Images of ‘Stockroom’, the proposed new Learning and Discovery space in Merseyway have been released by Stockport Council as part of the ongoing consultation into plans for the site.
The Council are keen for residents to understand the size, scale and interior design standards of the new development and to give reassurances that any move of library services from the current building into Stockroom would not lead to a diminished or reduced library offer.
The CGIs have been developed following an engagement process earlier this summer in which local residents shared their views on potential uses and additional suggestions to help shape the offer within the new space which has a working title of Stockroom.
The positive response to these new proposals has resulted in the launch of a formal consultation process regarding the potential move of library services from the current Central Library on the A6 into the heart of the town centre.
Stockroom was the innovative concept proposed in response to the Government’s Future High Street Fund launched in 2019, resulting in a successful funding award of £14.5 million. The objective of this fund is to breathe life back into town centres by utilizing empty retail space vacated due to the changing nature of retail, now further impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stockroom will be a centrally located and convenient new arrival point for the town centre, which will breathe new life into empty retail spaces in the heart of Merseyway and bring thousands of people to the town centre to better support shops and businesses.
Stockroom will be larger than a football pitch, offering five times the floor space of the current Central Library. Stockroom’s size and location, in the heart of the high street means it will be able to provide more space, more services, more things to do and longer opening hours. Proposals also include a number of themed zones including, Family, Community, Discovery and Learning. The increased scale would allow Stockroom to house over 20,000 books, provide a new touch-screen learning area and a more accessible location for Stockport’s historic archive.
The plan is for Stockroom to be an inclusive space for everyone to use regardless of age or mobility and equipped with new ‘best in class’ toilets and enhanced facilities for people with a disability. Stockroom will have direct access to over 800 car parking spaces including designated disabled and family spaces.
Cllr David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement, said:
We were delighted with the positive response from residents to the Stockroom Engagement survey which have helped shaped these great images.
“Many people see the project as a unique opportunity to breathe life back into the town centre and are strongly supportive of the new and improved facilities it will provide.
“We have to acknowledge the significant changes that have happened in recent times and the need to affect positive change.
“We need to ensure we have a vibrant town centre in Stockport and we need to provide our people with the very best facilities to learn and develop to reach their full potential, particularly in light of the economic challenges many families face as a result of the pandemic.
“We appreciate the current library building is an emotive issue for many, but we are keen to ensure that residents have all the correct information regarding the implications of any potential move of library services.
“The council has already committed not to demolish or abandon the building, and will ensure that public access to the building will be retained in future should library services move to Stockroom. Library services would not be diminished in any way, in fact this is an opportunity to enhance the service in a larger and more accessible space.”
The Consultation process on the move of library services runs until 18th October and the Council is keen to hear from as many people as possible. To find out more about the proposals and have your say, visit the Council’s consultation portal.