Stockport’s historic Weir Mill is set to become the centrepiece of a creative new neighbourhood, with Capital&Centric’s £60 million transformation officially underway.
With funding in place from Stockport Council and Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC), work has now started on site. Main contractor SISK has begun prepping the site, paving the way for construction of over 250 design-led apartments across the restored listed Victorian mill buildings and a two neighbouring new-build blocks.
New pictures give a glimpse behind the doors of the looming heritage structures, with the rest of the site now cleared. It’ll soon be a hive of activity as building begins. It’s anticipated the build period will take around two years.
Once complete, it’ll be a neighbourhood oozing with personality and packed with spaces for residents and visitors to explore. From new lush greenery and outdoor hangouts, to a mix of indie bars, restaurants and shops, Weir Mill has been designed to be a stand-out destination for Stockport Town Centre West. Its set to feature distinct zones with different vibes, from the contemplative garden space of West Courtyard to Weavers Square, a buzzing new public space for markets, DJ sets and cultural pop-ups.
Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital&Centric, said: “There’s so much love locally for Weir Mill and it’ll be awesome to see the neighbourhood take shape as we get to work. We’ve been floored by the pent-up anticipation for this project and are determined to do the historic buildings justice – cementing their place in Stockport’s future.
“It’s heartening to see Stockport finally getting its time in the national spotlight, with a recent nod in the Sunday Times as one of the best places to invest in 2022. Places like Weir Mill will take the town the next level, acting both as a catalyst for wider investment and a destination neighbourhood in its own right. That’s all thanks to the real collaboration with Stockport Council and the MDC to get key sites like this underway.”
The site is a cornerstone project for Stockport MDC’s Town Centre West masterplan – an integral part of the £1billion town centre wide transformation. Town Centre West comprises a series of regeneration and development projects – including the nearby Stockport 8 and Stockport Interchange sites – which will bring new jobs, homes, transport infrastructure, leisure and amenities to the town centre, helping to create the most sustainable and liveable town centre in Greater Manchester.
Lord Bob Kerslake, Chairman of the Stockport MDC of the Stockport MDC, said: “It is an exciting time for Stockport. We are seeing substantial change and progress made across the 130-acre Town Centre West regeneration district, with Weir Mill the latest in a number of new developments to start on site in recent months. Weir Mill will not only deliver new homes within the town centre, it will allow the people of Stockport to once again enjoy this historic building, as it becomes re-activated with spaces for the community.
“We are looking forward to working closely with our partners at Capital&Centric, and to continue demonstrating the strength of public and private sector collaboration.”
Parts of the buildings at Weir Mill date back to the 1700s and Capital&Centric’s vision has always been to deliver a community with an identity true to Stockport’s independent scene, not an identikit of other high streets. Weir Mill will create a laid back riverside vibe while celebrating the site’s industrial past – with a focus on attracting creative, independent and unique operators to be based there.
Delivery of the site will be supported by funding from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Brownfield Fund.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Stockport as work starts to transform this area of the town centre into a new £60m neighbourhood, providing hundreds of much needed new homes, as well as vibrant outdoor spaces and even more great leisure facilities for people to visit and enjoy. Confidence from the private sector has never been better, and the fact that we’re attracting renowned developers like Capital&Centric to take this project forward speaks volumes.
“Weir Mill will complement our other ambitious projects in the town centre, such as the new Transport Interchange, Stockport Exchange and improvements to Merseyway. I’m looking forward to seeing plans progress and this historic building being brought back to life again.”
Weir Mill is the latest labour of love for Capital&Centric, the Manchester-based team that specialise in delivering communities with a design-led edge – the Kampus garden neighbourhood next to Manchester’s gay village a perfect example. They’re also on site restoring an iconic former cutlery works in Sheffield (the setting for an upcoming Channel 4 primetime design show).