Stockport Council and Stockport Heritage Trust are celebrating after being awarded £1.8m for their Rediscover the Underbanks project from the Heritage Lottery Fund to revive part of the Old Town area of the centre.
Working in partnership with property owners, investors and local businesses, the project will focus on the repair and re-use of historic buildings, including the reinstatement of traditional shop fronts and features. At the same time, a range of community-led events and digital platforms will allow new audiences to explore the Underbanks and its history.
Detailed plans will be drawn up in the coming year. Cllr Kate Butler, member for economy and regeneration, said: “We have so much to be proud of in Stockport with a wealth of fascinating history, heritage and culture to explore. These are exciting times for us and this further investment will perfectly complement the council’s commitment to regeneration across the town centre.”
Coral Dranfield from Stockport Heritage Trust commented: “Stockport Heritage Trust feels excited that the importance of the Underbanks has been recognised with the award of this National Lottery grant and that, after regeneration, it will emerge again as a place to go and enjoy a unique experience. Rediscovering the Underbanks is already underway with guided walks, a new booklet and basing 2017 Heritage Open Days around discovering the history of the Underbanks.”
Nathan Lee, head of HLF North West, said: “We’ve been investing money raised through the National Lottery in the UK’s historic conservation areas for more than 20 years and we’ve seen first-hand the incredible difference it has made to local communities. This project in particular has the potential to have a powerful effect not only on local pride but also on local economic prosperity in Stockport.”