Property round-up: Stockport Exchange; Farnworth Green; Warwick North West; MC Construction; Electroserv; Flynn House

CGI of 4 Stockport Exchange

Plans have been submitted to create the next chapter of the award-winning Stockport Exchange development.

Stockport Council, working alongside national placemaker Muse, has submitted a planning application, which updates the previously approved masterplan for Stockport Exchange, and sets out detailed plans for the next phase – 4 Stockport Exchange, as well as outline planning for the final phases (6-8).

The 4 Stockport Exchange programme will comprise 60,000 sq ft of office space with ground floor opportunities available for shops, cafes, bars or restaurants, as well as a fully accessible and landscaped approach to the railway station and new public square.

The remaining phases of Stockport Exchange will include an additional 185,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and up to 100 residential apartments, to be delivered in the later phase of the scheme.

A public consultation took place during February, when local businesses and the community were asked to share their feedback on the updated plans. The feedback has now been reviewed and incorporated into the planning application.

Cllr Colin Macalister, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “Stockport Exchange has been an integral part of our £1bn regeneration plans, attracting international businesses and raising the bar in terms of quality and design.

“The updated masterplan is designed to create further office space that will continue to attract new employers and jobs to the town but will also include high quality residential development that will help with the growing demand to live in the town centre and enjoy everything that it has to offer.”

Max King, Project Director at Muse, said: “We are already very proud of the community we have created at Stockport Exchange, which has become one of the most accessible and sustainable business destinations in the North West. Now that 1 and 2 Stockport Exchange are fully let and building 3 is complete and already attracting new occupiers, it was time to turn our attention to the next and final phases.

“We had plenty of great ideas during our consultation on what the outdoor spaces and public square could be used for, from natural green spaces to sit, relax and play, to live music and pop-up food and drink. Most people also supported the plans to include new homes alongside cafes, bars and restaurants, helping to build upon the existing, growing community at Stockport Exchange.”

The £145m development has created a new gateway to the town for visitors arriving at Stockport Station and has been a catalyst for the wider regeneration that the town is experiencing as part of the Town Centre West regeneration masterplan.

The application is expected to go before the planning committee in summer 2024.


The future of Farnworth town centre is taking shape, with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Bolton Council on site last week to mark a major construction milestone.

Capital&Centric’s Farnworth Green – a re-boot of the outdated precinct into a town centre neighbourhood – has reached its highest point. The concrete frame of the main blocks, set to feature design-led rental homes as well as new retail spots, is now complete, with the roof trusses currently being installed.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, and Bolton Council joined the developers on site to take stock of the scale of change under way to revitalise the town centre and redefine the future of the high street.

Andy Burnham said: “For years our town centres have been a focal point for communities to come together. But, as trends change, we need to invest in revitalising them to ensure they play that role for years to come.

“It’s brilliant to see the scale of regeneration under way in Farnworth and the project is powering ahead at speed. When done, it will help attract more people to live in the town centre – creating a place where people want to spend time, with shops and a community hub.”

Elsewhere on site, the steel frame for what will become a community hub is now completed, ready for the roof and brick façade. Meanwhile, construction of family town houses is under way, with timber frames being delivered this month.

Activity will dramatically increase over the next six months, with more than 120 people working on site, up from the current 80. Work is set to include installation of facades and the fit-out of the apartments, flexible commercial spaces and a new community hub.

Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Akhtar Zaman, said: “Farnworth Green is a transformational regeneration scheme that will make a real difference for local residents. The direct intervention of the council is turning this once underused brownfield site into a vibrant and modern new neighbourhood being delivered by a developer with an outstanding track record.

“We are very pleased that construction has reached this significant milestone, and together with other projects being delivered across the borough, there is real momentum behind the council’s ongoing regeneration agenda.”

Scott Mallinson, Development Director at Capital&Centric, said: “This is a major milestone as we reach the highest point of the development, with activity on site only going to ramp up for the rest of the year. The shape of Farnworth’s town centre is rapidly changing and it’s brilliant to welcome the Mayor and Council onto site, both of whom have been instrumental in making the project a reality.”

Mark Connor, Vermont Chief Executive, said: “The topping out ceremony at Farnworth Green has been a great opportunity to reflect on how vital this project will be in breathing new life into the town centre.

“This fantastic development by Capital & Centric will play a key role in boosting Bolton’s ambitious regeneration plans, creating new homes, commercial and community spaces for people of Farnworth and the surrounding areas.”

Organisations interested in locating to Farnworth Green are encouraged to get in touch on:


Greg Johnson

Window and door manufacturer, Warwick North, West has scored an early 2024 win in its targeting of the affordable housing sector after securing a new deal with Sovini Construction.

Bootle-based Warwick will supply and install windows and doors on 45 affordable homes at Wrenbury in Cheshire for Sovini Construction, also based in Bootle and part of The Sovini Group.

Late in 2023 Warwick managing director Greg Johnson said he saw significant growth potential in the social housing market, citing data predicting seven per cent growth in the sector. He said he wanted Warwick to be the “go-to” provider for windows and doors in the affordable housing market.

The Wrenbury scheme, called Kingfisher Park, is being delivered as part of a plan to deliver 1,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

These 45 properties, built by Sovini Construction, will be offered for affordable rent (no more than 80% of local market rate) as well as for sale through the Rent to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes by One Vision Housing (OVH).

They have also been designed by architects JMA to incorporate air source heat pumps, helping end users to reduce energy consumption in line with The Sovini Group’s Net-Zero Carbon Commitment.

Ian Mitchell, Managing Director of Housing at OVH, said: “Kingfisher Park is delivering on our vision of a better future, as we create opportunities and change lives by helping local people to get onto the property ladder.”

This year Warwick, which employs around 115 people, will invest at least £500,000 in new machinery for its factory which will see production capacity grow by 20% and lead to the creation of new jobs.

Greg took over Warwick unexpectedly in late 2021 when his father, Brian Johnson, was diagnosed with cancer. Brian had run the business since 2008 and a decision was taken to promote Greg to managing director.

Since then, with the support of his management and production teams, Warwick has enjoyed a healthy growth in revenues with most recent figures showing annual sales up to almost £12m from £10m the year before.


Stockport’s famous Hat Works Museum has unveiled its new look following a £300,000 refurbishment scheme.

MC Construction was the principal contractor for the project at the award-winning museum, which is owned and operated by Stockport Council.

The museum is housed in the Grade II-listed building, Wellington Mill, which was built as a cotton spinning mill in the early 1830s and became a hat works in the 1890s. The chimney is the same height as 14 buses.

The Hat Works is now also home to Arc, an arts and health charity that helps people discover the benefits of doing something creative. Arc also runs the Hat Works café.

The refurbishment by Salford-based MC Construction involved a revamp of the exhibition floor and improvements to the entrance, reception and café areas, as well as a new fire detection system throughout the museum.

New spaces have been created, including a collections room, activity room, storage and meeting facilities. The scheme also involved new décor and mechanical and electrical works, including new LED lighting which reduces energy consumption and improves brightness without damaging the exhibits.

Working alongside MC Construction on the project were NIFES Consulting Group and ECS Consultants Engineers. Stockport Council was the architect and quantity surveyor for the scheme.

Russ Forshaw, managing director of MC Construction, said: “This prestigious project at a landmark attraction has seen us continue our good working relationship with Stockport Council and further demonstrates our expertise in the heritage sector.”

Cllr Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport at Stockport Council, said: “The building work has been fantastic in opening up space and improving the layout of the museum, alongside the creation of our new Gallery of Hats to give visitors lots of fresh ways to find inspiration.”


Technical director, Jason McIntosh, left, and MD Simon Fisher

Macclesfield-based instrument measurement and control specialist, Electroserv, has expanded into new premises, more than five times the size of its old site.

This move will allow Electroserv to hit its £10m turnover goal and create more than 20 jobs.

The new 15,176 sq ft premise is located at Lyme Green Business Park, just next door to the previous location which is a 2,994 sq ft space.

Directors at Electroserv have ensured the space is highly specified making the most of every square foot. With an investment of £200,000, the building has been configured to include two well equipped laboratories, a state-of-the-art workshop, high spec, contemporary office space, dedicated packing area, large loading bay, open plan kitchen/dining area complete with pool table and a warm and welcoming reception area. The modern, industrial style is carried throughout the two-storey building.

Managing director, Simon Fisher, said: “2024 is a big year for the company with significant new plans in the pipeline. Our previous site served us well for a long time and we’re pleased to be able to relocate so close. The new premise is a fantastic, highly functional space and we’re excited to welcome customers, suppliers and more to visit.”

Alongside the office relocation and expansion, new sales manager, John Walker has been appointed to help drive the projected growth for the company.

He said: “I’m excited to join Electroserv during the rapid growth they’re experiencing, it’s a very positive time. It’s a great company to work for and everyone is supportive.”

Simon added: “John has a strong technical background and has worked with some of the big Pharma companies. He’s got a wealth of experience as a sales manager in our sector and will be a great asset to Electroserv.”

Further to the expansion, investment and appointment of John, Electroserv will be creating another 20 jobs within the next three years, 50% of which will be filled by the end of 2024.


Flynn House workspace

A vibrant new working space has opened at a prime location in Bramhall, Cheshire, boasting contemporary, open plan office units for sole traders, small enterprises, and boutique business teams, plus two fully equipped state-of-the-art meeting rooms.

The new space will soon be offering a flexible co-working hub for freelancers and remote workers.

Flynn House is situated in the heart of Bramhall village. With convenient access to major transportation routes, the space is a short train journey or bus ride from Manchester city centre and neighbouring Stockport, as well as being close to affordable car parking.

Owned by the McHugh family, who have lived in the Bramhall area for more than 10 years, the property is named after their youngest son, Flynn, who has severe autism and is the inspiration behind the development. The family has provided a space which can be used for charity events, fundraisers, and networking events and is offering the meeting rooms free of charge to all those who operate in the third sector, subject to availability.

Owner, Darren McHugh, said: “Flynn House is designed to function as a co-working haven where local professionals and innovative thinkers can work, engage, and network with a community of like-minded individuals. Our ethos is based on creating an environment that inspires collaboration, nurtures creativity, and fosters professional growth.”

Flynn House’s meeting rooms are open for business from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday. The Hub, which will be opening later this spring, benefits from a screen on every desk, fast wi-fi, air conditioning, complementary refreshments, and a communal kitchen and break-out area. The development will be operated and managed by PR and marketing agency, Hop&Co, one of the first companies to move into a Flynn House office space.

The Hub comprises eight individual pods available to book on a daily basis. The meeting rooms, which seat up to 14 people, are available for hourly, half-day and daily bookings, and drinks or lunch packages also available.

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