Stockport sets out next steps for Merseyway

Stockport Council has outlined its proposed regeneration of the town’s Merseyway shopping centre, including the acquisition of an ex-BHS unit, adding green space, and the redevelopment of the former Next block.

The council bought the struggling 300,000 sq ft shopping centre out of administration in April last year, and the past 12 months have seen a number of high-profile store closures including BHS, Marks & Spencer, New Look, and Next.

Stockport’s cabinet first approved an action plan for the shopping centre in December last year and the council has now outlined its next steps to help revitalise the area, which has benefitted from the opening of Redrock, the town’s neighbouring cinema and leisure development.

Chief amongst these is the redevelopment of the former Next block which forms a prominent part of the shopping centre. The council is proposing to split this unit into four, based on three secured pre-lets, and refurbish the building’s façade. This work is likely to commence once heads of terms are agreed with the tenants, who have not yet been named.

The council is also proposing to acquire the former BHS unit, having secured an option on the building with its owner. Further proposals for this building, including a potential refurbishment, are being worked up and are likely to return to cabinet for sign-off in the New Year.

Stockport is also considering the purchase of further retail units when they come available.

The report to the council also said improving public realm would be a key focus of the improvements to the shopping centre, which has a “dated and tired appearance”. This could include cleaning the main frontage of the centre, the installation of pop-up green space, and adding vinyls and banners to the front to promote the redevelopment of the town centre.

The current toilet block in the Merseyway at Vernon Walk is proposed to be overhauled with a new amenity block which the council said would “help reposition Merseyway as a more family-orientated environment”.

A new access core is also set to be installed which will allow direct access from the centre’s car park into Adlington Walk; the council said this would have a knock-on effect of improving access to the centre from Chestergate, Great Underbank, and the old town.

The majority of these projects will be delivered under an agreed funding stream, which is costed at around £40m. The next steps for the Merseyway will be discussed by the council’s economy and regeneration scrutiny committee at a meeting next week.

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What about the car parking charges.Thats what sends people to the Trafford centre And Handforth Dean.
People don’t have to worry about a parking ticket ,when they return to their cars.

By P ryder

Great if this takes work away from the relentless, never ending road works then at least the roads will be clear for once.

By Beryl Smith

Will Stockport residents be consulted regarding the plans?

By Suzanne sutherland

Stop trying to flog a dead horse. Merseyway has had its day. Do the world a favour and demolish the entire thing. Restore the river.

By Stockport Person

Another waste of public money

By A Heslop

Restore the river and have shops and restaurants either side with bridges crossing over, please don’t make it look like the ugly buildings on princess street that you have built, it looks bloody awful .

By Tracie

Stop polishing a turd – redevelop.

Retail is dead, as much as I love Stockport as my home, it’s increasingly difficult to argue that against the idea that retail is increasingly becoming unsustainable in towns like Stockport. The draw of the regional centre, Trafford centre and other retail outlet parks is too strong.

The highstreet isn’t calling out for more chain shops – we don’t need more River Islands, more TopShop, more H Samuel. That doesn’t improve the area, that doesn’t improve peoples experience of the area, and it certainly doesn’t benefit the wider community. 1980s town planning failing Stockport again.

Open up the river as well, why not aye.

By Daveboi

Opening up the river would make a much greater difference to Stockport than upgrading an already terrible shopping complex. Stockport council are totally incompetent as can be seen from that mess they call Redrock! Stockport could be an amazing town with the right leadership and investment.

By Pete

@ P Ryder… Parking charges? the NCP at redrock is £2.70 for 3 hours which seem reasonable to me considering city centre Manchester is £10.50 for the same time. Getting to and from Stanley Green and the Trafford Centre is pretty terrible and you’d probably spend that money in fuel by sitting in traffic. With regard to Mersey Way, like others in this forum I’d be tempted to drop everything and start again. It’s a shame that they hadn’t considered this prior to erecting Redrock, we may have avoided the carbuncle that is that development…

By Aevis

The Trafford centre is flourishing every day off the year so I’m sure if you figured out what it is that makes it work then implement ideas into Stockports plans of improvement. If you do it wrong then Mersey Way won’t be the place people want to visit but do it right then it becomes a place you could happily call Stockport. You’ve got 40 Million to work with but please don’t invite the Red Rocks Architects back.

By D.morley

The Trafford Centre is flourishing every day it’s really busy, They have got it right so why not implement some off the same into Stockport centre? Opening up the River isn’t a good idea, it gives me the chills just thinking about it as I see more danger for our young ones. Stockport can be great again if it’s brought up to date.

By D.Morley

Stockport like all towns will not succeed because the stores like m&s bhs even c&a can never be replaced
So shoppers won’t come!!!!!

By A stockport resident who cares!!!!!

Merseyway is a dump and has been for years. Demolish it, restore the river and build a massive wall to hide the dreadful Redrock “development”. Stop wasting millions of pounds of public money abd fulfil the duties you were elected to undertake.

By T Burns

Knock it all down – including Redrock, a giant tin can that is one of the ugliest buildings in the UK/world. Stop trying to make a town centre work. It is an outdated concept. Ok

By Owen Freeman

Council are deluded. Red rock is a disgrace. £40m for a Zizzi and pizza express gym and cinema. Attaching it to that Debenhams that is way unsafe for nowadays and was out of time 20 years ago never mind now – embarrassing. Council need sacking. Then tear the joke which redrock down asap. And now they want to pump money into Merseyway? Why? No point at all. Here’s the answer – demolish it, flatten it, enough, it’s out of date, unsafe and a relic of concrete times. Open the river, demolish the Asda and Sainsbury’s at the end, also demolish the carpet shop and the paint shop and all those embarrassing poorly built relics opposite the peel so it’s one big straight line. Build a park, green land stick some trees. Anything but what is there now.

By Al_Heaton

Merseyway seriously needs some council investment! And that Investment should be into dynamite, and a wrecking ball and mile-wide safety screen.

By Stocks

I like Red Rock, I know that goes against the grain but it’s really good and from the back? Well it looks like the back of most modern cinemas, however the High Street is finished, they should either relocate all the shops into the Peel centre or into Merseyway but there’s no logic in 2 centres so close.

By Paulo

These plans are tinkering with the already outdated retail offering. Merseyway needs radical proposals including residential development, public realm, the opening up of the river and better access to the market area. £40 million is not enough to achieve the necessary transformation of this area the council need to be way more ambitious.

By Lenny1968

Demolish merseyway. Demolish the ridiculous Asda, demolish the dreadful Sainsbury’s. Allow decent investors to build good quality small and medium sized retail units to attract the shops that a town centre needs, decent Mothercare, moderm M&S, link to Peel centre and make pedestrian friendly and free parking. Simple, not rocket science. We can see it. Why can’t the council. £40m on a pizza express and cinema? Ridiculous. Better than what was there though.

By Bobby

They want to invent an all day universal car parking ticket at the weekend so you pay one price but can move about from car park to car park

By Anonymous