Weir Mill Capital & Centric
The development site is on the banks of the River Mersey in Stockport's Cheadle Heath

Weir Mill plans take shape

Dan Whelan

Manchester-based Capital & Centric aims to lodge an application by the end of the year for its £60m redevelopment of the Stockport mill into 254 apartments, following a second round of public consultation. 

Under the developer’s proposals, a total of 87 of the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments would be housed within the existing East Mill and West Mill buildings and a further 167 would be spread across two new-build blocks on the site of Weir Mill in Cheadle Heath. 

The scheme, designed by architect BDP, would also feature 24,000 sq ft of commercial space including the West Shed, which could house a bar, restaurant or co-working space.

The development would include a frontage onto the River Mersey, opening up public access to the waterside. Capital & Centric is also proposing to retain the cast iron columns of the Weavers Shed at the mill to create an outdoor riverside venue for street markets, DJ sets and live music events. 

Capital & Centric confirmed its purchase of the site from Maryland Securities in May. 

Weir Mill C&C

Plans for the project are to be submitted before the end of the year, according to C&C

Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “We had an incredible response to our first consultation. People really want to see Weir Mill restored and loved the idea of opening it back up for local people to enjoy. We’re looking to create a mini-city ecosystem of cafe bars, delis, co-working spaces, gyms and everything else is between.” 

He added: “This is the future of our town centres. Dynamic and progressive towns like Stockport will be full of residents rather than shops. Projects like this take pressure off the Green Belt while breathing new life into historic structures.”

The project is part of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation’s plans to regenerate the town. Sitting within the Town Centre West regeneration zone, the Weir Mill site is close to the station and transport hub, which is undergoing a £120m development backed by £7m of Housing Infrastructure Fund money from Homes England. 

Stockport Council leader Elise Wilson said: “It’s great to see these ambitious plans for Weir Mill taking shape. This site is important in the regeneration of Town Centre West and the wider town centre. 

“Involving the local community is really important so I’d encourage local residents to get involved in this second consultation and have their say on the plans.” 

The consultation closes on Wednesday 2 December.

Your Comments

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Another exciting scheme from Capital & Centric, this is how to re-purpose historic buildings. I wonder if they will utilise the old Mill water wheel to generate electricity for the building, I can just make it out in the renders.

By Jon P

Excited to see this come forward – looks like it could be a really dynamic scheme, especially the public realm

By Bradford

Fair play. This looks pretty damn good and retains the mill. Much needed.

By Observer

Looks like C&C have delivered the goods again – this looks magic! And the red is a good choice! It stands out yet nods to the red brick heritage. A great looking scheme arising from a seemingly constrained part of town. With this and the Underbanks, the town is really becoming one to watch. Now, just to open up more of the Mersey…

By Steve Webberley

It looks brilliant, I love the striking new against the old. My only concern would be the taller tower, interrupting a full panoramic view of the viaduct.

By Vincent

I just don’t get how this is deliverable. Either a project like this simply doesn’t stack up (but why then go to all that effort), or we are getting ripped off with the dross that gets built elsewhere. We’ve also got lots of derelict mills like this in North and East Manchester but are told they’re not ‘viable’.

By John Evans

What a gem. An old mill, the River Mersey and the viaduct.

By JobbieLover

Looks really strong – excited to see this.

By BD

This must be difficult to make work in Stockport, so fair play to them. I never really know why Stockport isn’t better than it is given its location.

By Derek

@Derek, see £7m from Homes England

By Grant

Love the idea of using the old mill, opening up the river which is part of our history The tower block right next door to our most famous landmark NO – please re think this part, it doesn’t fit in the area .

By Dee

I’m all for the overall improvement of the area however, the viaduct is an iconic landmark in Stockport and building a new high rise right next to it will change the visual impression forever. This is an unacceptable and sneaky way of ruining the visual beauty of an iconic and historic building. If it is residential, who in their right mind would want their view at viaduct brick level? Never mind train passenger level, trains frequently stop on the viaduct for a time.

By Unimpressed

Sadly a lot of mills just aren’t in a viable condition usually because their current owners have let them drop into disrepair. Some aren’t suitable for apartments. The one in Oldham which was the subject of a lot of news sounded like a death trap and was probably rightly demolished, but why they are allowed to get that bad is the real issue.

By Tomo

I prefer the previous designs to be honest. But it will be lovely to see this taken forward asap, which is what I said in the consultation! Also, I wouldn’t say this was Cheadle Heath, Edgeley or Centre surely.

By Tom K

@John Evans, I’m sure I read somewhere that Homes England were providing £7 million of Housing Infrastrucutre Funding for some of the remidiation works for the site to help with viability. I would also assume that the proposed tower also helps with the viability to support the refurbishment of the mill in a similar fashion to the Crusader Mill in Manchester with the new build Phoenix next door. As for elsewhere, perhaps the rennovation costs of the mills would create a sales price too high for the surrounding area and therefore not justifiable.

By CP

Upside down economics, if its no viable don’t do it, £7m gift and the help to buy subsidy, and whatever else SMBC are giving out, propping up the conversion of a very worn out mill. comments please.

By JM

I’m all in favour of Weir Mill being renovated and turned into flats. However, any new build that’s too near or impinges on the Viaduct would be a travesty. The viaduct is about the only landmark we have left.

By Carol sykes

I personally don’t think the design is in keeping.
I like the idea of opening up the area for cafes, offices, restaurants, social areas, nursery etc. and understand the need for housing but brick and steel is more appropriate not glass and red steel, and more importantly I wouldn’t want to see the viaduct obscured.

By Amanda thompson

Great use of public subsidy to support the refurbish of an old mill and rejuvenate a part of the town centre.

By Monty

Another architecturally poor design that threatens to ruin the rich industrial heritage of Stockport. This looks worse than that monstrosity, Redrock cinema.

By Darren Lloyd

The values inherent in these sort of subsidised schemes are far more than just £££. There is a very real carbon cost of adaptive reuse versus new-build, and there is the aesthetic of the period which many people prefer to modern buildings. There are also the less tangible values, such as the historical and communal values of these old buildings – these are values that cannot be created but are the product of years of use, reuse and presence within the town. In essence, these old buildings often come with a ‘spirit of place’ that ties them to the town they’re in that no amount of money could really recreate. Non of that matters, of course, to people who just see the world in terms of a spreadsheet.

By R MacDonald

Who would want to live in an apartment by a railway line in the sky? It’s like Elwood’s apartment in the Blues Brothers.

By J Blue