Town Centre Vitality Plans

Town centres across the UK are facing unprecedented challenges. Changes in how we shop, in particular the growth in internet shopping, has significantly decreased footfall in town centres resulting in numerous store closures, leaving many centres struggling. Trends that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cheshire East Council (CEC) is committed to supporting the vitality and viability of all town centres within the borough. In areas of low deprivation, there may be limited opportunity to bid for centralised funding. However, when funding opportunities do become available, there is generally a need to have clear proposals already agreed before bids can be submitted.

It is also recognised that there are often initiatives which can be taken to support the vitality and viability of local centres which do not require significant capital funding, but could be taken forward by local volunteers and/or businesses.

Following on from the Crewe town centre regeneration delivery framework for growth and the Macclesfield town centre strategic regeneration framework, the council has now developed and approved ‘town centre vitality plans’ (TCVPs) for the Cheshire East towns of Alsager, Congleton, Handforth, Knutsford, Middlewich, Nantwich, Poynton, Sandbach and Wilmslow.

Front covers of the Town Centre Vitality Plans for Alsager, Congleton, Handforth, Knutsford, Middlewich, Nantwich, Poynton, Sandbach and Wilmslow

The plans have been co-created by Cheshire East Council officers, town councils, local stakeholders and external expert advisers and they established an agreed set of priority actions for each town centre. Any actions will be taken forward as and when opportunities arise, and resources allow.

Each individual  TCVP provides a clear sense of direction for supporting town centre vitality and viability. Some of the plans include initiatives, which do not require significant funding, but which could be taken forward by local volunteers and/or businesses. The final plans for each of the individual towns were developed after a thorough public consultation process, which followed a series of workshops that were held for each of the nine towns. 

The approved Town Centre Vitality Plans

In addition to these nine plans, a Toolkit (PDF, 15MB) was produced, useful for all towns to use that focuses on a series of interventions that a wide range of stakeholders can get involved in to make the key centres more attractive, active and accessible. It is targeted at everyone - residents, businesses, Town Councils, local organisations and CEC.

The aim is to support stakeholders to determine their priority actions and provide advise on how they can work together to deliver these actions which are likely to range from quick and cheap actions to longer term large scale projects for which funding will need to be sought.

Statement of Consultation (PDF, 5.4MB)

Document accessibility

Page last reviewed: 12 June 2023