New Hospital, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust And Stockport Council, P Stockport Council
Artistic rendering of what the new hospital could look like if it receives government funding and approval. Credit: via Stockport Council

Stockport plans £500m hospital on Debenhams site

Julia Hatmaker

The council and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust have bid for funds to replace Stepping Hill Hospital with a new town centre medical facility.

Current plans have that facility in an area that includes the Heaton Lane multi-storey car park and former Debenhams store.

“We know that many of our patients, visitors and staff, particularly those living in outlying areas, don’t find it easy to get to Stepping Hill Hospital,” said Karen James, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. “The proposed town centre site is close to key transport hubs and would allow us, as a major employer in the town, to play our part in the exciting regeneration of Stockport.”

At this point, no new hospital is officially in the works. The Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has only placed its bid for Stockport to get one of the 40 facilities promised under the government’s £3.7bn New Hospitals Programme. Money has already been given out for 32 new-build projects and the programme is actively looking for another eight to sponsor.

Among the 32 new-build hospitals that have received funding are North Manchester General Hospital and Royal Preston and Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

Estimates from Stockport Council, which is working alongside the NHS trust on the bid, report that £500m would be needed from the government to create a state-of-the-art hospital.

That new hospital is very much needed, according to James.

“Stepping Hill Hospital has served the people of Stockport and surrounding areas well since it opened in 1905, but all hospital buildings reach the end of their useful lives,” she said.

“Stepping Hill Hospital is an ageing hospital that was not designed to deliver modern acute services and we are also facing a £40m maintenance bill,” James continued. “But even if we had the funds available to carry out all the work needed, it still would not provide the modern hospital environment patients and staff deserve.”

Stepping Hill won’t be going away overnight. Even if funding is secured, James estimated that it could take seven to eight years before a new hospital would be able to open. During that time the trust plans to continue investing in maintaining Stepping Hill – including continuing its £30.6m plan to develop a new emergency care campus.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Is there anything they’re not trying to put into Stockport town centre at the moment?

By the light of the moon

Great idea – healthcare could be just the boost town centres need- the idea has been mooted for some time. It doesn’t have to be of such scale but small private or NHS facilities perhaps involving day care and minor ops could assist greatly in dealing with the huge NHS back log.

By Andrew Richardson

Crikey, Stockport are so ahead of the curve, other councils – take note of what they do and how they do it !

By Paul Dyson

Perhaps they could call it the TARDIS hospital because the Debenhams site isn’t that big. And right next to the motorway as well – the current A6 site isn’t that healthy pollution-wise but next to the M60!

By Phil Turtle

This is yet another folly. Who is advising the Council, and the NHS?

By Bruce Wayne

Wow that will be nice to get a new hospital in stockport has stockport is growing all the time and just one hospital is not good

By Dale Hart

Hi @Phil! I’ve updated this story to clarify that the site in question includes the Debenhams AND it also includes the Heaton Lane multi-storey car park. Sorry for the confusion!

By Julia Hatmaker

Just when Stockport was going well, it’s going to get rough round there, is there even sufficient parking?

By Cal

Great idea, Services for eg Out Patients would benifit greatly.
I was worried it was going to be another folly like Redrock or Flats.

By Teresa Bell

Handy for RTA’s on the A6

By Ann Bulance

It would be nice to have a new hospital but I wonder where everyone (staff, visitors, patients etc) will park?

By Annie

Debhenams doesn’t seem nearly big enough to carry out all the functions of stepping hill, and it’s location doesn’t seem very A&E friendly/ accessible.

By Anya

Re the parking comments, 1) I am sure a MSP will be included in the plans but 2) this has obviously been chosen as a site due to the existing and proposed sustainable methods of transport, which are close by

By Bradford

For those puzzled about fitting all these features on the Debenhams site, the artist has drawn it as if looking down on the site from the Viaduct. The main site is on Heaton Lane were the new bus station / Heaton Lane car park is situated, the small building opposite it is The Pineapple pub. It’s difficult to make out how the hospital spans the A6 to the Debenhams site, but I imagine some kind of covered bridge.

By Michael

Great news, should be ready for about 2026 to start dealing with the NHS backlog :-)

By Mr E

I would be happier if this was as well as Stepping Hill not instead of. The number of patients warrants this,with SHH as the outpatient base and the new one as a diagnostic and treatment centre.

By Stuart Hayward

With the same so-called consultants earning a quarter of amillion for part-time work, other days at a private hospital, refusing to work weekends, so trainee juniors have to hold the fort?

By James Yates

Following the disaster when Carillion went into liquidation and left many major capital projects unfinished very carefull consideration needs to be given when designing and specifying the new hospital and which Terms of Contract and Procurement are selected .
The Building Control for Stockport MBC needs to take responsibility for signing off the building construction and Fire Protection systems and construction materials used and avoid using external Building Control Consultants who could go into liquidation in the future.
The NHS Healthcare Planners must take full responsibility for ensuring that the completed building is exactly what the Client Needs.
Monthly cost reports are essential to keep track on the budget and any variations.
The appointed Mechanical and Electrical Designers need to come up with energy efficient designs and the best future proofed fuel to use especially if the new buildings need to conform to green building efficiency.

By Paul Griffiths

What a stupid idea. What ever space they are trying to use, car park included, its nowhere near as big a site as stepping Hill. Plus what’s the sense in putting that right in the center of Stockport, thereby increasing traffic even more in a already busy area, and by taking parking away. Where is everyone, the staff, the day patients, and visitors supposed to park? That’s hundreds of cars

By Michael Godfrey

This would be so great for the town. Excellent idea.

By Sudhakar Patel

How about removing red rocks that would be big enough. OMG will it look like red rocks.

By Eddie McDermott

You could bulldoze the town centre entirely and have room for a fantastic state of the art hospital with ample parking. Stockport Town centre has been crumbling and forgotten for years. The market and underbank areas are the heart of the town and still have the potential to be improved and invested in further.

By Clarke Kent

Seven to eight years? Take a look at the Royal Liverpool….How many years now and still not open.

By Anonymous

“Is there anything they’re not trying to put into Stockport town centre at the moment?”

-Yes, quality architecture.

By Anonymous

I think the council are just trying to fill yet another void in the town centre that nobody wants, it just so happens that the debenhams building is owned by the council who bought it a few years back, the A6 is already a bottle neck for traffic but if they are serious about it why don’t they condense the shops that are left in Stockport into this proposed site, as they would probably fit and and put the hospital in the town centre, I know people will think this is a stupid idea but they started it !!

By M Harford

That is a brilliant idea. After living in reddish for 31 years. I have always found it difficult to get to stepping hill hospital.

By Lois sparkes

Good.. Whot. A. Great. Idea

By James

This will never come to fruition, years of dithering will make sure of that

By Zed

It has been mentioned by others, RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOTORWAY!

By Derek

I think it would be a mistake to place a hospital in the middle of the town. Traffic can be very bad as it is, add to that all the people travelling to and from a major hospital plus of course the ambulances trying to get in and out quickly and the traffic situation could quickly turn chaotic, putting people’s lives at risk. And why close Stepping Hill, which is a much larger site and has had many modern wards and facilities added to it in recent years. Why waste all of that? If the new proposed hospital were in addition to Stepping Hill, then that would be acceptable – to replace it – one of the stupidest ideas the council has had.

By J Romero

After all the money spent to build the new scan dept, why on carry on rebuilding at the present site
Demolish the out patients B, start the rebuild there and then move wards into the new build and then demolish another part and so on until the new hospital is built. Wards at that end have already been demolished
If the proposed train stop had been opened at SHH then accessing it would be far easier
If you move the hospital to the centre of Stockport what will happen to the present site ? Another piece of waste land that on one will want

By Harry