Stockport Exchange, the North West’s leading business hub and part of the town centre’s £1 billion regeneration, is now the proud owner of a colourful mural, thanks to a collaboration with students from Stockport College.

The students were given a brief by Stockport Exchange partners, Stockport Council and national urban regeneration company, Muse Developments, as well as managing agents CBRE, to come up with ideas around the theme of sustainability. This was chosen to build on the success of the giant Mount Rushmore-style sculpture of the G7 leaders’ heads, made entirely of discarded electronics and created by musicMagpie, one of the tenants at Stockport Exchange. It was on display in Cornwall during last year’s G7 climate summit, before spending last summer in Stockport Exchange to highlight the growing threat of e-waste.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have become more conscious of the places around them, which has led to a resurgence of localism, a sense of identity and civic pride. The project aims to capitalise on this as well as giving students hands-on experience of working on a key regeneration scheme in their local area, helping to shape the future of Stockport alongside industry professionals.

The students not only had to come up with a design, they were also responsible for the overall project management including health and safety, risk assessment, a commitment to sustainable working practices and obtaining all the necessary permits to install the artwork.

A panel comprising of representatives from Stockport Council, Muse and CBRE selected the preferred design and worked with them to take their ideas forward to create the striking mural now on display. The installation now takes pride of place on a site that is visible by pedestrians walking through Stockport Exchange.

Cllr Colin MacAlister, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy & Regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “Stockport Exchange has gone from strength to strength, attracting major businesses and establishing itself as one of the North West’s most popular and accessible business hubs. Phase 4 is now underway due to increasing demand for high quality office accommodation.

“The mural looks fantastic and is a colourful addition to Stockport Exchange. Hopefully the project has enhanced the students understanding of Stockport Exchange’s sustainability credentials.”

Tom Webber Senior Development Surveyor at Muse Developments, said: “Addressing the climate emergency is a priority at Muse, which is why we’re taking major steps with our partners to delivering sustainable development within the built environment, while also inspiring in the next generation of environmentally-conscious property professionals to start a career in the sector.

“This stunning mural, which will take pride of place within our Stockport Exchange scheme, raises awareness to all of the importance of sustainability and we’re absolutely delighted with the results. A massive well done to all involved.”

Cameron Steward, Art and Design Lecturer at Stockport College, said: “Having the opportunity to work with the council and on a large scale mural has been an excellent opportunity for the Level 4 Design & Illustration students, giving them a sense of how a live brief is undertaken from concept to execution. The three students have conducted themselves in a professional manner, from meeting council members on site, to submitting designs and communicating throughout the project. The final installation reflects their hard work and their ethos in being part of a sustainable Stockport.”

The artwork coincides with work starting on phase 4 of the region’s most accessible business hub which will see after the success of previous phases and is now home to major businesses such as BASF, ONP Solicitors, musicMagpie and Stagecoach.

The latest phase of the scheme has been brought forward after the success of previous phases and thanks to £4.2 million of funding from the government’s Getting Building Fund, aimed at kickstarting the construction sector after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Evergreen funding through GMCA will also be used for solar PV panels on the rooftops of buildings will also ensure the scheme is delivered in line with Stockport’s Climate Action Now commitments; the multi-storey car park will also feature EV charging points, solar panels and a green wall to mitigate its environmental impact.


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