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Town centre public realm works

Cheshire East Council has commissioned contractors to deliver major public realm improvements on Macclesfield’s Castle Street – with work set to start by early summer.

The scheme will widen and resurface footways with natural stone – creating scope for cafés and restaurants to have outdoor seating –  with granite cobblestone-style paving in the road, new street furniture and improved lighting. 

A unique feature of the work will be 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) The aim is to transform the street. 

Tree planting is proposed to introduce more greenery into the town centre as part of the £1.4m scheme.

Together with the recently opened TK Maxx on Castle Street and the recent opening of the Picturedrome on Chestergate as an Altrincham Market-style venue for artisan food stalls and refreshments, it is hoped this work will encourage further investment in neighbouring private property, such as Craven House.

Castle Street, Macclesfield package of works