Stockport Council is inviting public views on the first phase of a proposed overhaul of the Merseyway shopping centre, designed to create improved access and facilities.
Focussing on Adlington Walk, which is a covered area off the main shopping mall linking to Chestergate, the plans are to create community and welfare facilities in the town centre.
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.
Designed by architect AEW, the plans are the first part of a wider proposal 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.
Although there have been a number of high-profile store closures since the council bought the centre out of administration in April 2017, including BHS, Marks & Spencer, New Look, and Next, Stockport has set out a plan to revitalise the centre with a series of interventions.
These include the redevelopment of the former Next block which forms a prominent part of the shopping centre, which will be split into four units, while last month, the council agreed to progress with its purchase of the former BHS store.
Consultation events will be held on the plans at Arden Walk in the Merseyway between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday 22 May and Friday 24 May, where members of the public can give their views to representatives from the council, the architect, and asset manager CBRE.
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 recent months.