Stockport to stump up for £60m Weir Mill 

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

Stockport Walkaround 11, P.Place North West

Capital&Centric is redeveloping the derelict Weir Mill. Credit: Place North West

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. 

Your Comments

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Appalling decision. Where is democracy? One of the very few truly historic features of our town, and to satisfy greedy developers and councillors, they alone decide to ruin the landscape for generations. Just look at Redrock – an absolute joke, who on earth could have passed that through planning? It’s a monstrosity, the town centre is being ruined.
Just my opinion.

By MikeM

Are C&C getting preferential treatment off Stockport Council? Other developers would have to seek external funding for this. Are the Council getting a share of development profit because for all intent and purpose they are undertaking the achemw themselves

By Fidel

isn’t this a BTR scheme? if so, its usual for a scheme of this nature to be forward funded? I wonder if they have been unable to do this and the Council is a lender of last resort?

By Michael

I’d really like some reporting on this to look beyond the headlines and establish the viability behind such a scheme considering the levels of tax payer / public intervention. If it isn’t viable why fund it or at least why not go to a competition to find the most capable deliver. A worrying trend of picking sites in GM and expecting public sector to fund the risk is starting emerge with specific developers and desperate local authorities.

By Concerned

So C&C paid over the odds for a derelict site, and gets GBP67 million of public funds for a project that the District Valuer says is not viable in the short to medium term? But it and the Council argue that the offending 14 storey tower is essential for viability? Pull the other one!

By John Fidler

Mike M, you say the town centre is being ruined… personal tastes aside, it is in a much, much better state than even 5 years ago. You may be looking through severely rose tinted glasses old boy. Stockport was a dump, and now it is more of a recycling centre… but it’s heading in the right direction. Developments like these are what it needs to raise it’s profile further. Not crusty old pubs you have fond memories of going in when you were 13.

By Jack W

This is the sort of thing that was always going to happen once Stockport pulled out of the GMSF. Those additional properties that need constructing due to allocations no longer being shared amongst the other authorities means that this sort of development is inevitable and necessary to reduce future greenbelt release. Promises have been made, and this is how the council buys their way out of the problem they created. Expect more expensive eyesores in terrible locations funded by the council – it’s the only way they’re going to be able to appease those calling for less housing in the countryside.

By Anon

What can we expect from Stockport Council when they are blinded by £ signs and carpets are more important than communities.

When they have destroyed every natural and historical feature by ensuring they follow previous practice of creating the most user challenging facilities and are blind sided with pretty pictures and artists impressions.

What a shame for a town with such wonderful possibilities to be destroyed by short sighted planning and fund gobbling black holes.

Eco, user friendly, inclusive communities, beautiful spaces- we can wish but the Council decides otherwise.

We have no choice but to pay for their mistakes. The end.

By Brigid

Terrible decision. Develop old mills by all means, but to try and argue that it is only economically viable if you also blight the landscape and historic viaduct by putting a monsterous apartment block right next to it is saddening. Red Rock is bad enough and should never have made it through planning and now this! Stockport Council is a ship of fools in my opinion.

By JimR

This is a hideous decision by Stockport Council, who are the Counsellors who make such ridiculous decisions. Such a wonderful town being destroyed by short sighted money grabbing counsellors. They are not only destroying all the natural and historic features of the town they are blighting the historic Viaduct by building a monstrous offending tower block of apartments. Where is the consideration for Stockport people, the people who have voted against this. Where is the consideration for the infrastructure additional schools, additional GP/health facilities. Additional parking areas to accommodate the additional cars brought into Stockport by the people who will reside in the apartments. Our beautiful historic town Stockport is being torn apart by money grabbing developers. It is disgusting !!!!!!

By Sue D

Great to see the historic mill being saved. If it takes the construction of an apartment block (tastes are subjective but personally I really like the look of it) to make the scheme stack up financially then so be it. Great to see Stockport moving forwards.

By GM resident

The article says the project is £60m and not that the council is contributing that much. It’s also a loan not a grant.

By J

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