Cheshire East Council has announced that work on public realm enhancements in Macclesfield town centre will begin following the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The improvements to Castle Street will create more scope for cafés and restaurants to have outdoor seating, with footways being widened and resurfaced with natural stone. Granite cobblestone-style paving in the road, new street furniture and enhanced lighting will also be added as part of the work.
Works are being funded by Cheshire East Council and are expected to take around six months to fully complete. The improvements are hoped to attract further investment to neighbouring property in Macclesfield town centre.
Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council’s executive director for place, said:
We recognise that it has been an exceptionally challenging year for town centres up and down the country and so I am delighted that we are now in a position to be able to push ahead with this important scheme in Castle Street, to support the local economy.
“The works will provide significant enhancements to this area and play an important role in unlocking the town’s true potential.”
Work had been due to get underway on the scheme in May 2020 but, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, had to be paused.
Due to low temperatures and poor weather, which can impact on build quality and cause costly delays, the scheme could also not easily have been progressed through the winter lockdown.
During the construction phase, contractors will work with businesses on Castle Street to ensure their needs are taken into account and that public access to all businesses is maintained for the duration of the works.
The commissioning of the Castle Street scheme followed Cheshire East Council’s approval of the Macclesfield town centre strategic regeneration framework earlier this month. The plan sets out its vision for Macclesfield as a place which celebrates its quirkiness and provides the development sector with the confidence and certainty needed to bring forward investment, jobs and economic growth in the town centre.
A unique feature of the works 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.Jacqui Wood