Stalybridge residents have had their say on the town’s future – calling for shops and businesses to be supported, parking improvements and a river walkway.
The Stalybridge Town Centre Challenge Board carried out engagement work to help design a unique vision for regeneration in Stalybridge that creates the ideal place to live, shop and do business.
Stalybridge is Tameside’s nominee for the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Town Centre Challenge, which brings together housing providers, public and private landowners, developers, community groups and other key stakeholders to support Tameside Council in unlocking the town centre’s potential.
The Board set out their aims under the aspirations: A Vibrant Town; A Visited Town; A Sustainable Town; A Prosperous Town and A Liveable Town.
Nearly 600 people gave their views, either at a consultation event, through a questionnaire or by e-mail, with pupils at Copley, West Hill and St Peter’s schools also giving their feedback.
Key themes that emerged included that Stalybridge’s natural environment of canals, rivers and parks are an asset that should be utilised to their full potential with its location, close to Manchester but within easy access to the countryside, a unique selling point. Its heritage and history should be embraced with any new developments complementing this. There was also support for improving public transport, but mixed views on extending Metrolink to the area.
The main priorities identified were reinventing the Market Hall, supporting new and existing shops and businesses, improving parking, developing a river walkway and more varied nightlife with restaurants and bars. Other priorities suggested included cleaning up the streets and town; redeveloping and improving existing buildings and sites such as the art gallery, police station and old town hall; and making people feel safe with a police presence, lighting and crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
Responses from the schoolchildren varied from wanting more leisure and recreational facilities such as gyms, fairs, swimming baths, a trampoline park, museums, a cinema and even a zoo or theme park to brightening Stalybridge with more flowers, gardens, litter picks and statues – and even free sweets every day to make the place more vibrant!
Board Chairman, Councillor Adrian Pearce, said: “We have had a fantastic response to our engagement work, which has prompted some great ideas and given us an indication of residents’ priorities. I’m delighted that people have got involved so that together we can create a thriving place to live and work in.
“I’d like to thank everyone who shared their views for taking part and helping us improve our town. The Board will now reflect on and use these findings when formulating our plans.”
A summary report is available at www.tameside.gov.uk/stalybridgetowncentreconsultation
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