Stockroom Elevation
Inspiration for the scheme has been taken from other similar developments across the country, including Storyhouse in Chester

Stockport seeks input on Stockroom vision 

Dan Whelan

The council is asking residents to help it shape the town centre development that will see 47,000 sq ft of vacant retail space at Merseyway converted into a public services facility. 

Stockroom is one aspect of a multifaceted project to repurpose former retail units in the town centre. 

The facility will be located across three floors at Merseyway, within the former Mothercare and Topshop units off Adlington Walk.

This week the council has launched a month-long engagement exercise on plans for Stockroom, proposed as a mixed-use learning, culture and events space, according to the authority. 

A statement from Stockport Council said: “Stockroom will be an inclusive and accessible space that will support the people of Stockport to learn new skills, practice arts and crafts, enjoy live music and performances and benefit from cutting edge learning and IT facilities.” 

Inspiration for the scheme has been taken from other similar developments across the country, including Storyhouse in Chester, which attracts one million visitors a year. 

Stockport has already won funding for Stockroom after the council was successful in securing £14.5m from the Government’s £1bn Future High Streets Fund, which aims to renew and reshape high streets up and down the country. 

However, the project has cast doubt on the future of Stockport Central Library on Wellington Road, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic but is due to reopen later this month. 

Stockport Central Library

The future of Stockport Central Library is uncertain

The council plans to permanently relocate the town’s library offer from Central Library to Stockroom if residents support the proposals. 

A full public consultation would be held before a decision on the future of the listed Central Library is made, the council has insisted. 

Cllr David Sedgwick, cabinet member for citizen focus and engagement at Stockport Council, said: “We are confident Stockroom will bring hundreds of thousands of additional visitors to Stockport and transform a key town centre location into a valuable mixed-purpose facility for people of all ages.  

“We are now embarking on an extensive engagement exercise in July where we want our residents to help shape what goes into Stockroom.” 

Other town centre projects include Stok, a 64,000 sq ft mixed-use commercial scheme within the former M&S unit on Princes Street being delivered by developer Glenbrook. 

The former BHS unit, which the council owns, is also primed for redevelopment.  

Stok Reception Glenbrook

Glenbrook’s Stok is to feature office space

The store is to be divided into two retail units with occupiers expected to be announced soon. 

Elsewhere, the vacant Next unit and neighbouring gym are to be converted to create a 15,000 sq ft innovation centre featuring self-contained offices and co-working space.

The One Stockport Hub in the 3,000 sq ft former Argos unit at the entrance to Merseyway is a precursor to Stockroom and opened in March to provide a temporary library service for residents. 

 

Your Comments

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My views on this matter. The library hub in Merseyway is ideally situated being close to the vicinity of the bus station. Elderly citizens should find it easier to walk on the flat from the bus station instead of having to walk up and down the hill to the Central library. If the library is going into the Stockroom I can’t see this being a problem only a short walk away.

By Jean Richardson

Over 7,000 signatures have already been gathered in a petition objecting to the library move from the Grade II listed building. The existing Library is equidistant from the bus station, has bus stops immediately outside, is closer to the rail station, and will be surrounded on 3 sides by new apartment developments within 10 minute walks from the site. All the mod-cons being offered for the Merseyway site could be installed in the existing library. If the Council wants to prop up a failed retail site, it could move its town hall office public-facing services to that location.

By John Fidler

All Stockport council appear to care about is replacing good retail space with “hubs” and learning areas. What about encouraging some shops in to the town. Princess Street is a disgrace, shops empty and filthy pavements. Why not reduce the retail rents and regenerate the town and the non existent market instead of putting hubs in place which people don’t want or need. The library should go back to its original building and not be sold off which I bet is what the council want to do.

By Julie James

What would the council do with the original library? A good idea would be to have a walk in health center and a walk in dentist. Howeve ever I agree with rents being reduce on Princess Street so shop regeneration could be upheld. If the Hilton is going to build a hotel in Bridgefield Street how would you feel stepping out onto the rubbish of Princess Street which should now be the focus of the councils regeneration. This town has applied twice for city status, what a joke

By Margaret Bailey

What Stockport needs is a night time economy. All these facilities proposed are of little use to those who work and pay for them unless they are open outside of office hours. The retail sector should be encouraged to have shift patterns and stay open until about 10pm. People would then use the town centre amenities when there is less parking pressure and follow up possibly with a meal out. The daytime opening caters for pensioners and unemployed. This includes markets. Look at the attraction of Christmas markets..same could apply all year round.
The historic library building should be at least retained as a public space, however used. The people of Stockport have paid for it. I have no recollection of any manifesto suggesting it should be sold!

By Lily Kerrigan

So the council wants to waste money in turning a failing shopping centre. Instead of turning empty retail units in to ‘hubs’ why don’t they concentrate on attracting Anchor stores Instead of encouraging cheap pound shops and charity shops, I believe that when these shops start appearing is a sign that the town centre is failing. The council didn’t fight hard enough to persuade Marks and Spencer to remain in on Merseyway. As soon as M&S BHS, Debenhams all closed, the slow decline of Stockport town centre began. As for the Market, the Councillors of the Borough should hang their heads in shame, They are trying to emulate what Altrincham did with their Market, well I’m sorry to say that Stockport isn’t Altrincham!

By Jeremy Wood

leave the library alone

By Anonymous

we have a library we need shops

By james

We need shops,bistros and places to go evenings and weekends.We already have a beautiful library,just need parking spaces.The plans the Council have are ridiculous not everyone will use the facilities they are proposing.The Council have deliberately let the town centre become rundown so we will say Yes to anything.These plans have been on the way for a long time and now they are asking our views on plans that are slam dunk,they are just paying lip service to us on what is already decided.We should have been consulted at the Start not the End.

By Christine Pennington

I don’t mind the library being moved, just so long as the old library is repurposed.

By Phillip Bailey

The library relocation is a very good idea, it’s much nearer to the other amenities and transport.

By Wendy Brindley

Some people are naturally apprehensive about change. With more shopping being done on line there is reduced need for shops in the town centre. There needs to be more community conversations about reducing climate change. Those requesting more car parks don’t seem to yet understand that we have to aim for less car use. We should be walking, cycling or using public transport to reach the town centre. I think Stockport council are working hard to provide the changes needed.

By Janet McKenna

Jeremy Wood > why don’t they they concentrate on attracting Anchor stores

What ‘anchor stores’ ? As you’ve acknowledged, two of the traditional UK anchor stores have already left Stockport in recent years, BHS went years ago. John Lewis is closing branches nationally and already has a store very near to Stockport town centre. Having a town-centre strategy depending on anchor stores would be to ignore reality and the last 20 years of high street high history.

By Sten

For me, this is another waste of tax payers money. when we have a beautiful library, that could host all the things this ‘stockroom’ could.
Leaving the retail space for more restaurants, or a small food market which the main centre has been lacking since Marks and Spencer closed.

By Tina Manley

The existing central library should stay where it is, and be improved!
You could still make a hub, but have it like a history of Stockport & it’s people too.
There needs to be investment into the retail sector, by lowering rents and business rates, to attract a wider selection of retailers, and invest in the nighttime economy. There’s no late night shopping, or nightclubs etc! The centre is a ghost town after 6pm. Please listen to the views of your residents, and don’t just barge on into this

By Noreen Dillon