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 see footways widened and resurfaced with natural stone – creating scope for cafés and restaurants to have outdoor seating – 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.
Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “I am delighted that this scheme is now confirmed to start in the spring. Cheshire East Council is providing the funding for this project and it shows the council’s commitment to helping Macclesfield unlock its true potential.
“In the past few months we have seen a number of private sector investors not just showing interest in Macclesfield but being sufficiently confident in its future to commit their own funds. The recently-opened and exciting Picturedome food hall development is just one example of this.
“The strategic regeneration framework sets out a fresh and re-energised vision for the town centre, focused on its pivotal role as a catalyst for driving forward a more exciting and prosperous future for the whole town. It does so without losing sight of the town’s cherished and important heritage and a strong sense of Macclesfield’s unique character, which are rightly seen as important by local people and visitors.
“The framework gives us a clear route map forward to unlock further opportunities and in the coming months we will be turning our attention to Chestergate and the station gateway in line with the framework.
“Macclesfield is without doubt a great town. By focusing on unlocking the true potential of the town centre, working collaboratively with others, we can make it even better.”
For more information about the Macclesfield town centre strategic framework visit the council's website.