Canada Life to fund Grand Central scheme

David McCourt

Muse Developments and Stockport Council have signed a deal with assurance company Canada Life to forward fund a new multi-storey car park in Stockport.

The agreement will allow the first phase of redevelopment at the Grand Central scheme to begin.

The multi-storey car park will be constructed on land leased to the council by Network Rail, a key stakeholder in the delivery team.

Following completion, the car park will be leased to NCP, and will provide 1,000 spaces next to the mainline station.

The vision for Grand Central is to redevelop the area from a leisure complex into a commercial business district with convenience retail and hotel accommodation.

As well as providing parking facilities for rail customers and visitors to Stockport, the multi-storey car park will release development plots which will be brought forward as part of phase two.

Phase two has been masterplanned for the first commercial office building, new public space, a hotel and highway improvements by 2015.

Phase three will include further office buildings, extension of the open space and further improved accessibility for pedestrians on a phased basis up to 2020.

Stockport Council selected Muse as development partner in December 2011.

Wes Erlam, senior development surveyor at Muse Developments, said: "The agreement with Canada Life is a fantastic achievement for the scheme and for Stockport. The delivery of the car park has been a long held ambition of the council and Network Rail. We now look forward to managing the construction of the building, which will be open and trading by March 2014."

Michael White, property investment director at Canada Life Investments, said: "We hope this will be a catalyst for future development phases of the Grand Central regeneration project."

Cllr Iain Roberts, executive member for economic development and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: "The multi-story car park is a pivotal part of this development and will provide much needed additional car parking for the many rail users of this significant transport hub."

David Biggs, director of property at Network Rail, said: "The delivery of additional parking spaces at Stockport station will help support future growth on the West Coast mainline, and we're looking forward to working with Stockport Council and Muse as plans to regenerate Grand Central progress."

CBRE, DTZ and Eversheds acted for Muse and Stockport Council. GVA and Taylor Wessing acted for Canada Life.

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