Macclesfield regeneration scheme scrapped

A planned regeneration scheme in Macclesfield has been shelved due to ‘ongoing challenges in the food and beverage sector,’

A cinema, food, drink and retail space were all planned for the site on Churchill Way, which was subject to a conditional land sale between Cheshire East Council and Ask Real Estate.

The project was set to open in 2020.

It is not the first time a similar scheme has been cancelled in the town. In 2015, a planned £90m redevelopment of the town centre by Wilson Bowdon was scrapped after being in development for over ten years.

A spokesperson from Ask said: ‘Despite the positive attributes of Macclesfield as a location, given the significant downward shift in the food and beverage sector nationally, we have decided not to proceed with our Macclesfield scheme.

‘We have not taken this decision lightly. However, with investor sentiment pushing down pricing in the sector which is beyond our control, we are unable to progress.’

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: ‘While I appreciate that this is disappointing news, to myself and many residents of Macclesfield, the challenges Ask have faced in making this scheme viable are understood in the context of the significant downturn in the market.

‘The difficulties of others letting similar schemes across the country are well documented and it is regrettable, but understandable, that Ask and their funders have made the decision that this specific development is not deliverable.

‘Macclesfield town centre is performing better than many at this time of significant challenge to the traditional British high street. At the last count, vacancy levels were below the national average and well below the average for the North West.

However, the council are banking on the introduction of HS2 to the north-west in 2026 and the renovation of the Grosvenor shopping centre to boost the town’s economy.

‘With the advent of high-speed rail services, we are confident about the future of the town and the private sector is demonstrating equally high levels of confidence in Macclesfield as a place to invest in,’ added Cllr Arnold.

‘The expansion of the Grosvenor Shopping Centre is nearing completion and the number and variety of the town’s many unique and high-quality independent shops continues to grow.

‘The council has invested significantly in enhancing the public realm across Macclesfield and we will continue to engage with our partners, stakeholders and local MP to support the vitality of Macclesfield as a great place to live, work and visit.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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