Macclesfield Town Centre Recovery Working Group
Minutes of the meeting to be held on 7th December 2021
Abi Sherratt Macclesfield Town Council
Chris Draper (Co Chair) Peaks and Plains Housing Trust
Cllr Fiona Wilson Macclesfield Town Council
Cllr Janet Jackson MBE (Co-Chair) Macclesfield Town Council
Cllr Nick Mannion Cheshire East Council
Laura Smith Macclesfield Town Council
Jo Wise Cheshire East Council
Dr Evi Girling Keele University
Matt Todd Scoop and Scales
Aoife Middlemass CVSCE
Becky Thompson Macclesfield Hospitality Action
Emma Anderson Macclesfield Museums
Cllr Liz Brathwaite Cheshire East Council
- Welcome from Co Chairs
Cllr Janet Jackson MBE and Chris Draper welcomed the group.
Update from sub groups:
Abi Sherratt updated on the comms group, safety messages have been increased as the rules change, more hand santisers will be provided by the Town Council.
The Town Council have approved funding to improve the signage in and around the town and for the indoor market.
The comms network is growing with many more local businesses getting involved and sharing information and messages on social media.
Cllr Wilson updated that the Town Council have held several successful events as part of the ‘Step into Christmas’ programme. The event on November 20th replaced the traditional light switch on with an event that lasted whole day. Traders gave great feedback as it was steadily busy the whole day rather than busy at one time period when the lights switch on.
MTC also held a late night shopping/ hospitality event which was very positively received, with many shops staying open, and a giant Tipi with heaters bars and food offers. The Town Council plan to do this again next year.
Work is continuing around Park Green and Sunderland street spurred on by Cross roads development by Peaks and Plains. ( see feasibility study update below).
The Tunicliffe programme is underway with great coordination across the town including MTC, CEC and museums.
Th Tunicliffe exhibition is in Silk room at the Town Hall.
MTC funded Magic Lanterns was held on 3rd/4th December which proved quite popular despite the weather.
The Silk Heritage Trust has been awarded a Project Development Grant by the Architectural Heritage Fund to take forward planning for the development of the Heritage Centre / Sunday School. The funding is for development of detailed plans including a full Access Audit, Environment Sustainability Audit and strategy and Fundraising strategy.
The Museums focus for 2022 is to raise the profile of Paradise Mill, including allowing visitors to drop in and see it rather than booking appointments,
Community Response – Aoife Middlemiss gave apologies.
Environment – Matt Tood gave apologies.
Cllr Mannion commented that at the CEC economy and growth committee, he updated on the work of the Macclesfield TCRWG progress which was received very positively. The work of the group was used as an example for other towns. However it is important to note that there is a limit to what can be done medium / long term without external funding and support.
Town Centre Recovery Working Group Update for public and mailing list.
The update has been circulated and will go out to the mailing list and on the council website.
For the next edition all group members are encouraged to send Abi ideas/articles.
Welcome Back fund update
Jo Wise updated on the welcome back fund and the procurement of deckchairs, gazeboes and the ‘Hi to the High Street’ Christmas campaign.
Planters that can be used are barriers will also be procured and social media training.
Jo and Abi will look into whether the fund can be used to improve the electrical points at the Town hall for outdoor events.
Update on other activities:
CEC Feasibility Studies
Jo Wise updated:
- The feasibility studies of Macclesfield Indoor Market is underway and a public consultation will take place. Consultants charged with coming up with range of options short and long term.
- The Town Hall feasibility study is currently out for procurement.
- Procurement is also in progress to look at options for hospitality in Park Green
Mural tender for Town Centre
Cllr Jackson updated that CEC have chosen am artist for the mural and an announcement will be made public once the contracts are signed.
Chris Draper gave feedback from the Challenge Group Meeting held by Peaks & Plains Housing Trust.
Key points were:
- The group were very pleased with Castle ST renovation, and would like to see more of the town centre undergo this work.
- Need for public conveniences, which this group and MTC and CEC are working hard to achieve.
- There are no Sunday bus services meaning many people cannot get into town on this day.
MTC Character Assessment
Cllr Wilson updated the group on the MTC Character Assessment Consultation. Replies have been slow so far, and the group are asked to send it out to all of their contacts once again. The closing date is 17th December 2021.
Interim insights from Summer 2021 Macclesfield wide survey by Keele University
Evi Girling (Place, Crime and Insecurity project-Security in Place, Keele University)
Evi Girling shared slides with the raw data results of a Macclesfield Wide survey held in summer 2021, and to be revisited in 2022 to measure progress or change of attitude.
The survey is very much around the public perceptions during the pandemic and of the town as a place to live. Results so far are very positive and once the data is verified a link will be shared.
Date of next meeting
Next meeting 1st FEB 10am 2022.