 250 apartments across the restored mill buildings and some new build.

Located alongside the town’s iconic viaduct, the site includes a number of Grade II-listed mill buildings, some of which were originally built in the late 1700s, used over the years for a variety of commercial purposes.

The new scheme will incorporate a frontage onto the River Mersey, opening up public access to the waterside.

There are also plans for ground floor commercial spaces complementing the residential offering, including café-bars, delis and independent shops and surrounding courtyards and green spaces.

Tim Heatley, Capital&Centric co-founder, said: “It’s the buildings like Weir Mill that give a town its character. To save these amazing mills we have to find viable long-term uses for them.

“By developing a new community we’ll not only be creating some incredible places to live, but we’ll be opening up access to the waterside for everyone.

“Town centres are changing and it’s places like Stockport that are rising to the challenge with ambitious regeneration plans. With easy access into Manchester and a stone’s throw from the Peak District, Stockport town centre is becoming a really exciting alternative to city living.

“I’m a huge fan of Stockport Exchange, which has really raised the bar and encouraged people like us to invest.

“Times are tough, but regeneration projects will be an important part of Greater Manchester’s recovery. We’re hugely excited to be coming to Stockport and this deal shows how much confidence we have in the town.”

Sitting within the new Mayoral Development Corporation’s (MDC’s) Town Centre West regeneration zone, the Weir Mill site will be adjacent to a new £120m transport interchange and backed by £7m of Housing Infrastructure Fund money from Homes England.

A planning application is expected later in the year.

Stockport Council leader, Cllr Elise Wilson, said: “Attracting such a forward-thinking and innovative developer as Capital&Centric is indicative of the continued confidence that major investors and developers are demonstrating in Stockport.

“While our efforts are currently focused on combating the impact of the coronavirus crisis, we need to keep looking to the future, which is why we welcome this latest investment.

“This neglected, but iconic, building will be an important and key early scheme to be delivered within the new Town Centre West neighbourhood, setting the scene for our ambitious plans to regenerate and transform the wider town centre.

“I look forward to seeing Weir Mill brought back to life and attracting more people to live in our town centre.”

Lord Bob Kerslake, chair of the MDC, said: “Regeneration and development has to be a national driver for recovery post-COVID-19 and the MDC offers substantial opportunities to deliver this at pace and scale in an area where the ambitious plans are already under way.

“The decision by Capital&Centric to come and be part of those wider plans and their belief in Stockport and the MDC is welcomed and we look forward to working with them and other partners in delivering a nationally-significant model for town centres.

“Capital&Centric have a great reputation for delivering high-quality and ambitious architecture with a real focus on community. We’re thrilled to have attracted them to Stockport and are excited to see what they come up with for Weir Mill.”

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “Our partnership work with Stockport MDC is helping drive forward their ambition and vision which could serve as a blueprint for other town centres.

“The Housing Infrastructure Fund is helping to unlock this iconic site and it is great to see a developer with the track record of Capital&Centric showing their confidence in the town.”

The news comes as it was revealed last month that Capital&Centric has secured a funding deal for its 275-room jenga-inspired hotel in Manchester.

Despite the current crisis, the company is still spending £2m a week on regeneration.

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