Town centre public realm works

Work was due to start in May 2020 on a transformational public realm enhancement scheme for Castle Street in Macclesfield town centre. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, delivery of the scheme cannot now commence as planned.

Given the nature and location of these works the optimum time to deliver this scheme is spring/summer. The scheme has a six month build programme and to commence later in the year would extend the construction period into the winter, prolonging the programme, and would likely add significant costs. The risk of a secondary outbreak of COVID-19 has also been considered.   

Taking these factors into account, the team are now working to start in April 2021, subject to necessary additional funds being secured.”

“The scheme incorporates footway widening and resurfacing with natural stone – creating scope for cafés and restaurants to have outdoor seating –  granite setts in the carriageway, new street furniture and improved lighting. Tree planting is also proposed to introduce more greenery into the town centre.  

A unique planned feature of the work is the laying of bespoke kerbstones incorporating extracts from the poem ‘A Love Letter To Macc’, written by Jacqui Wood, artistic director of community arts organisation Arc. 

This evocative and personal piece of community writing was created as a project for the town’s Barnaby Festival in 2016. It was compiled from words written by Macclesfield residents to celebrate everything they love about the town. The wording selected for inclusion reads

A Love Letter to Macc:  

Drawn to you I fell in love straight away
With the proud landscape and culture of a silk town.
You were soon in my heart with your creative edge, passionate people and cobbled
Streets nestling in the hills. Here we've flourished, and cried, and grown, and lost.
And throughout it all, there's been you, constant: stone, and hills, and rain,
And brilliant, unexpected sun.

The commissioning of this scheme follows Cheshire East Council’s approval of the Macclesfield town centre strategic regeneration framework, which sets out a vision for the town centre as a place which celebrates its quirkiness. Articulating the council’s long-term commitment to Macclesfield, the framework is intended to provide the development sector with the confidence and certainty needed to bring forward investment, jobs and economic growth. 

The approved designs (PDF, 714KB)  should transform the street. 

Investment in the area is hoped will encourage further investment in neighbouring private property, such as Craven House.