Have your say on downtown vitality plans

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September 27, 2022

Cheshire East Council is asking the public to have a say in the revitalization plans for the centers of nine towns in the borough.

As a continuation of the Crewe Town Center Regeneration Delivery Framework for Growth and the Macclesfield Town Center Strategic Regeneration Framework, the council is currently developing town center plans for the East Cheshire towns of Alsager , Congleton, Handforth, Knutsford, Middlewich, Nantwich, Poynton, Sandbach and Wilmslow.

The council works with each of the nine towns to help establish an agreed set of priority actions for each town centre. All actions would be undertaken as opportunities arise and resources permit.

Known as “Downtown Vitality Plans” (PCVP), each individual plan aims to provide clear direction to support downtown vitality and sustainability. These could be initiatives that do not require significant funding, but could be carried out by volunteers and/or local businesses. UK city centers are facing unprecedented challenges.

Changes in the way we shop and the growth of internet shopping have increased competition for downtown businesses and many retailers and service providers have closed downtown 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 center improvements arise, for example from central government, it is beneficial to already have clear town center plans in place to support funding applications. Final plans will be developed through the consultation process, however, it is expected that some of the ideas to come forward could include suggestions such as: improving connections, raising the profile of the centre, improving pedestrian/cycling links, creating a “direction of arrival”, improving infrastructure, community hubs and improving links to heritage trails.

neckCustomer Nick Mannionncillor Nick Mannion, chairman of Cheshire East Council’s Economy and Growth Committee, said: “As a predominantly rural economy in Cheshire East, it is essential that we do all we can to supporting our small towns, which many of our residents are more likely to appeal to their needs.

“Partly because of the pandemic, the way we buy has changed significantly. The implementation of these city center vitality plans is an excellent way of giving a voice to our local communities. We know that no two cities are the same and this is a great way to properly appreciate these individual characteristics.

“I would like anyone to engage in this consultation process and use it as an opportunity to tell us their views.”

The nine consultations run from today (27 September) until 8 November and can be accessed on the Cheshire East Council website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/consultations where the council is also asking people to respond to an online survey.

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