STALYBRIDGE has been announced as Tameside’s nominee for the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Town Centre Challenge.
Newly-elected executive leader Cllr Brenda Warrington revealed the news at the February 7 cabinet meeting.
The challenge, which was unveiled in November, will involve a town from each of Greater Manchester’s 10 authorities.
They will work with the metropolitan mayor Andy Burnham who will bring together housing providers, public and private landowners, developers, community groups and other key stakeholders in an effort to support councils in unlocking the potential in town centres, particularly to deliver viable housing markets and sustainable communities.
Stalybridge is ideally placed to be Tameside’s standard-bearer. In addition to the many independent businesses on and around Melbourne Street, its well-established high street, it also has two major supermarkets, Tesco and Aldi.
Homes have always clustered around the centre, but within the last month New Charter Group has started to take reservations for the Summers Quay development on the canal-bank in Armentieres Square.
This comprises 67 luxury one and two-bedroom apartments as well as retail units. This will be the first private rent scheme from New Charter Group and profits from the development will be reinvested into affordable housing across communities in Greater Manchester.
Cllr Warrington said: “Tameside needs to have thriving town centres and I believe we are demonstrating our commitment to their success by putting Stalybridge forward for the Town Centre Challenge.
“We’ve already provided free town-centre wi-fi for shoppers and superfast broadband for business. With the metropolitan mayor’s support we’ll be lobbying for further funding and looking for imaginative solutions that we can pilot in Stalybridge and then use in other parts of the borough.”
The news was welcomed at the cabinet meeting by Stalybridge councillors Adrian Pearce and Kevin Welsh.
Mr Burnham, who is to visit Stalybridge on Thursday, February 8, added: “The time has come to breathe new life into our
proud towns and move away from the approach of the past.
“We need to build a new future for those towns through higher density mixed and affordable housing, with local retail and leisure facilities and supported by transport and digital connectivity.”
Further news from local councillors and Mr Burnham’s visit will be featured in the next edition of the Stalybridge Correspondent that is published on February 22.