Stockport Set for Bumper 2024

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, outlines some of the exciting developments and events coming to fruition in Stockport this year.

Stockport Set for Bumper 2024

Stockport’s renaissance continues with 2024 promising to be even bigger and better for the borough with the completion of several developments and the start of the next wave of even more large-scale events lined up for the year ahead with Stockport continuing as the Greater Manchester Town of Culture.

Last year was a fantastic year for Stockport, with the borough being hailed by the national press as a fantastic place to live and work - being lauded as a great place to put down roots after consumer group Which? recognised Stockport as one of the 12 best places in the UK to retire, and the borough was also recognised as one of the country’s 12 best places for first-time buyers by the Times newspaper. But the year ahead is set to go one step further with many of the Council’s regeneration plans coming to fruition.

One of the biggest single projects outside of London, the transformation of the old bus station into a modern transport interchange will be fully open in early spring and has fascinated many over the last two years. The project will include:

  • a brand new two-acre park on the roof of the Interchange for everyone to enjoy. It will include nearly 500 trees across the development, an in-built ‘blue-roof’ drainage system that will capture and store rainwater plus solar panels generating renewable energy;
  • 196 new, high-quality residential apartments;
  • state-of the-art transport facilities including a fully accessible, covered passenger concourse with seated waiting areas, cycle storage facilities, 18 bus stands that accommodate 168 bus departures, new bus, and train travel information screens, plus a Travelshop and fully accessible toilets with baby changing and Changing Places facilities.

The whole scheme will provide better and easier routes to the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists, with improved links to the rail station, Merseyway and the River Mersey.

Stockport Exchange, the new town centre business hub, will also be completing its fourth phase with a high-quality 64,000 sq ft office building and a 399-space multi-storey car park. Previous phases of the development have already attracted national and international firms such as BASF and Stagecoach, as well as home-grown Stockport businesses musicMagpie and ONP. The latest business to sign up to this new phase are HURSTS accountants.

Coming this autumn and supported by £14.5m from the Future High Streets Fund, Stockroom, the new creative, learning and discovery centre, will be open in the town centre. This will be a fantastic, accessible, family-friendly learning and discovery space in the middle of the town in Merseyway. Stockroom will be a multi-use community space, designed to be welcoming for everyone and there will be further opportunities for the public to have their say on Stockroom during the year.

In addition, the former BHS building on Merseyway will welcome a new JD Sports flagship store and Poundland also in the Spring, building the opening of new co-working space at Merseyway Innovation Centre late last year and the conversion of the old M&S into new offices, Stok.

It is also going to be a busy year for Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC), the vehicle set up by Stockport Council and GM Mayor, Andy Burnham to deliver 4,000 new homes in the Town Centre by 2035.

In addition to the Interchange, the MDC are working with well-known Manchester-developer Capital&Centric on Weir Mill which will deliver 253 new apartments later this year, 100 of which will be in the refurbished Grade 2 19th Century mill building.

Stockport MDC and the English Cities Fund (ECF) have announced that a first community conversation on the £250m plans to create an exciting mixed-use neighbourhood to the west of Stockport town centre, will launch in January 2024. Local people will be invited to find out more and have their say on an initial draft. Further details will be announced soon, and a planning application is expected in the summer.

Work is also underway on the old Stockport College site with developer Cityheart delivering 442 new homes, the first of which should be due in 2025.

Work is also expected to start on the former Play Centre site opposite Weir Mill in Spring of this year by Great Places Housing Group. This will be in addition to the site they are already building on King Street, and both will deliver 217 affordable homes.

Another 130 affordable homes are also being built by the Guinness Partnership on Edward Street on the site of the former snooker hall.

This year, in March we will launch One Stockport: One Future plan which will build on the success of our partnership Borough Plan. It is a call to action focused on the future and taking to the next level changes we want to make over the next 15 years, under five key themes with related objectives and goals that will have the greatest effect on how we can make Stockport the best place for all our residents to live happy and healthy lives. The Council Plan, to be published soon, feeds into this borough plan and highlights the Council’s priorities over the next three years.

The borough will also be continuing as Greater Manchester Town of Culture, and the next few months will mark the culmination of a fantastic year to celebrate the status. The remaining part of the programme, which will be unveiled later this month, will bring dance, music, and digital arts opportunities, and will conclude in a showcase of all that has been developed and delivered on the weekend of 8-10 March.

A key landmark will be the full reopening of Hatworks Museum to reveal a vibrant new Gallery of Hats and refreshed machinery floor in March and the opening of Stockport’s latest icon – the park at the Interchange – with programme of creative and cultural activity.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2024.

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council said: "We are an ambitious borough with a positive agenda for the future of all our communities. There are amazing things planned or coming to fruition in 2024. From our nationally acclaimed regeneration schemes to our continuing Town of Culture celebrations, Stockport is buzzing. I am looking forward with optimism to another great year ahead!"