Last weekend, the Sunday Times ran a piece with the title ‘The Best Up-and-Coming Areas to Invest In The UK for 2022′. I was delighted, as I scanned down to the piece, to spot Stockport taking pride of place as one of the Times’ ‘place to invest’ in the North West.
Stockport has benefitted from a huge regeneration scheme, which was the brainchild of the previous Labour administration. Increased transport infrastructure, retail and leisure facilities, as well as good quality housing has – as the Times put it – transformed a historic centre into ‘one of the coolest little corners of the country.’
I’m so pleased that Stockport has been recognised, after for the hard work that local councillors, in conjunction with GMCA and the Mayor of Greater Manchester have put in to get us here.
It’s important to note that there is more work to do, and I’ve made no secret of the fact that I would like to see more investment spreading further into the fringes of the Borough, so that everyone in Stockport gets a slice of the pie. But it’s important to recognise how far we’ve come.
I’ve been particularly excited by the use of Stockport’s historic buildings in the regeneration. Sometimes, regeneration is undertaken with very little to no consideration made of the soul of an area. Local history and culture are the lifeblood of communities, and it’s crucial that when we look to the future, we don’t neglect the past.
That’s why I’ve been so grateful for the way that Stockport Council has approached this regeneration. They’ve utilised iconic buildings like Houldsworth Mill, and future-proofed it, turning it into a place where people can live, eat, and meet friends. This means that our future will be informed by our shared history, and that we don’t have to sacrifice what makes Stockport, Stockport. So, I’d like to take this moment to congratulate all the local leaders who have played a part in the mammoth effort that has taken place over the last few years.
The Council has also been innovative and applied for Government support for things like ‘Stockroom’ which could transform dead retail space into cutting-edge learning and IT facilities.
Stockport Council is now under new administration and is no longer Labour-led. I’ll continue to work with Councillors from across the political spectrum to improve the lives of residents, and I sincerely hope they continue the good work of the previous administration.