Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has awarded Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd the contract to deliver a new interchange with a rooftop park and associated residential development in Stockport town centre.
The multi-million pound project is part of a major redevelopment scheme being undertaken by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Stockport Council, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in conjunction with CityHeart and Rise Homes as the appointed Development Partner and Gresham House as equity investor for the residential element of the scheme.
Chris Barnes, Head of Projects Group at TfGM said: “We are delighted to be working with Willmott Dixon to bring together this landmark development for Stockport town centre.
“The new interchange, which is due to open to passengers in 2024, will act as a welcoming gateway for the town and provides much improved facilities for public transport users, in line with the standards that have been set at the numerous other new interchanges we have delivered across Greater Manchester in recent years. It will also see the delivery of easier and improved routes into the wider town centre and to the railway station, as well as improved accessibility between the interchange and the A6.”
A key feature of the new transport interchange is a two-acre rooftop park which will improve leisure and recreation opportunities in the town centre and create more green space for everyone to enjoy. The park is expected to encourage wildlife and biodiversity as well as provide a safe environment for people to meet and relax.
Beneath the unique rooftop park, there will be a fully accessible, covered passenger concourse in the interchange with seated waiting areas, cycle storage facilities and 20 bus stands, providing capacity for future growth in bus services. It will also provide new cycling and walking routes to the train station, Trans Pennine Trail and town centre. In a small nod to the past, the new interchange will also retain a couple of GMPTE glass panels from the old bus station.
Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “I’m really excited that we are creating a state-of-the-art transport hub for the borough, which will encourage use of sustainable transport, but also good quality new homes and a rooftop park in the heart of the town centre for people to spend time in and enjoy.
“Indeed, the rooftop park is the first new park in the area for decades and as we’ve seen with the pandemic, the desire for more green space is huge.
“Work has now begun on the new interchange – the site is already unrecognisable, with the old station fully demolished – and I’m looking forward to following its progress over the upcoming months.”
Having secured the additional funding required for the residential element, and with contracts now signed, construction works on the site of the old bus station in Stockport town centre are now underway.
As a part of the project Wilmott Dixon will be working alongside local supply chain partners to create 40 local jobs and upskill the next generation of construction professionals through apprenticeship and trainee programmes.
They will also be running three Building Lives Academies on site; employment and training programmes dedicated to supporting local care leavers, ex-military and people with disabilities to gain valuable construction skills, experience and support into employment.
Anthony Dillon, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with TfGM, Stockport Council and the development, design and funding partners to play our part in shaping the future of Stockport town centre and creating a transformational new gateway for local people.
“This is an exciting investment in Stockport, and the project’s dynamic design will boost the town centre’s biodiversity and create a vibrant, innovative space that celebrates the town’s rich history and unique character.”
As part of the wider development, residential partners CityHeart and Rise Homes will deliver a landmark residential development comprising 196 high quality apartments to provide new homes into the heart of the town centre. The scheme is being delivered with support from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Stockport Council and a grant from Homes England, plus equity from the British Strategic Investment Fund managed by Gresham House.
Warren Taylor, a spokesperson for CityRise Interchange Homes LLP, said: “We are delighted to partner with Gresham House to bring forward private sector investment for the residential element and the award of contract marks a much-anticipated milestone in the commencement of the main construction works for the development.
“The residential element of the scheme will provide 196 new high quality one and two bed apartments, surrounded by a superb podium park and exciting new retail units.”