Cheshire East Council is asking the public to have their say on plans to revitalise the centres of nine towns across the borough.
Following on from the Crewe town centre regeneration delivery framework for growth and the Macclesfield town centre strategic regeneration framework, the council is now developing town centre plans for the Cheshire East towns of Alsager, Congleton, Handforth, Knutsford, Middlewich, Nantwich, Poynton, Sandbach and Wilmslow.
The council is working with each of the nine towns to help to establish an agreed set of priority actions for each town centre. Any actions would be taken forward as and when opportunities arise, and resources allow.
Known as ‘town centre vitality plans’ (TCVPs), each individual plan has the objective of providing a clear sense of direction for supporting town centre vitality and viability. It could include initiatives, which do not require significant funding, but which could be taken forward by local volunteers and/or businesses. Town centres across the UK are facing unprecedented challenges.
Changes in how we shop and the growth in internet shopping, has increased competition for town centre businesses and many multiple retailers and service providers have closed town centre outlets. These are trends that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why we are consulting the public with these individual town plans.
When opportunities to apply for funding for town centre improvements arise, such as from central government, it is beneficial to have clear town centre plans already in place to support bids for funding. Final plans will be developed through the consultation process, however, it is anticipated that some of the ideas to be put forward may include suggestions such as: improving connections, raising the profile of the centre, enhancing pedestrian/cycling links, creating a ‘sense of arrival’, infrastructure improvements, community hubs and providing better links to heritage trails.
Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “As a predominantly rural economy in Cheshire East, it is vital that we do everything within our gift to support our smaller towns, which many of our residents are more likely to call upon for their needs.
“Partly as a result of the pandemic, the way we shop has changed significantly. The introduction of these town centre vitality plans is an excellent way for our local communities to have a say. We know that no two towns are the same and this is an excellent way to properly appreciate those individual characteristics.
“I would welcome anyone to engage with this consultation process and use it as an opportunity to let us know their views.”
The nine consultations run from today (27 September) to 8 November and can be accessed on the Cheshire East Council website at:
...where the council is also asking people to complete an online survey.