Market Place and Underbanks

5. Stockport town centre street art - invitation to tender


Stockport - the place that makes itself

We'll be the place in the north where makers dream and dreamers make. We want as many people as possible to enjoy what’s made here, to dream and make themselves.

Stockport is a town centre, rural and suburban villages, old estates, new estates and countryside. We're connected by paths, canals, road, broadband, rail lines, an international airport, parks, squares and public spaces. We're stitched together by local groups for the visual arts, music, reading and theatre groups, writers’ circles, our community arts company, professional and semi-professional outfits, schools, colleges, start ups, studios, incubator units, shops, restaurants and food outlets, independent cinemas and theatres, local authority museums, galleries and libraries.

We watch, read and play at home, we're makers, artists, entrepreneurs and activists. We're families who have been here forever and people who have just arrived.

Our history is change.

We're 289,000 people and growing. A place that makes itself.

Investment in our town centre

Change is already well underway with a £1 billion investment that will build on our town’s strengths as a business location:

• creating new reasons for people to visit Stockport
• building new homes that are accessible for everyone
• investing in the rejuvenation of historic and important parts of our town

Anchored by the historic Market Hall, the Market Place and Underbanks is a unique and special place in Stockport town centre, rich in heritage. We want to see this area become a vibrant and ‘must visit’ place once again, so a £7 million investment programme has been launched in this area.

In January 2017, a further £1.8 million of funding was secured for the Underbanks following a successful Townscape Heritage Lottery bid for our Rediscovering the Underbanks project. Together, we're working hard to see historic buildings brought back into use; events launched in the area and ever-growing visitors coming to the Market Place and Underbanks.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we've witnessed people are more conscious of the places around them, there's been a resurgence of localism and sense of identity and civic pride. This is something that we'd like to build on as we begin to exit lockdown, further bolstering the Old Town and wider economic and social recovery of Stockport.


We're looking to appoint experienced street artists, either a collective, organisation or individual artists, to manage the production and delivery of art installations in Stockport town centre to form Phase 1 of a street art trail. An exciting new addition to the wider renaissance of our town.

We're looking for artists who can deliver excellent creativity and vision in the design, delivery and legacy planning of a street art trail across Stockport town centre. We'd like to hear from you if you've experience of working on high-quality, unique and place specific art installations, but we also welcome bids from local and emerging artists who can demonstrate their suitability.

Phase 1 will include up to 4 sites in the Market Place and Underbanks conservation area in Stockport Old Town. These art installations should have a strong focus on storytelling and linkages to the history of the area. Varying in location, size and surface material, the street installations may feature anything from large scale murals to smaller interventions. We're also committed to making sure that this project is driven by the voices of as diverse a spectrum of artistic styles and lived experience as possible, including a cross-genre range of street art and mural styles.

The total secured budget for Phase 1 of the programme is a maximum of £17,000. We'd like to see proposals that include clearly marked fees for all work including delivery and maintenance. Artists may tender for as many of these 4 sites as they see fit. Restrictions permitting, the artworks will be installed during summer 2021, forming a crucial element of coronavirus economic recovery.


4 sites have been identified for the street art trail.

Street art trail sites

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One or more of the following themes must guide the street art design:

Rediscovering the history and heritage of the Underbanks

The Underbanks has a unique and interesting past that we want to showcase. While some of its history is well known, the Underbanks holds many untold stories and hidden secrets.

We encourage you to research the history and heritage of the Underbanks:

The Underbanks today

Over recent years, an array of independent retailers have moved into the Underbanks. Like the milliners, hosiers and curriers that came before them, these businesses have become the heart of the Underbanks today.

People of the Underbanks

Over the years many people have walked down the Underbanks, from Jimi Hendrix to Jacob Winter, all have a story to tell about the area.

We encourage you to research people of the Underbanks. The Writing Squad’s ‘Portraits of the Underbanks’ showcases stories of people in the Underbanks.

Growth and change

The Underbanks has changed in many ways over the years, both physically and socially. We want to celebrate change both past and present.

This theme also links into the wider coronavirus recovery of the town centre and how both businesses and residents are emerging from this difficult period with positive hopes for the future.

We encourage you to start your research by looking at the One Stockport campaign.


The artist will oversee:

  • design and artistic medium
  • health and safety
  • a commitment to sustainable working practices, minimising the environmental impact of the installations

The supporting steering group will oversee:

  • administration
  • landlord liaison and planning
  • marketing and communications
  • partner liaison and community engagement
  • operations management


Applicants are invited to respond to the brief, by submitting a 2-page proposal outlining how they meet the requirements of the role. The submission should include:

  • evidence of documentation specified in the brief alongside a copy of public liability insurance
  • information on previous projects undertaken by the artist which establish credentials for undertaking the work
  • approach to diversity, sustainability and environment considerations
  • an indication of rates of pay or fee expectations
  • a description of service delivery methods and ways of working, considering research, development and implementation stages of event delivery. This should highlight how you would work with us and partners. Joint submissions should consider how they would work together and with us to deliver
  • longevity of your installation (how long you would expect it to last) and maintenance statement
  • contact details of 3 referees

If you've any questions email

All submissions should be emailed to

Closing date: Friday 30 April at 5pm

Shortlisting will take place in early May and ideally contracts awarded by end of May. We'd like to see the artworks installed over the course of summer 2021.

Evaluation criteria

Submissions will be evaluated by the steering group. This includes representatives from the council, Totally Stockport, the Arc Centre and the Writing Squad.

Each submission will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • understanding of the project brief demonstrated in the tender documentation
  • credibility and proven expertise in delivering public artwork
  • strength of evidence against our requirements.
  • effective project management skills as demonstrated by a realistic and viable methodology
  • creative ideas and curatorial elements
  • longevity and sustainability of the artwork proposed

The steering group will seek value for money in the tenders for this project and will judge value not solely on price but on the quality and scope of the proposals being considered. Preference will be given to local artists.