Developer given go ahead for £60m Weir Mill restoration

Weir Mill Weavers Square
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Social impact developer Capital&Centric has been given the green light for its £60m vision to create a vibrant town centre community at the historic Weir Mill site in Stockport.

Stockport Council’s planning & highways regulatory committee approved the plans at its meeting last night (September 30). The decision paves the way for Capital&Centric to restore the derelict Victorian mill into design-led apartments, making it the centre of buzzing new neighbourhood.

The site, backed by £7m of Housing Infrastructure Fund from Homes England, is one of the cornerstone regeneration projects of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC).

Capital&Centric’s project will deliver 253 one-, two- and three-bed apartments across the existing Weir Mill and two new design-led buildings, alongside 24,000 sq ft of commercial space that will establish a new leisure and culture destination in the heart of Stockport.

It will also involve creating 60,000 sq ft of public realm with gardens, social and creative outdoor spaces, opening the historic site to the public for the first time in years.

Weir Mill will feature:

  • Chestergate and King Street West: A new gateway into the town centre, with ground floor spaces for independent shops, cafes or delis and plenty of lush greenery.
  • Water Front: A new public space looking out across the River Mersey, providing a place for riverside chilling in the evening sun or some fine dining in the restored Wheel house overlooking the water.
  • Weir Mill East: Sensitively designed new buildings featuring a mix of homes, drawing inspiration from the site’s manufacturing history.
  • Weavers Square: What will become the heart of the scheme and a new destination for Stockport. The old cast iron columns of Weavers Shed are being retained to create a vibrant new outdoor space for riverside street markets, DJ sets, live music events and performing arts.
  • West Shed: A striking indoor space with exposed brick vaulted arches and cast iron columns, creating a relaxed space to take your laptop, grab a coffee and while away the day.
  • West Courtyard: The former working courtyard to the mills, this will be a quieter, more contemplative garden space for residents and the general public to chill out, with plants, trees and secluded spaces to explore.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital&Centric, said: “This is a huge moment for Stockport town centre. We’re floored with the feedback and support we’ve had for our vision for Weir Mill and can’t wait to get going.

“We’re going to create something very special here – celebrating the rich industrial heritage of the mill with sensitive restoration and opening the site up with great community places to hang out with lush gardens and social spaces. We plan to pack the neighbourhood with as many of the best cultural and foodie experiences we can.”

He added: “The reality is that this stunning historic mill, parts of which date back as far as the late 1700s, were at risk of being lost forever. It’s brilliant that, thanks to Stockport’s support, we can not only save Weir Mill, but make it one of the main storylines in Stockport’s next chapter.“

The team is now planning more pop-up events at the mill ahead of construction, after locals flocked to Sunday Social last year.

Cllr Elise Wilson, leader of Stockport Council, said: “The council rightly identified the potential of Weir Mill as a key element towards creating a new community in the heart of Stockport, attracting more people to live and work here. It is hugely rewarding to know this derelict landmark will now not only be saved, but become a catalyst for wider investment and will energise this area of the town centre.

“The plans look fantastic and the commitment to high quality development will help deliver our vision to create the newest, coolest, and greenest urban neighbourhood in the city region. Weir Mill will strengthen our appeal as a great place to live, work, play and connect and will complement our plans for improvements to Merseyway, a new transport interchange and a revitalised Underbanks.”

She added: “It also demonstrates the confidence that private sector developers like Capital&Centric have in the borough and is a great endorsement for our ongoing ambitious plans. I look forward to seeing work start on this historic site and for the widest possible benefit to be gained for the local supply chain and local businesses during construction.”

The site is located in a highly sustainable location near to Stockport’s train station and adjacent to the planned new £120m transport interchange. New walking and cycling links to the town centre and the Trans Pennine Trail, as well as more than 360 cycle parking spaces, will be delivered as part of the plans.

Weir Mill is part of Stockport Council’s ambitious £1bn plans for the town centre. The site is within the Town Centre West regeneration zone, which plans to transform the west of the town centre into the newest, coolest, and greenest urban neighbourhood in the city region.

Capital&Centric plans to start construction early 2022.