Stockport Council outlines plans to make Stockroom one of the most accessible buildings in Greater Manchester

Over 1200 people have now responded to the consultation on the Council’s proposal to move Town Centre library services from Central Library into Stockroom.

The consultation runs until the 18th October and the Council is keen to encourage as many people as possible to have their say before the closing date. People can find out more about the proposal and share their views here: www.stockport.gov.uk/haveyoursay

As part of the work to develop Stockroom, the Council will be installing brand new customer facilities along Adlington Walk that will feature ‘best in class’, high quality toilets, new parent and child facilities and a quiet room for prayer or reflection. These new facilities will be an asset for the whole town centre and would help to make Stockroom one of the most accessible buildings in the Greater Manchester.

A host of features will make sure everyone can access Stockroom, including new landscaping improvements on Chestergate, providing easy access into the building for people with limited mobility and wheelchair users and a new lift, bringing people down from the car park above and directly into the remodelled Adlington Walk.

Stockroom would also feature a range of initiatives that would make using those services contained in Stockroom much easier. These would include; hearing loops throughout; Low level counter service; access to braille, large print or interpreting services; Assistance Dogs welcomed; secure scooter and buggy parking.

Stockroom will be the first building in the town centre equipped with a ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility; the highest standard of accessible facilities which meet the needs of people with more severe disabilities, and those of their families and carers.

A brand new best in class toilet block will replace the existing toilets in the Merseyway Centre and a new concierge point will provide advice and guidance to visitors to the town.

Stockroom is also set to feature its very own ‘Sensory Room’ providing a range of calming and stimulating sensory inputs designed for group or individual needs. Really helpful for children on the autistic spectrum and a great facility for school or youth club visits to Stockport.

There will also be vastly improved facilities, including mother and baby feeding facilities and a quiet room for prayer or reflection, both of which are much needed in the town centre.

Louise Parrot-Bates, Chief Executive of Stockport-based charity Pure Innovations, which supports local people with a range of learning disabilities, said:
“Our clients at Pure are really excited about the plans for Stockroom.

“They have been discussing how free services in the Merseyway centre are a great step forward that would help people in their everyday lives. We all think it would be important that Stockroom would be accessible to all visitors.

“There was lots of excitement about some of the potential facilities in the Stockroom proposal; in particular a sensory room available to all would benefit so many. “

Cllr David Sedgwick said: “We have high ambitions for Stockroom and want it become one of the most accessible buildings in Greater Manchester as well as Stockport.

“By harnessing £14.5m of Government money we can put accessibility at the heart of Town Centre and in doing so widen learning and cultural opportunities for tens of thousands of across the borough.”

“The current library building on the A6 is an attractive, well-loved heritage asset that we want to preserve but it was built more than 100 years ago before accessibility was considered in this way.

“We want to ensure that everyone can equally, confidently and independently use the new facilities. We want to create a truly inclusive environment that can be used safely, easily and with dignity by all resident groups.”

Stockport residents are encouraged to find out more about the proposal and share their views on the consultation portal.