Merseyway Innovation Centre Stockport Council p Stockport Council

Stockport Council has recruited Oxford Innovation to manage Merseyway Innovation Centre when it completes this summer. Credit: via Stockport Council

Stockport appoints TMT for £2m Merseyway Innovation Centre

The first floors of the old Next and Metro Gym at the shopping centre will soon be converted into 15,000 q ft of flexible serviced offices and co-working space.

Stockport Council’s Merseyway Innovation Centre project will see vacant upper floors of the Merseyway Shopping Centre become spaces for up to 50 businesses to grow and work.

Local firm TMT Commercial Contractors have secured the £2.4m contract to build and fit-out the MIC, as well as renovate the shopping centre’s façade. TMT is set to complete its work in time for MIC to open this summer.

When construction wraps, MIC will boast a series of bookable coworking desks, shared and private offices, and meeting rooms. Geared towards incubating start-ups, MIC will also offer tenants access to business support and networking opportunities.

MIC will be managed by Oxford Innovation on behalf of the council.

Cllr Colin MacAlister, cabinet member for economy and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “We have a thriving business community in Stockport but this will strengthen our offer and provide that all-important support for new and small businesses, providing everything they need for their business to grow and prosper.

“The improvements we are making to the wider Merseyway Shopping Centre will further enhance the area and the new transport interchange just across the road will make it even more accessible, allowing more people to take advantage of the fantastic facilities and all our town centre has to offer.”

As part of its contract, TMT has committed to using a supply chain for the project that is either based in Stockport or close by.

To help with sustainability measurements, the construction company will track carbon emissions to and from the site.

TMT is also aiming to send less than .5% of waste generated on the site to the landfill.

In terms of social value, TMT will spend 80 hours of volunteer time on community projects, including assisting Stockport Women’s Centre in refurbishing its space.

Tom Traynor, director at TMT, said his team was excited to work on a local project.

“This is a hugely exciting opportunity for our company,” Traynor said. “It’s a privilege to be working with Stockport Council on this project.

“All three of our company directors are from Stockport so it is great to see the investment within the town centre, and to be able to play a small part in the improvements, coupled with the social value aspect of the project is allowing us to give back to our local community, which is something we are truly passionate about.”

Funds for MIC come from the European Regional Development Fund, Stockport Council, and Whitehall.

Planning permission for MIC was secured in July 2020 by CBRE for the council. Aew Architects drew up the initial plans. Since then, 5plus architects has taken on the project. For those interested in the original plans, the reference number with Stockport Council is DC/076539. The new plans can be found using reference number DC/086089.

Your Comments

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We need more shops not offices or flats!

By Anonymous

Compare and contrast Oldham Council and Stockport Council in terms of making things happen

By Dave Sissions

@Anonymous. If we need more shops why is there vacant retail space available for this project? What Stockport actually needs is more people to spend money in the shops and other commercial ventures it already has, which means creating office space so there are people working in the area and flats so there are people living in the area.

By now

@Dave Scissors
Not that I disagree but Stockport is getting special treatment. Apart from it now being subject to overspill from Didsbury types, it’s on the rail line to London with lots of southerners moving recently. It’s great to see but it is also the reason why it has such a heightened sense of importance. The north/south divide is now becoming more evident in GM.

By Anonymous

A load of buzzwords and vacuous waffle. I suspect the only real economic boost is to the companies who set these type of schemes up.

A thriving town centre needs an array of independent small traders selling useful and attractive stuff to real people. It certainly does not need office space and meeting rooms – there is plenty of that available already, and with more and more people working from home and communicating online I question how much this space will be used, and what value to tax payers’ revenue investment.

By Anonymous

I am yet to be convinced these sort of schemes work in practice. Can anyone point to a success story in use? I think there is a disconnect with who these hubs are aimed at / how many people and companies vs who actually ends up using them. Start ups will want to minimise all costs so even if the offering is free, they will not want to spend the money and time to travel, established companies may want to use private space. Whenever I have been to these sorts of hubs, there is lots and lots of space not in use.

By Anonymous

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