●● A SOCIAL landlord is breathing new life into the town centre by transforming empty commercial premises into affordable apartments.
The Contour Housing development on Queen Victoria Street proved so popular with tenants that all four onebedroom flats were let within days.
The apartments were part of a pilot project by Cheshire East Council’s In Town Living initiative, which aims to bring unused properties and land back into use.
It was funded by Contour and the Homes and Communities Agency under its empty properties programme.
Mark Edwards, project manager for Contour Homes, said: “This housing development is good news for Macclesfield and good news for the local authority.
“The idea is that by bringing working people to live in the centre of Macclesfield that they will spend their money there too.
“The apartments have been finished to a high spec with a modern town or city living feel and look to them. Unsurprisingly, there was a good uptake with 16 people interested in renting an apartment and they are all now fully let.”
Contour Homes spent several months tracking down potential empty commercial properties that could be converted.
The apartments have been created on the first and second floor of a commercial property with a shop – run by an insurance business – trading on the ground floor.
The building has been brought back to life over the last six months as the contractor Forrest set to work converting the empty upper floors into comfortable homes.
Ian Simpson, from Forrest, said: “This redevelopment is a great example of how vacant commercial space can be transformed into homes to address the