Stockport MDC: Setting a new benchmark for town centres in the UK

Written by Frances Jones, Head of Strategy and Operations - Stockport MDC

Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) is taking a radical approach to town centre regeneration and creating new communities. Frances Jones, Head of Strategy and Operations at Stockport MDC explains the power of the partnership and the vision which has led to Stockport being recognised as one of the top five places to live in the North West by The Sunday Times.

Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) is taking a radical new approach to delivering town centre regeneration, powered by a unique, cross-party partnership including local, regional and national public and private sector bodies. Created in 2019 by Stockport Council and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake, the MDC model has moved from creating an innovative master plan to delivering meaningful change at a rapid pace. By the end of this year, the first phase of development will be nearing completion, with 1,100 new homes, over 170,000 sq. ft of office space, state-of-the-art transport facilities and a new two-acre park delivered. The quality of these schemes demonstrates the ambition of the MDC and our partners to bring forward development in line with our vision of creating a thriving town centre for current residents and future generations. We’re delighted to be returning to UKREiiF to share exciting news about the next phase of development - opportunities which embody the ambition of UKREiiF to connect people, place and businesses, and our vision to create a new benchmark for town centres in the UK.

Stockport Exchange
Stockport Exchange - Image Stockport MDC

Stockport Town Centre West – the most sustainable, liveable and well-connected urban neighbourhood in Greater Manchester

Through the MDC we are transforming the site known as ‘Town Centre West’, from a 130-acre area of brownfield land in the town centre into the most sustainable, liveable and well-connected urban neighbourhood in Greater Manchester. In doing so we will create:

  • Up to 4,000 new homes for up to 7,000 people, doubling our town centre population
  • Create up to 100,000m2 of employment space to accommodate up to 5,300 new jobs, helping to nurture a new business district for the region that benefits from easy access to Manchester City Centre
  • Major new green spaces
  • A pioneering model of development which makes a positive contribution to Stockport and Greater Manchester’s net zero commitments
  • Radical transport improvements

By creating a new exemplary urban neighbourhood within the town centre, we are not only responding at scale to urgent housing needs in our borough but also securing footfall and vibrancy and long-term resilience for our town centre for everyone to benefit from.

Powering £1bn town centre investment programme

The MDC is a pioneering delivery vehicle that is rooted in over a decade of sustained regeneration activity undergone by Stockport Council across the town centre. Having this foundation has enabled the MDC to build broad and deep relationships with key partners, from traders in our award-winning market to senior executives at Homes England and internationally significant investment partners. Over this time, sustained, cross-party leadership from the Council has mobilised over £1bn of investment to create an environment where people, businesses and communities can flourish. The Council have delivered a successful leisure complex incorporating a cinema, entertainment and family dining offer, created a thriving independent business scene in the historic Underbanks and Market Place in our old town and a booming business district at Stockport Exchange. Just 10 minutes from Manchester City Centre, the transformation underway will see Stockport become one of the most liveable town centres in the UK and a prosperous destination for business.

Royal George Village
Royal George Village - Image Stockport MDC

Growing market confidence and recognition

Our vision and proven ability to translate this into delivery on the ground makes us a go-to partner for public and private investment. In the last year alone Stockport has secured over £65m of funding from the government to support the delivery of schemes ranging from state-of-the-art leisure facilities to a renewable energy-powered district heat network and brand-new train station. This progress has caught the attention of the property industry and beyond with Stockport named as one of the top five places to live in the North West by The Sunday Times.

Realising our vision: Welcoming our first residents to Town Centre West

Our progress means that over the next twelve months, we will welcome the first new residents and visitors to their new homes and facilities we have created. This is a pivotal moment for the MDC. While our focus continues to be on delivering the infrastructure to transform the fabric of Town Centre West, it is the creation of new communities where people can live happy and healthy lives which is our ultimate goal.

Learn more about Stockport MDC by visiting their website or by arranging a conversation with them on the Manchester stand at UKREiiF.