Land secured for leisure scheme
LAND central to plans for the leisure aspect of the town centre development has been secured by Cheshire East Council.
The Secondtek site on Churchill Way was one of three plots owners were refusing to sell, which threatened the £90m Silk Street scheme.
However the council now owns all the land needed for a leisure scheme, which is likely to include a cinema and restaurants.
Council leader Michael Jones is now hoping a £15m investment pot will entice development partners to come forward with proposals to breathe new life into the ailing regeneration scheme.
He said: “We are also making £15m of development funding available to accelerate the leisure aspects of the Silk Street Development Scheme. To this end, the council has acquired the freehold and leasehold interest of the site known as Churchill Way.
“This is a key strategic site where the cinema and restaurants proposed in the Silk Street scheme are to be located. Other acquisitions may be considered in due course.”
Coun Jones has also confirmed that the council’s deal with Wilson Bowden is over, following the developer’s failure to prevent Debenhams, the anchor to the Silk Street scheme, pulling out of the project.
He said: “It is time to call it a day. There will be no financial penalties. We wish them well but want to move forward. It’s time to walk away.”
Coun Jones has invested a lot of faith in property guru Nick Hynes to shape the future of the town centre in his role as chairman of the Macclesfield Town Centre Vision Design Board.
Mr Hynes is being paid £50,000 for his six-month consultancy role leading the taskforce, which includes representatives from the Make it Macc forum, campaign group Wake Up Macc, the Civic Society, Treacle Market, Barnaby and the Senior Citizens Hall, as well as retailers.
Mr Hynes is expected to produce a full report to the leadership by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, in one of his first jobs since his reelection earlier this month, Macclesfield MP David Rutley met with Mr Hynes and Jo Wise, the new project director for Macclesfield town centre regeneration, a £58k-ayear council role.
Mr Rutley said: “It was good to meet with Nick and Jo to find out more about emerging options for the town centre and to see more focus being given to this vital priority.”
●» Project director Jo Wise, property guru Nick Hynes and MP David Rutley
●» The Nuremburg panel