Listen to this article here
The concrete frame of the 14-storey new apartment block building has reached its highest point as part of the regeneration of Weir Mill into a new urban neighbourhood in Stockport town centre.
Social impact developers, Capital&Centric, are in the process of a £60 million transformation of the heritage site, restoring the 18th Century mill between the viaduct arches, as well as delivering new-build apartment blocks and local amenities. Once complete in 2024, the development will deliver 253 design-led apartments new green outdoor space, and independent bars, restaurants and shops. Capital&Centric will begin their search for indie operators to take up space at Weir Mill early in the new year, with early expressions of interest already coming in.
The Weir Mill scheme sits within the 130-acre regeneration district in the western part of the town centre being facilitated by the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) which aims to bring 4,000 new homes, green spaces, transport infrastructure and commercial space to this part of the town centre.
The Capital&Centric team were joined at the top of the tower by Stockport Council and the Stockport MDC to celebrate construction reaching its highest point. Alongside them were local young people, there as part of a week-long Regeneration Brainery currently underway in the town. The not-for-profit ‘Brainery’ was set up to get young people from diverse backgrounds fired up about a career in property and regeneration via immersive bootcamps that help showcase the scale of opportunities.
Adam Higgins, from Capital&Centric, said:
“Weir Mill is such a historic site but it was in need of some major TLC. Since day one, our mission has been to restore and repurpose the stunning heritage buildings and create a destination neighbourhood that furthers Stockport’s standing as one of the best places to live and spend time. Not only are we well underway with delivering more design-led homes at a key brownfield site, we’re also on with creating outdoor hangouts and food and drink spaces that will all be open to the public and help draw a crowd into the town centre.
“Reaching the highest point is a massive moment and a visible sign of the change that’s happening here. It’s a privilege to give a glimpse of what’s happening on site given much of it has been shrouded in scaffolding for months. It really is a testament to the level of collaboration underway with the Council and MDC – with a shared desire to see Stockport create an identity it can be proud of for years to come.”
More than 150 people are now working to deliver the project, with significant focus on preserving and celebrating the original features of the historic Grade II listed landmark.
Cllr Mark Hunter, from Stockport Council, said:
“This is a huge achievement and testament to the drive and ambition of everyone involved to bring this historic building back to life and greatly improve this area of the town centre, providing much needed, good quality homes.
“The pace at which change is happening across the town centre is quite staggering, with work at the nearby Transport Interchange and new urban park due for completion next year, it’s a really exciting time for Stockport.”
Eamonn Boylan, Interim Chair of Stockport MDC, said:
“The structural completion of the new residential blocks for the Weir Mill development puts us another step closer to delivering the 4,000 new homes that our regeneration masterplan will achieve.
“The latest chapter in our town centre’s £1 billion transformation, Weir Mill is setting a new benchmark for brownfield regeneration. One that celebrates and reinvigorates the town’s industrial infrastructure and heritage for a new age, in turn delivering essential new homes, creating a new cultural and leisure district and enhancing connectivity in the town centre. “As we look ahead to 2024, which will see the completion of a major new transport hub alongside amenities and new public realm, Stockport is undoubtedly on track to becoming one of the best connected and most liveable towns in the UK.”
The progress on Weir Mill is among the projects helping to attract attention to Stockport’s renaissance: in the last year, the town has been celebrated as among Britain’s best places to live, including for retirees and first-time buyers.
Other schemes also progressing with the Stockport MDC’s regeneration area include Stockport Interchange – a new transport hub for the town centre on the former bus station site, which also includes a build-to-rent apartment scheme and rooftop park – and eight-acre urban neighbourhood, Stockport 8.