Stockport Council has announced details of their bid to the government’s Future High Street Fund to further invest in the town centre.
The council submitted a £14.5 million bid to the Future High Street Fund earlier this month to deliver their ambitious project for the town centre known as ‘StockRoom’ which will hopefully also see an additional investment of £8 million in re-purposing the former M&S and BHS stores.
StockRoom will bring a learning and knowledge hub to town centre – a future-focused community and public facing services hub for use by the whole community. It aims to 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.
The announcement comes on the back of the council’s launch of their One Stockport campaign this week, which promises to build back better in response to the corona virus crisis, working in collaboration with partners to build a better future for everyone in Stockport through supporting the local economy, connecting communities and promoting health and wellbeing.
The first phase of the campaign will support the recovery process after the pandemic shutdown, to help people reopen their businesses safely and to instil confidence as we ease 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 at Stockport Council, 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 Future High Street Fund 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.