Cheshire East Council gives green light for £90 million revitalization of Macclesfield (UK)

Cheshire East Council has given the go-ahead for a landmark £90 million (approx. €105 million) ‘once-in-a-generation’ scheme to revitalize Macclesfield town center.

The Silk Street development will create more than 1,300 jobs and features a Debenhams department store, 19 larger stores, a ‘green landscaped’ multi-story car park and hi-tech nine-screen
multiplex cinema.

The 18,500 m² scheme will give a major boost to the whole town center environment, providing a thriving mix of shopping and showcasing the town’s rich cultural heritage.

The plans approved overwhelmingly by the Council’s Strategic Planning Board last night, (June 12) include restaurants, a new public open space, known as ‘Mulberry Square’, a children’s recreation area off Exchange Street, known as ‘Roe Square’, high-quality streetscape design, as well as improved connectivity and pedestrian links to help make the town center more accessible.

The scheme – a joint venture between the Council and developer Wilson Bowden – is seen as the crucial keystone for the wider regeneration of Macclesfield and its economy.

The Silk Street scheme will help make the town center a magnet for local families and visitors from far and wide – not just for shopping at top-brand stores and the town’s varied and vibrant high-quality independent shops, but also to relax and spend the day and evening.

Councilor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said after the decision: “This is really exciting and significant news – not only for the people and businesses of Macclesfield but for the whole of Cheshire East. It shows that Cheshire East is open for business and not prepared to stand still and manage decline. Macclesfield has not been achieving its potential – and this landmark decision is a tremendous vote of confidence in its future and will be a vital catalyst for the wider regeneration of the whole town and Macclesfield area.

“The Silk Street scheme is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to radically revitalize and boost the economy of Macclesfield and unlock its potential. It is a key part of the Council’s and community partners’ plans to regenerate the town’s rich silk heritage, creating a cultural quarter. The Council is also developing its ambitious mixed-use scheme for the South Macclesfield Development Area.

“We know that leading retailers are looking to invest in towns with the right environment – and the Silk Street scheme offers that. With major, innovative regeneration projects under way across the Borough to boost the local economy and local communities, these are exciting times to be in Cheshire East.”

Will Robinson, Retail Director at Wilson Bowden developments, said: “We’re thrilled that a decision has been taken to support Silk Street as part of the wider vision to create a thriving, vibrant town center in Macclesfield, offering something for everyone. We’re looking forward to starting work on the scheme and bringing the plans to life.”

It is estimated that the approved scheme would boost spending in Macclesfield town center by an estimated £40 million by 2016*.

Currently, 94.5% of the comparison goods retail spending of the Macclesfield catchment area takes place outside the town center.

As part of the vision to revitalize Macclesfield, the Council has previously allocated more than £250,000 for public realm improvements, focusing on the traditional heart of the town center around Market Place, Chestergate and Mill Street.

The Silk Street scheme incorporates improvements to highways and pedestrian routes as well as to the public realm outside the site’s boundary, including houses on Roe Street.

Source: Cheshire East Council

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