Town Centre Strategy Development

Macclesfield town centre revitalisation

Macclesfield has a strong foundation and many strengths - the hugely popular monthly Treacle Market, the biennial Barnaby Festival, independent shops, heritage assets, dynamic businesses and an affluent catchment population.

Despite these advantages there are some aspects of the town which cause concern. The town centre in particular, like numerous others the length and breath of the country, has struggled to maintain vitality and viability as consumers increasingly engage digitally and spend less in traditional brick and mortar high street stores.

Whilst Macclesfield town centre has not fared as badly as many, the Council recognises the mismatch between the current town centre offer and the aspirations of local people. We share local residents aspirations to see the town centre reinvigorated. 

Unfortunately there is no simple toolkit for town centre revitalisation. The Council and a number of other key organisations are pressing ahead with projects which together should make a substantial difference. We are also exploring what more can be done.

There are literally hundreds of things we could consider but the Council does not control the town centre, does not own perceived problem sites, does not set business rates and cannot make people spend their disposable income in their home town, rather than on line or out of town.

With limited and finite resources it is vital we focus our efforts on those projects and initiatives which will have the greatest positive impacts. It is vital to work with others who can also influence the future of the town centre.

No one organisation can deliver a thriving town centre alone. Whilst the Council is and will continue to do whatever it can to enhance the town’s fortunes, the future success of the town centre is dependent on many. Local residents choices as to where they will shop and spend their leisure time can have a significant impact.

Research shows that organisations wishing to revitalise town centres are more likely to be effective if they work with others to a shared vision, an agreed strategy, and an action plan with defined responsibilities for delivery.

A high level vision document for the town centre (PDF, 5MB) was produced in 2014.

A draft 5 year strategy was produced in late 2017 followed by a 9 week public consultation. Read the summary of the responses to that consultation. 

The subsequent announcement of a possible HS2 service to Macclesfield, means that there is potential to unlock a more ambitious and aspirational regeneration strategy that will create the conditions for external investment and economic growth in Macclesfield.

The Council has commissioned a multi-disciplinary consultant team, comprising experts in property, regeneration, urban planning and transportation from Cushman and Wakefield, WSP and OPEN to support the Council in producing a Strategic Regeneration Framework.

The anticipated timetable and programme of works for the production (PDF, 327KB.)