Statement on Stockroom following Cabinet Meeting: 01 February 2022

Stockport Council’s Cabinet confirmed its decision to proceed with the investment of £14.5m of Future High Streets Funding in the Stockroom project.

This took place at a meeting on Tuesday 1 February and will transform the town centre by providing a new learning and discovery hub at its heart. It also resolved to relocate library services into Stockroom providing a new 21st Century library as part of the project.

A recommendation was passed to amend the original decision (7 December 2021) with a cross party working group to be established to develop proposals for relocating the Continuing Education Service into the Central Library Building whilst retaining a library offer. The group will report back to Cabinet later this year with their recommendations.

Councillor Elise Wilson, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This is a game changing opportunity to spend £14.5m of government money improving our town centre with new public facilities, breathing new life into vacant retail which will attract thousands of much needed visitors back to Stockport town centre. I am pleased that we can now move forward and deliver this fantastic community hub which will benefit local people for generations to come.

“We recognise the affection for Central Library that many have expressed. As well as having clearly pledged to safeguard the future of this historic building, the newly established cross-party working group will ensure its long-term future is protected. We already have a track record of restoring and preserving historic buildings, with more than a £7m investment in the Underbanks and over £500,000 in the Town Hall.

“After consulting widely with a number of different groups such as the VCSE sector and disability groups, it is evident that there is a real need for a modern, fully accessible space in a central location. As a council we are passionate about inclusivity and the facilities on offer in Stockroom will cater for everyone. That to me, shows real progress and I am excited about the possibilities that this will bring for many people. We want to create a truly inclusive environment that can be used safely, easily and with dignity by all residents.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve our town centre with new public facilities to support our growing population and we need to grasp it with both hands and now get on with bringing these ambitious plans to life.”