Stockport has undergone several regeneration projects in the last few years, and there are plenty more plans in the pipeline, according to Council leader Elise Wilson and the new chief executive Caroline Simpson. They explained their aims and ambitions for the town in a recent interview with Place North West.

Former chief executive Pam Smith had already set the momentum going, with a £120m overhaul of Stockport bus station, the Weir Mill residential development, and new offices at Stockport Exchange. The new chief executive Caroline Simpson is determined to continue the positive progress for the town.

One of the flagship schemes already announced is a proposal to build a new £500m hospital on the site of the former Debenhams building in the town centre. The plans are currently under consideration in Whitehall. There are also several more ideas on the table.

Simpson told the publication: “We’ve already got the next pipeline underway and the Mayoral Development Corporation is about to launch a major next phase over the next few months. We can’t just focus on housing, we can’t just focus on commercial space, we can’t just focus on healthcare.”

She added: “You have to think about it in the context of the place and move on all fronts all the time. That’s really tough, but it is the only way to move a place forward. We’ve got to have these flagship projects because it gives people confidence, but at the same time, we do not lose track of [the fact that] it’s all about people and it’s all about our communities.”

One of the most controversial planning decisions was taken in February, when councillors voted to move the Central Library from Wellington Road to empty retail units in the Merseyway shopping centre. The library will be a part of the new Stockroom hub, which will host public services.


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