MP’s call for ac­tion on plan


MP David Rutley is urg­ing the coun­cil to ‘pick up the pace’ in the re­gen­er­a­tion of Mac­cles­field town cen­tre.

The town’s MP is call­ing for ac­tion to be taken to set out clear plans for a Silk Quar­ter around the Silk Mu­seum and Par­adise Mill. He also wants ar­range­ments for the fu­ture of Mill Street to be de­vel­oped more quickly.

Mr Rutley, pic­tured, said: “The re­gen­er­a­tion of the town cen­tre is tak­ing too long.

“In re­cent years, we are for­tu­nate to have had a vi­sion for the town crafted by the Make It Mac­cles­field Fo­rum, the coun­cil and lo­cal busi­nesses and com­mu­nity groups.

“Other projects such as Alder­ley Park and Crewe train sta­tion have had a lot of time and ef­fort spent on them. Now its our turn; we need the same fo­cus on Mac­cles­field.”

The £90m re­tail and leisure Wilson Bow­den-led ‘Silk Street’ scheme – which in­cludes a mul­ti­plex cin­ema, restau­rants and large depart­ment stores – was ap­proved by Cheshire East Coun­cil in June 2013.

But the coun­cil was forced to start a le­gal process for com­pul­sory pur­chase or­ders (CPO) – which force res­i­dents or busi­nesses to sell up – after landown­ers af­fected by the scheme re­fused to sell to the coun­cil. The coun­cil can­not be­gin con­struc­tion un­til it owns all the land in­volved.

Mr Rutley said: “The Silk Street scheme was ap­proved more than a year ago now, and the lat­est news is that it will not start be­ing built un­til 2016. That gives us over a year to get ev­ery­thing in place, so that the town cen­tre as a whole can thrive again. Lets get on with it.”

One sug­ges­tion by the MP is for the coun­cil to ap­point a di­rec­tor of re­gen­er­a­tion for Mac­cles­field to spearhead the project. At a Make It Mac­cles­field break­fast meet­ing on Fri­day (Oc­to­ber 24), Coun Michael Jones, coun­cil leader, pro­vided at­ten­dees with an up­date on plans.

Speak­ing after the meet­ing, Coun Jones said: “David Rutley and Cheshire East want the same thing – a re­vi­talised, vi­brant and thriv­ing Mac­cles­field.

“As a coun­cil we are com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing on this.

“As the sec­ond-largest town in the bor­ough, Mac­cles­field has been, and is be­ing, pri­ori­tised as a key lo­ca­tion for in­vest­ment and eco­nomic growth. “The CPO has

been agreed. We are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to bring the best shops into the scheme. I have met with five of the big­gest re­tail­ers about com­ing in.

“A Mac­cles­field Town Cen­tre Vi­sion has also been pro­duced by the coun­cil. This is a shared vi­sion with the Make It Mac­cles­field Fo­rum.

“This coun­cil is com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing on the whole of this ‘vi­sion’ and has al­ready demon­strated this through ded­i­cat­ing fund­ing and in­vest­ing time and re­sources, £250,000 has al­ready been spent on im­prove­ments in the his­toric mar­ket quar­ter of the town and a fur­ther £500,000 of cap­i­tal fund­ing has been al­lo­cated for the next three years.

“The coun­cil is also for­mu­lat­ing a Mill Street strat­egy, look­ing at short, medium and long-term ob­jec­tives.

“The coun­cil recog­nises that her­itage and cul­ture is an im­por­tant part of the vi­sion, and has com­mit­ted fund­ing to a role ded­i­cated to de­liv­er­ing the ob­jec­tives of this strat­egy, which will help fo­cus, share and co-or­di­nate cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in the town.”

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