Images of what Stockport’s Underbanks could look like after a multi-million pound makeover have been revealed.
It comes as sites in Little Underbank and Lower Hillgate are due to be revamped, under plans by property firm Hall & Co.
The Manchester Evening News reported sites would be “completely redeveloped”, with plans to create four new buildings featuring co-working space and appartments.
The picturesque streets have enjoyed something of a revival over recent years, gaining a reputation for unique independent shops and bars.
The firm said it has worked closely with the council to come up with proposals that ‘reflect the character of the area and its heritage.
Jamie Hall, project director at Hall & Co, said: “Stockport has seen significant investment in recent months and the regeneration of the Underbanks is an important part of that wider picture.
“It’s home to an eclectic mix of independents and has a lot of historical significance, which has made it a popular destination.
“The sites we’ll be redeveloping are all under-used and in need of extensive redevelopment – the works will improve the area aesthetically while helping to encourage footfall. It’s fantastic to be able to invest further in Stockport, supporting a thriving town centre.”
The ground floors are described as ‘unique spaces aimed at innovative independents and start-ups’, which will include co-working areas.
Above them would be ‘dual aspect’ apartments with winter gardens that can also be used as a balcony, dining space or home office.
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And communal roof gardens would provide space for ‘events, relaxing or admiring the view of the historic rooftops and views beyond’.
Coun David Meller, the council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said it was another boost for the town.
He said: “I’m really delighted by this announcement. It just goes to show that, regardless of the situation we are in at the moment with Covid, many businesses and developers have still got immense confidence in the borough.
“What were are looking to do with the Underbanks links in to all the other work we have done over the last four years in restoring the borough’s heritage.”
Coun Meller cited restorations of the Produce Hall, Tatton Cinema and The White Lion as cases in point.
“What we are looking to do is bring back those assets that are essential to the borough’s identity and make them work for us in this period,” he said.
“It’s another show of confidence in what we are doing across the borough – especially in the town centre – and hopefully we can keep this up despite what we are going through at the moment.”
The project is Hall & Co’s second in central Stockport, following the transformation of the Grade II listed Bank Chambers, now home to ProFolk, the town’s first dedicated co-working space.
The scheme restored the building’s original features, including stained glass, marble columns, bank vaults and fireplace
Among the diverse range of independents that now call the Underbanks home are fine dining restaurant Where The Light Gets In, The Angel Inn and The Cracked Actor bar.
Hall & Co has lodged a planning application with Stockport council which is awaiting validation.