Hazel Grove Forum

A Suburb in Stockport

10 10 / 10 from 9 Reviews

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Artie_Fufkin posted..

[QUOTE=OliverJohnstone]It's farcical.

This Council is like a modern day King Midas - everything they touch turns to s***![/QUOTE]

The Portas money has been spent now, basically the council withdrew from the process as they were not helping and the focus went back to the emphasis of the original bid which was the establishment of an arts 'hub' being 7 miles out, branding of the 'Old Town', promoting the market and getting more businesses into the old town.

We've seen around 14 new businesses open but we have also seen the likes of Bank go bust, Greenwoods leave because of the cost of the rent & rates plus the lease was up for renewal, similarly Laura Ashley where the rent & rates was just too high & lease had come to an end.

The portas group also took over Foodie Friday which has developed well. The Christmas & Summer fringe festivals have been very good in bringing people into Stockport and the Viking festival was quite a hit.

The other large payment was £50k for the Plaza to aquire a digital projector and £10k went into the market.

Some of the shops have been awarded shop front grants to improve the street-scape but the council rather hampered this by insisting on heritage colours which added cost and for made shop-owners give up on the idea. The funding was matched by the shop-owner and in some cases, the council wanted expensive paints and finishes that made the process cost more than just leaving it to the shop-owners. A council clerk took a Portas member around the town pointing out the acceptable colour-schemes. The member pointed out that all the shops that were acceptably finished were shut and the attitude from the council seems that although the town was dying on it's botty, it didn't seem to matter as long as it was dying on it's botty in heritage colours. Empty shops were to be given a vinyl treatment to give the impression that the place was a little nicer along with invitations to start businesses, sadly this process has also suffered from council interference and the vinyls are now only going into a handful of empty shops and really far too late.

The idea of Portas was to take it away from the council as the council are not good at much, to an extent, quite a bit has been achieved but the as the Portas scheme was coming to the end, the council have announced their own rather far-fetched plan for the area without any consultation with the portas group: http://democracy.stockport.gov.uk/documents/s81480/Appendix%201%20-%20Market%20Place%20and%20Underbanks%20-%20Vision%20and%20Concept%20Proposals.pdf