£50K bid to spruce up shop fronts

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

ANEW scheme to help town cen­tre busi­nesses im­prove the look of their shop fronts has been launched.

Cheshire East Coun­cil has agreed to cre­ate a £50,000 pot and al­low shops in the area at the bot­tom of Mill Street to bid for up to £2,000.

It means up to 25 shops in that area of the town cen­tre could ben­e­fit.

The cash aims to boost the ex­ist­ing re­gen­er­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme cen­tred around plans for the £15m cin­ema and res­tau­rant scheme.

Last week, the Ex­press re­vealed that the coun­cil and Ask Re­tail Es­tate fi­nally agreed the sale of Churchill Way car park for the de­vel­op­ment.

The coun­cil is also spend­ing £1m on other projects in a bid to im­prove the streets sur- round­ing the de­vel­op­ment, which is due at the end of 2018.

In a re­port to the coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for Re­gen­er­a­tion, Mac­cles­field’s project di­rec­tor Jo Wise said the scheme builds on a sim­i­lar project for Mar­ket Place and Ch­ester­gate in 2015.

She said: “Not only did that in­vest­ment en­hance the ap­pear­ance of that area of the town, fol­low­ing that in­vest­ment a num­ber of for­merly va­cant prop­er­ties in that area have been re­oc­cu­pied and there has been a no­tice­able de­gree of pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment in shop units in that area.”

The scheme has the sup­port of ward coun­cil­lors Bev­er­ley Doo­ley and Janet Jack­son.

The shop front pro­pos­als fol­lows a num­ber of projects to im­prove the ail­ing town cen­tre. Spar­row Park got a re­vamp and new light­ing in the trees, while the Mid­dle­wood Way and the Silk Road un­der­pass have been cleaned up and had new art in­stalled.

The coun­cil is also look­ing for bid­ders for a project to en­hance the public realm on Ex­change Street, Castle Street and the pedes­tri­anised up­per sec­tion of Mill Street.

Mrs Wise added: “There is an im­por­tant need to re­vi­talise Mac­cles­field town cen­tre, which has seen an in­creas­ing num­ber of va­cant prop­er­ties, de­creased foot­fall and a re­duc­ing re­tail mar­ket share.

“In­deed, Mac­cles­field has been specif­i­cally iden­ti­fied in re­cent national re­search as a town where the town cen­tre of­fer is lag­ging be­hind the as­pi­ra­tions of the pop­u­la­tion liv­ing nearby, with po­ten­tial for a far more as­pi­ra­tional re­tail of­fer if per­cep­tions of the cen­tre can be changed.”

Shops on Mar­ket Place ben­e­fited from shop front grants in 2015

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.