In the shadow of one of Greater Manchester’s most iconic landmarks, a new community will soon emerge

It’s a landmark known across Greater Manchester. Soon, a new community will emerge in the shadow of Stockport’s famous viaduct.

A new ‘walkable neighborhood’ boasting up to 1,200 homes is planned. Dubbed ‘Stockport 8’, early plans for the eight-acre site also include new shops, offices and a leisure space.

The plot also sits next to the new Stockport transport Interchange – work on which got under way in March – and Grade II-listed Weir Mill, which is subject to an ongoing £60m restoration project. It is the latest site to be brought forward under plans to create a 4,000-home ‘urban village’ within the Town Center West regeneration zone.

Progress across the 130-acre zone is being driven by the Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) established by Andy Burnham in 2019 and chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake. Now the MDC is seeking a long-term partner to develop Stockport 8 – worth around £250m – and ‘create a new digitally-capable, walkable neighbourhood’ including more than 1,000 new homes’.

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Mr Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This new site offers an exceptional opportunity to be part of one of the leading regeneration projects right now, not only in Greater Manchester but across the UK. Stockport is already one of our best-connected business locations, with fast transport links to Manchester, Birmingham and London, and the transformative plans being delivered by the MDC and its experienced partners will secure its future as one of the best town centers in the country to live.

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He added: “The MDC is a powerful tool to bring about rapid change, and is set to add £117m to the local economy every year. I’ve no doubt that Stockport will be recognized for generations to come as a benchmark for what can be achieved through place-focused, locally led regeneration.”

Stockport’s MDC – the first one of its type to focus on town center transformation – brings together powers developed to the Greater Manchester Mayor, the council and Homes England to drive forward regeneration. To date it has delivered more than £175m of development, including the Stockport Exchange office complex and The Mailbox – whose 117 apartments are the first town center build-to-rent scheme in the UK.

Stockport Viaduct

Other projects in the pipeline include St Thomas Gardens – an all age residential scheme on the former St Thomas Hospital site – and Royal George Village, which will bring hundreds of apartments to a three acre plot between Greek Street and Wellington Road South.

Lord Kerslake says Town Center West is not just building new homes and creating new jobs, but enabling long-term, sustainable growth for the region. He said: “The potential in Stockport is unparalleled. As one of the North West’s biggest towns, it benefits from its unrivaled location and connectivity, and the plans for Town Center West, which will create new social infrastructure, green space, and greener travel opportunities, will continue Stockport’s success.

“Our vision and principles, the cross-party political support and knowledgeable and experienced board and partners means we are well-placed to deliver meaningful change that will ensure Stockport prospers for years to come.”

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Stockport MDC will be considering potential development partners for the 8-acre site for following the launch of the procurement exercise this summer.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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