The council has agreed to fund the construction of Capital&Centric’s 253-apartment redevelopment of the town centre site following the grant of planning approval last month.
A loan for the £60m Weir Mill project is to be provided through the £100m Mayoral Development Corporation Investment Facility, subject to approval by the council’s economy and regeneration committee later this week.
“It is important to identify that this facility would be funded through prudential borrowing and would not be funded through council reserves or other receipts such as council tax,” the authority said.
Planning approval for Capital&Centric’s Weir Mill project, designed by BDP, was granted in September and construction could begin early next year if the loan is approved.
Adam Higgins, co-founder at Capital&Centric said: “Weir Mill is one of the flagship projects within the Mayoral Development Corporation area and will see a fairly unloved brownfield site regenerated into a thriving new community.
“This funding will help deliver the MDC’s ambitious vision for the town centre, creating a new destination for Stockport, and is a great example of levelling up in action. By working together, the public and private sectors can help reboot the town centre and it’s places like Stockport that are showing how it should be done.”
Stockport Council is keen to see the “complex and difficult” site redeveloped. In the last 20 years, the scheme has been scuppered by “a range of issues including aging and deteriorating listed building structures and viability issues”, the council said.
Cllr David Meller, cabinet member for economy and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “Weir Mill is a priority scheme within the MDC, and through the £100m MDC Investment Facility approved by Cabinet in October 2019, we hope to bring this landmark development forward with debt finance.
“Capital&Centric has a strong track record of delivering similar schemes and this will be a catalyst for further development, delivering 253 new homes, attracting more people to live and work in the town centre, while respecting the original heritage and history of the building.”
Capital&Centric bought the site from Maryland Securities in May 2020
The issue of viability has also proved contentious since the developer lodged a planning application for the project in December.
In order to make the scheme viable, the developer wants to create a 14-storey new-build apartment block that partially obstructs views of Stockport’s famous viaduct.
Despite protests from some conservationists, the council looked past the harm to the heritage asset and gave the project the green light.
The Secretary of State must now decide if he wishes to call in that decision.
Located close to the £120m Stockport Interchange project, Weir Mill forms a key part of the council’s regeneration strategy for the town.
The authority has already received £7m from Homes England to unlock the site for redevelopment.