Stockport seeks input on Stockroom vision
The council is asking residents to help it shape the town centre development that will see 47,000 sq ft of vacant retail space at Merseyway converted into a public services facility.
Designed by Aew Architects, Stockroom is one aspect of a multifaceted project to repurpose former retail units in the town centre.
The facility will be located across three floors at Merseyway, within the former Mothercare and Topshop units off Adlington Walk.
This week the council has launched a month-long engagement exercise on plans for Stockroom, proposed as a mixed-use learning, culture and events space, according to the authority.
A statement from Stockport Council said: “Stockroom will be an inclusive and accessible space that will support the people of Stockport to learn new skills, practice arts and crafts, enjoy live music and performances and benefit from cutting edge learning and IT facilities.”
Inspiration for the scheme has been taken from other similar developments across the country, including Storyhouse in Chester, which attracts one million visitors a year.
Stockport has already won funding for Stockroom after the council was successful in securing £14.5m from the Government’s £1bn Future High Streets Fund, which aims to renew and reshape high streets up and down the country.
However, the project has cast doubt on the future of Stockport Central Library on Wellington Road, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic but is due to reopen later this month.
The council plans to permanently relocate the town’s library offer from Central Library to Stockroom if residents support the proposals.
A full public consultation would be held before a decision on the future of the listed Central Library is made, the council has insisted.
Cllr David Sedgwick, cabinet member for citizen focus and engagement at Stockport Council, said: “We are confident Stockroom will bring hundreds of thousands of additional visitors to Stockport and transform a key town centre location into a valuable mixed-purpose facility for people of all ages.
“We are now embarking on an extensive engagement exercise in July where we want our residents to help shape what goes into Stockroom.”
Other town centre projects include Stok, a 64,000 sq ft mixed-use commercial scheme within the former M&S unit on Princes Street being delivered by developer Glenbrook.
The former BHS unit, which the council owns, is also primed for redevelopment.
The store is to be divided into two retail units with occupiers expected to be announced soon.
Elsewhere, the vacant Next unit and neighbouring gym are to be converted to create a 15,000 sq ft innovation centre featuring self-contained offices and co-working space.
The One Stockport Hub in the 3,000 sq ft former Argos unit at the entrance to Merseyway is a precursor to Stockroom and opened in March to provide a temporary library service for residents.