Contractor Graham has been lined up to deliver the first phase of works to Stockport’s Merseyway shopping centre, while the council has also completed its purchase of the centre’s former BHS.
Graham will deliver a series of interventions on Adlington Walk, a covered area off the main shopping mall linking to Chestergate. Designed by architect AEW, these will include a lobby-style entrance, a new stair and lift core, overhauling existing retail units, public realm improvements, and new toilets.
There will also be a soft play area, new seating, buggy stores, parent-and-child facilities, and a multi-faith prayer room.
The plans are the first phase of a wider scheme which will see the Merseyway modernised and overhauled to improve access, including linking to the town’s new transport interchange, due to complete in 2022.
As part of the revamp, Stockport Council has completed on the purchase of the former BHS store at the Merseyway; the council first revealed it was looking to buy the BHS around six months ago and entered into an exclusivity agreement with the building’s owner in November last year.
The purchase has now been finalised; the council’s ownership now includes the former BHS store, which is now let to Poundland; 18-20 Merseyway, let to Optical Express; and the freehold of 14-16 Merseyway, where the council already has the leasehold.
The Merseyway has secured a number of tenants in recent months, including X-Gen VR. The 2,300 sq ft virtual reality gaming centre, set to open in June, includes a VR arcade along with private rooms, where visitors can pay an entry fee for 15, 30, and 60-minute sessions.
The VR gaming centre follows the opening of Tessuti in a 5,000 sq ft unit before Christmas. Other tenants, including Thorntons, EE, WH Smith, and TUi have also committed to lease renewals in the past year.
The council bought the struggling 300,000 sq ft shopping centre out of administration in April 2017.