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Plans to revitalise borough’s smaller towns approved

18 January 2023

Cheshire East Council approved strategies to support the revitalisation of nine town centres, subject to appropriate funding being identified, across the borough at a meeting of its economy and growth committee yesterday.

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 ‘town centre vitality plans’ (TCVPs) for the Cheshire East towns of 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. 

CoCllr Nick Mannionuncillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “We have enjoyed excellent levels of engagement with many people who have interests in all of the places we are supporting – getting that insight from those people who know the towns best has been invaluable.

“I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who got involved with the consultation process. Their suggestions have really helped to shape these plans.

“Town centres across the UK are continuing to face unprecedented challenges. Changes in how we buy products and services, and the growth of online shopping has increased competition for town centre businesses.

“We are a predominantly rural economy, so it is vital that we do everything we can to support our smaller towns, which many of our residents are more likely to call upon for their needs. All of the towns that these plans support are very individual, so it was important that they reflected that.”

The town centre vitality plans identify projects and initiatives that should be focused on when sources of funding become available, with potential opportunities including the council’s Shared Prosperity Fund allocation from government.

They do not commit the council to funding any initiatives or projects at this stage.