Merseyway contractor chosen as BHS buy completes

Contractor Graham has been lined up to deliver the first phase of works to Stockport’s Merseyway shopping centre, while the council has also completed its purchase of the centre’s former BHS.

Graham will deliver a series of interventions on Adlington Walk, a covered area off the main shopping mall linking to Chestergate. Designed by architect AEW, these will include a lobby-style entrance, a new stair and lift core, overhauling existing retail units, public realm improvements, and new toilets.

There will also be a soft play area, new seating, buggy stores, parent-and-child facilities, and a multi-faith prayer room.

The plans are the first phase of a wider scheme which will see the Merseyway modernised and overhauled to improve access, including linking to the town’s new transport interchange, due to complete in 2022.

As part of the revamp, Stockport Council has completed on the purchase of the former BHS store at the Merseyway; the council first revealed it was looking to buy the BHS around six months ago and entered into an exclusivity agreement with the building’s owner in November last year.

The purchase has now been finalised; the council’s ownership now includes the former BHS store, which is now let to Poundland; 18-20 Merseyway, let to Optical Express; and the freehold of 14-16 Merseyway, where the council already has the leasehold.

CBRE advised the council on its acquisition.

The Merseyway has secured a number of tenants in recent months, including X-Gen VR. The 2,300 sq ft virtual reality gaming centre, set to open in June, includes a VR arcade along with private rooms, where visitors can pay an entry fee for 15, 30, and 60-minute sessions.

The VR gaming centre follows the opening of Tessuti in a 5,000 sq ft unit before Christmas. Other tenants, including Thorntons, EE, WH Smith, and TUi have also committed to lease renewals in the past year.

The council bought the struggling 300,000 sq ft shopping centre out of administration in April 2017.

Graham was chosen for the Merseyway works through the Procure North West framework.

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This is just tinkering! In light of the decline of traditional retail this shopping area needs more radical solutions including selective demolishing, reduction in the retail space more residential buildings and the opening up of the river. This proposal how ever well designed is throwing good money after bad.

By Anonymous

This just feels like a sticking plaster, it will be a total waste of money. Open up the river, make the town centre attractive and open the shops until 8pm. At the moment staff jangle their keys by the doors at 4.30 after 5pm it’s a ghost town. No wonder the high street is dying, nowhere is open.

By Unimpressed

Hadn’t been to Stockport centre for a few months it was depressing then. Sadly this area is now beyond revival. It needs total redevelopment along with underbank. Could be a great town but too many poor decisions have been made over the past few years. Won’t be returning any time soon.

By Peter

Will the concrete murals by Henry and Joyce Collins be preserved and incorporated into the scheme? They are surely some of the best modern decorative work anywhere, part of Stockport’s heritage, and should be kept for future generations to enjoy.

By Dave Lovely

The mersey way has lost a lot of big shops I would like to know what is happening to winter’s on little underbank we have to look at that horrible graffiti every day and that’s down to Stockport council opening the river is a good idea there’s a lot of new small business opening on underbank and they need passing trade but they won’t take the stupid bollards down to let traffic come through and parking is just not there so let them sort that out O I KNOW THEY WONT

By Stage door

What about the area opposite the peel centre, the railway pub and other dilapidated buildings. About time it was all demolished and brought up to date. Looks a disgrace.

By Pam Wildgoose

Why could it be better spent on social care shops are nothing anymore high street gone compleate wast of money

By Terry wild

Stop allowing pound shops. They are taking over the town centre. Get some proper retail shops back in our town please! And you need to encourage independent retailers by having smaller units with lower rents. I live fifteen minutes away from and I would rather drive an hour away to a better shopping area than go Stockport. I still say building the Peel centre was the start of the towns demise. Please consider the town and it’s residents. We need our town back and to be able to be proud of it.

By Anonymous

Planners can’t dictate the occupiers of units, only the type of use. If its retail then any retailer can occupy the space.

By Nordyne

This is plan doesn’t go for enough. It is sticking a plater on an already failed model. Stockport needs more green space, trees and living walls. Stockport council need to be bold – instead of just changing it in its current form the entrance should be taken down and rebuilt.

We all know the plan above will look terrible in 10 years time and the same problem will arise. Be bold Stockport MBC think outside the box. Imagine if you covered the whole thing with a green living wall – reduce the environmental impact of the nearby A6 and would look fantastic

By Anonymous

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