A gateway to Stockport – as the £1m transformation of Stockport town centre gathers pace, Stockport Exchange is already standing proud on the horizon, bringing a new dimension to the landscape of Stockport and shaping the scene for a modern, vibrant future.
To passengers and commuters arriving into Stockport by train, change is evident. But what about those travelling by road? What can be done to improve the A6 gateway?
Rhys Owen, Leasing Director, Orbit Developments shares his thoughts:
If you’ve recently passed through Stockport train station, you couldn’t fail to notice the new hotel and modern office space at Stockport Exchange. The same goes for the much increased greenery in the town centre – creating a more welcoming and appealing environment in which we work, shop and live.
These improvements reflect the changing face of Stockport, but are they evident to the everyday commuter? Does the Managing Director of a Manchester business recognise the future importance – and significance – of this gateway to Stockport and the town centre?
We are all aware of Stockport’s biggest benefit – its excellent transport connections, especially the prized train links with direct and frequent services to London. However, the station’s customer facilities are in need of improvement.
There has been recent talk of station investment and, if the renovation goes ahead, the wider area will soon see Stockport’s importance as a key station outside ‘Manchester All Stations’.
Another area of improvement should be the visual aesthetics of the A6, which should create a warmer welcome into the town centre than it currently does. And whilst the changes from Phase 1 and 2 of Stockport Exchange are complete, it may be years before the full masterplan reaches the A6. I feel that more is needed to help showcase what the future of this area holds and that these early phases aren’t the beginning and the end.
It is also important that the A6 ‘barrier’ and customer journey is improved between the new Stockport Exchange, the town centre and the revitalised Old Town.
And the likes of the former sorting office, Cobden’s and other derelict buildings nearby are in desperate need of new life. We may even have to lose them to replace them.
We hope that the planned £1.8million investment into the Market Underbanks Conservation Area – as well as the residential development of what was The White Lion in the heart of the Old Town – will highlight the positive contribution such buildings can have on the town as a whole. I look forward to seeing how Stockport changes and how we embrace our transformation.
Thanks to Rhys for his contribution to Expert Opinion