£1m investment to breathe new life into town centre
AROUND £1m is to be spent giving Macclesfield a facelift.
Council bosses have agreed to spend the money on freshening up tired areas of Castle Street, Exchange Street, Market Place and upper Mill Street.
The money will mainly be spent on new street furniture, lighting, green spaces and public art. Paving could also be repaired and road markings improved. Work is expected to begin next year.
Council bosses say the ‘public realm scheme’ aims to present Macclesfield as a creative town with a heritage in silk.
It’s hoped the injection of cash will make neglected areas more attractive to visitors and shoppers.
The cash comes on the back of the deal with Ask Real Estate to create a £15m leisure, restaurant, cinema and retail scheme on the nearby Churchill Way car park.
Bosses hope the improvements will create a better environment for pedestrians between the project and the town centre shopping streets.
It’s hoped it will also complement the public art being created at the Waters Green underpass.
Coun Don Stockton, cabinet member for regeneration, hopes the improvements will attract people and business to the centre of Macclesfield and boost the town’s local economy.
He said: “It’s the next step in our strategy for the regeneration of this unique town and is based on evidence which suggests that investment in public realm has a positive economic impact in addition to the obvious environmental benefits.”
However, Beryl Footman, 87, from Macclesfield Civic Society, said that, while anything that improve the town centre for visitors is welcome, she believes the money won’t go far enough.
She said: “£1m won’t go very far unfortunately. The pavements are a mess because delivery lorries use them. There is lots of extraneous street furniture and knocked down signs. We want to be able to go shopping in a clean, safe environment and I welcome improvements that may attract people into town to use our shops.
“High street shopping is changing but we still have a tremendous stock of shops in Macclesfield.
“We have some great independent retailers but a lot of people don’t realise.”
The council will commission design work to identify options for the scheme.
‘Evidence suggests that investment in public realm has a positive economic impact’
●● £1m is to be spent on new street furniture, lighting, green spaces and public art in parts of Macclesfield town centre