Stockport Council bids for £14.5m Future High Street Fund package

Plans for StockRoom

Stockport Council has announced details of its bid to the Government’s Future High Street Fund (FHSF).

The council submitted a £14.5m bid to the FHSF earlier this month to deliver its ambitious project for the town centre known as ‘StockRoom’ which will, hopefully, also see an additional investment of £8m in re-purposing the former M&S and BHS stores.

StockRoom will bring a learning and knowledge hub to the town centre – a future-focused community and public facing services hub – which can be used by the whole community.

It will celebrates the culture and creativity of the town, providing a space that encourages people to tell their story, where residents can spend leisure time, learn and celebrate their heritage.

This comes on the back of the council’s launch of its One Stockport campaign this week, which promises to build back better in response to the coronavirus crisis, working in collaboration with partners to build a better future for everyone in the borough through supporting the local economy, connecting communities and promoting health and wellbeing.

The first phase of the campaign will support the recovery process, to help people reopen their businesses safely and to instil confidence as the UK eases out of the current restrictions.

Cllr Elise Wilson, leader of Stockport Council, said: “We are currently in unprecedented and difficult times, but as a council we are absolutely focused on building back better – this is our priority and forms the basis of our One Stockport campaign.

“We already have ambitious plans in place for Stockport, like the transport hub, the arrival of Metrolink and a revitalised town centre, but this additional funding will really strengthen all our town centre has to offer.”

Cllr David Meller, cabinet member for regeneration and economy, said: “This exciting development will bring more people in to the town centre and, more importantly, will be somewhere that local people can enjoy for years to come.

“It will also act as a catalyst to attract even more investment into the town and attract major businesses, like we have done with BASF relocating to Stockport Exchange.

“We have put in a really strong bid and I look forward to hearing if we have been successful later on this year.”

If the bid is successful, StockRoom will sit at the heart of the town centre and will repurpose 135,000 sq ft of retail space around Adlington Walk in Merseyway Shopping Centre.

The Government launched the FHSF in 2018, with the aim of renewing and reshaping town centres and high streets to drive growth, improve experiences and ensures future sustainability by providing co-funding to successful applicants to support transformative and structural changes, to overcome challenges in their area.

In August last year the Prime Minister confirmed that Round 1 of the Future High Streets Fund had been expanded to 50 more areas and the fund now stands at £1bn, with 101 towns eligible to bid for a share.

Successful bids will be notified later this year.

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