The council acquired the building in 2012. Credit: Stockport Council

Stockport plots medium-term Debenhams revamp

The long-term plan remains to redevelop the site of the former department store into a £500m hospital. In the meantime, the council is moving to convert the town centre building and let it out to commercial occupiers. 

Stockport Council wants to “bring the building up to a standard that would enable one or more commercial uses to occupy in the former department store”, according to a cabinet report. 

“Following the closure of Debenhams we have been working hard to find alternative, viable uses for the building, which has been challenging,” said Cllr Colin Macalister, cabinet member for economy and regeneration at Stockport Council. 

“The space isn’t suitable as currently configured so the [cabinet] report sets out targeted investment to clear parts of the building to make it attractive for prospective tenants.” 

A specific end-user has not yet been identified but it is understood that the building could be converted into a mixed-use scheme featuring a leisure element. 

The council acquired the building in 2012 and Debenhams ceased trading from the premises last year, sparking speculation around the future use of the building. 

Stockport is waiting to find out if it will be awarded cash to redevelop the site into a hospital. Credit: Stockport Council

Last September, Stockport revealed it was bidding for funding to deliver a town centre hospital on the site. 

However, plans for the hospital are “at a very early stage and any development of the site is unlikely to happen in the short to medium term”, according to the council. 

Subsequently, the authority has been in talks with its Town Centre Task Force about how best to use the building in the next “five to seven years” to generate an income for the authority. 

A preferred use, which aims to “generate income and bring animation to this part of the town”, is to be discussed when the council’s cabinet meets next week. 

“The additional footfall and positive PR generated by the redevelopment would help to boost the local economy and would demonstrate Stockport’s determination to find new uses for the three former department stores that are located in the town centre,” the report added. 

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Just demolish the eyesore and use it as a cap park for the next 5-7 years. What’s the point of spending all that money for such a temporary use. Ridiculous

By Steve

Not another pound shop please

By Anonymous

Sounds a good idea!

By Anonymous

What is the actual proposed footprint for this new hospital? The foot print of Stepping Hill must be at least 3 or 4 times the size of Debenhams.

By Bruce Wayne

Sounds like a great idea. Steve have a bit of vision and join us in the 21st century, this would boost the local economy and bring a bit of life into the area which is dreary at best. Does Stockport need another car park? Absolutely not! Crack on SMBC!

By Anonymous

Plenty of uses for the building but it would be a very small hospital and can’t see how that would work in terms of traffic system etc. Maybe sering as grand Central was bulldozed open a nightclub in it give people somewhere to go at night as Stockport is dead for nightlife these days

By Anonymous

Load of crazy talk.

By Anonymous

Would have been a good place for the bus station as it’s near the shops/ leisure facilities.

By Idea

I think the town needs another department store as debenhams was the main focus in stockport

By Anonymous

Another department store would bring people in to what has become an empty town. It wouldn’t need much investment or change to the building and would be welcomed by the residents of Stockport.

By By No

Use it as an overspill for MAN airport.

By Ted

Would be good to see it open again not sure what for .

By Craig ingham

It’s not big enough for a hospital, plus additional parking required, Stockports anti car council won’t like that. Why do we build then a few years later knock it down and build again. ..cinema, grand central etc. Town centre is dead now.

By Fred Perry

Stockport have got rid of the accident and emergency hospital opposite the Town Hall, sold off for housing the Shaw Heath hospital and also at Cherry Tree, which was close to Stepping Hill hospital, ideally placed for follow on care to free Stepping Hill hospital beds. Very shortsighted of planning committees.

By Anonymous

You might attract more commercial ventures if you cut business rates. Stockport has no vibrancy for such an historic town. Where are the restaurants or the independant shops? Needs a massive rethink.

By Anonymous

It’s an absolute eyesore and needs raising to the ground. Even when it was Debenhams it was oppressive inside with no daylight. A supermarket is desperately needed at this side of the town. Please no more pound shops.

By Unimpressed

The Debs building would work well for day surgery.

By Anonymous

So… A hospital squeezed onto a site that’s clearly too small for any form of proper hospital, and furthermore is only a 10 minute drive away from Stepping Hill in normal traffic (less time for blue lighted Ambulances). Who on earth gets paid to come up with these ideas?

By Anonymous

Stockport desperately needs a new hospital now! This site is too small. Salford and Wythenshawe have good hospitals plus extensive buildings with adequate and reasonably priced parking. Find a new site and start building now before it’s too late

By Berber

i agree i dont think its going to be big enough for a hospital if they want to put it to good use then use it to get the homeless off the street and somewhere to go

By Anonymous

When are you going to put decent shops into stockport

By Stella

A free car park for shopping centre workers is desperately needed! Would be much better than parking half a mile away like I and many others do currently! May also attract better workers too if they can get to work without any parking hassle and without having to pay high parking charges every day!
The council have to accept not everyone can get buses or cycle and should make better accommodations for people who drive to work!

By Sarah

What a complete waste of money you are spending in a shopping area where are the shops

By Anonymous

It as a purpose built structure. Department stores don’t won’t anymore. Just how many businesses will want to occupy a mausoleum for 6 or 12 months then have to clean up, pack up and leave. Probably at severely reduced business rates giving them an unfair advantage to those on the falling down, high overeads of the precinct across the road. But the precinct does have its own skateboard park and cycle lane all the way through it! Oh! and a fast highway for electric scooters…..

By Anonymous

I think a hospital with a A&E department and helipad is very needed in the town center

By Anonymous

What a waste of time and money l do not think it is the right place for a temporary temporary hospital

By Pat wall

Don’t the people of Stockport need and deserve a decent department store or at least some better shopping facilities. I don’t come into Stockport anymore. It’s depressing when you think of the stores we used to have.

By Anonymous

I would gladly donate to turn Debenhams into a new hospital.

By Martin

No more flats or restaurants. Something different would be great

By Tom

On line shopping is the cause of the demise of big stores, so simply cannot make a comeback. A supermarket would benefit local people I’m sure.

By Pam

Surely we should be trying to get more retail people on board or there are going to be no shops to visit soon. There are no suitable clothing shops in Stockport for the elderly to visit.

By Anonymous

Whole town centre plan is bonkers, should have built a modern shopping centre between Lancashire Hill and the A6, not The Red Rock complex, leisure next to a motorway, great for the lungs. Then demolish Merseyway, open up the river to make a fantastic leisure area linking the shopping centre to the Underbanks and Market area. Loads of space for something the size of Red Rock plus Riverside boardwalks a la Irwell in Manchester.
Plenty of room for a hospital between Knightsbridge and Portwood roundabout, vast area of empty, derelict buildings and small businesses that could easily be moved into a revamped/extended Stockport retail park across the road.

By Paul local

I don’t think it will be a good place for hospital because it is too small, no parking for staff plus doesn’t sound good, a hospital in town centre. Also, it is not good for car park, mostly people now days are doing shopping online plus no money to come and do shopping as everything is expensive, some of us we can’t afford.

By Anonymous

We desperately need a decent department store and shops in Stockport centre. Everyone travels to Trafford Centre or Manchester for clothing or household linens etc. As a shopping centre Stockport is dead. We do NOT need more apartments or ugly glass buildings. The Debenhams site is to small for a hospital and would add to the traffic chaos.

By Fran

Another waste of council tax payers money

By Another

A restaurant or a indoor market would make it easier for people with wheelchairs

By Jan

I’m amazed to hear that Stockport Council have got anything approaching a coherent plan for the future of the town centre. I can only imagine any preliminary aspects of this plan that have already been implemented have failed because the entire centre of town has deteriorated from what was just 25 years ago one of the North West’s most popular shopping destinations into a run down no-go zone! I can only wonder at the type of buyer the apartments currently being constructed on the site of the former bus station are being aimed? Who is going to be prepared to live beside a river which emits the most appaling smell during warmer weather, just a short walk away from an out-dated shopping precinct which now includes very few of the big high Street shops it was once home to? If the council don’t conjure up a practical and realistic development strategy soon any improvements it does introduce are likely to be a triumph of hype over content.


What nobody has mentioned…. when they killed off Grand Central with Volts, HnH nightclub and the rest they killed many businesses from the night economy… they also forget that the nightclub brought 2000 people per night, most using taxi, food venues, hotels and shopping to get the latest outfits for their night out… What the unit should be used for is a nightclub and let me run it like the other clubs that were in the town.

By Anonymous

Please let’s have another department store no one wanted Debenhams to close there is nothing to come to Stockport for now

By Anonymous

Stockport has become such a depressing town, it used to be quite good, what a decline

By Dan


It’s a town of two halves. The Old Town is showing lots of new life. But Merseyway is becoming a relic of a different era. Open the river up and rebuild this with townhouses and apartments mixed with retail, leisure and other, supporting, uses.


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