Fate of Stockport library decided  

A long-running debate on the future of Central Library seemingly came to an end last night as the Labour-run cabinet stood by its decision to relocate the service to Merseyway. 

With the library service moving to Stockroom, a 47,000 sq ft town centre hub located in vacant retail units at Merseyway, the Central Library building on Wellington Road will become the home of Stockport’s adult education service. 

Read more about Stockroom and the debate surrounding it 

While opposition councillors supported the idea of creating a town centre public service hub, there was vocal opposition to the relocation of the library.  

So much so that a full council meeting in January asked that cabinet to rescind the decision to move the library from Wellington Road into the town centre. 

However, cabinet argued that opting not to relocate the library – which has seen user numbers drop by more than 40% in the last decade – could jeopardise the £14.5m Future High Street Fund award from government.  

The library portion of Stockroom amounts to between 30% and 50% of the project and removing it would require the council to refresh its business case for the project, according to a report to the authority’s cabinet. 

The delay this would cause could add an extra £1.5m to the cost of the project, the report added. 

While cabinet voted last night to stick by its decision to relocate the library, members attempted to appease opponents by agreeing to set up a cross-party working group to explore the possibility of retaining a “linked library offer” in the building. 

The working group must report back to the cabinet with its recommendations by 20 September 2022. 

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This is the correct decision, get on with it and stop playing politics. The uproar might’ve been avoided if they’d come up with a solid proposal for the future use of the existing library building sooner, so that it could’ve been seen as part of a single proposal.

By Gethin

Well done to the council’s Cabinet for sticking with the original decision.

By Sceptic

good to see that the best interests of existing & future library users, and their potential contribution to vibrancy in the town centre, has prevailed – important that the existing heritage building is proactively repurposed now too!


Lets hope the May elections give the Labour group a working majority.

By Rich X

Very happy to hear that the correct decision was made, and the interests of Stockport as a whole have prevailed.

By Tom

I really wish they would just get on with SOMETHING and stop arguing/showing off the plans. This has been going on for years. We are literally desperate for a Changing Places Facility in the town centre and at this rate it’s never ever going to happen.

By Kathy

I agree that you can’t beat a bit of proactive repurposing.

By Joe

Pleased this will be going ahead and not before time!

By Kris Marshall

I am really pleased with the decision and I hope that along with the Transport Hub, Stockroom, BHS Building, M&S etc that this is a catalyst for the future of tidying up Merseyway and Princes Street especially. Hopefully we get a new beginning for the Debenhams building too.

By Stephen S

Whether you agree or not with the Library moving , this is not democracy in action. This is not representative of the people and this what they are supposed to do. Next time it might be an issue that affects you and it will be interesting to see people’s views then. Also name calling by the leader of the council is not professional.

By Annoyed

This building was gifted to the people of Stockport but in the councils wisdom money comes before heritage

By Mrs Lesley Campbell

Dreadful decision. Closing heritage off to the regular people of the town, for a miserable proposal to help try and revive the moribund merseyway shopping centre. Hopefully the Labour council will be punished for this come May.

By Paul Dulmoon

Rich X, it’s totally impossible for Labour to take control of Stockport council unless they can break out of the town centre and Reddish/Brinnington, and start winning seats in places like Romiley, Marple, Bramhall, Woodford, Heald Green and the like; ain’t going to happen in our lifetimes – fortunately.

The current situation of no party able to do anything without the support of a second one, and any two being able to out-vote a third has served the borough well; take a look at next-door Tameside where the Council leader says she’ll be on the first bulldozer into the green belt because Tameside is a one-party state and she can ignore who she’s likes with no come-back.

By AltPoV

Just to come back to AltPoV. Stockport might feel it has the luxury of not developing its green belt, other outer boroughs of GM take a different view for one very good reason. If you are somewhere like Rochdale (or maybe Tameside) green belt encased your towns before they had the ability to build out significant amounts of middle class housing – that means they under-index in households with higher than average incomes, skills, and people who when they put their kids into the state education expect high standards.

By Rich X

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