Totally Stockport Magazine Issue 15

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Welcome Welcome to Totally Stockport’s Christmas issue, your bumper guide to all the exciting festive events planned in Stockport town centre to make this Christmas extra special. But all the exciting goings-on in Stockport aren’t just for Christmas. Work on the new transport interchange is underway after the last bus the old bus station in August – read more on page 5; Stockport’s gateway to the town centre is about to expand as the next phase for 64,000sq ft of high-quality office accommodation at Stockport Exchange will begin in the new year and, if successful, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s bid could see a new, state-of-the-art hospital built in the heart of the town. And with so much going on, it’s not surprising that small businesses see Stockport as the perfect place to open a business – find out more on pages 12-14.


Stockport Food Festival Three days of food and drink in the town centre


Interview Northern Soul icon, Lorraine Silver



Fashion Winter warmers that would make great gifts


New Openings We look at the open and the soon-to-be open


News Winters’ clock back in pristine condition


Did you visit this summer’s 3-day Food & Drink or the fantastic Cycling Festival? If not, find out what you can look forward to next year!

Christmas Events around town over the festive season



News Including Stockport’s first Cycling Festival


Merseyway All the Christmas goings-on!


There’s just time to say Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year to all our readers and we look forward to catching up with you in the new year and revealing our plans for the next 5 years!

The Frog Auction We wave goodbye to the frogs


The Totally Stockport team.


News Some amazing things coming to Stockport!


Stuck for Christmas gifts? Check out the latest in winter fashion accessories on page 10 & 11 or put your feet up and take a trip down ‘Northern Soul Memory Lane’ with Lorraine Silver.

Remember the Gigantic Frog Art Trail? All 21 town centre frogs and seven of the One Stockport frog buddies went under the auctioneer’s hammer at Edgeley Park before hopping off to new homes raising a whopping £35,000 for St Ann’s Hospice – fantastic event and a big thank you to all the artists, sponsors, partners, and bidders who made it happen!


What’s On Taking you into the New Year...


Get In Touch If you have a story, news or an event in Stockport Town Centre why not drop us a line? Tel: 0161 537 9382



News H

A multi-million-pound hospital for Stockport?

ealthcare services in Stockport could be radically transformed after ambitions to build a new state-ofthe-art hospital in the centre of Stockport were unveiled. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Stepping Hill Hospital, will be bidding for Stockport to have one of 40 new hospitals to be built as part of a £3.7 billion Government programme. The New Hospitals Programme aims to build the new hospitals by 2030 and has already announced 32 new build projects. It is now looking for a further eight projects, and Stockport is hoping to be one of them. Karen James, OBE, Chief Executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Stepping Hill Hospital is an ageing hospital that was not designed to deliver modern acute services and we are also facing a £95m maintenance bill. But even if we had the funds available to carry out all the work needed, it still would not provide the modern hospital environment patients and staff deserve.”

It is estimated the Government would need to invest around £500m in the creation of a new hospital for the people of Stockport and the surrounding areas. With no room on the existing site to build a new hospital, the Trust is currently looking at an area of the town centre that incorporates the Heaton Lane multi-storey car park and former Debenhams store. Karen said: “We know that many of our patients, visitors and staff, particularly those living in outlying areas, don’t find it easy to get to Stepping Hill Hospital. The proposed town centre site is close to key transport hubs and would also allow us, as a major employer in the town, to play our part in the exciting regeneration of Stockport.” Public support for the proposed new hospital plan will be crucial to a successful bid to the New Hospitals Programme. The Trust has launched a campaign to gather and encourage that support. Information about the new hospital plans, together with details about how people can ask questions about the proposal and show their support for a new Stockport hospital, will be made available on the Trust’s website

Stockport Exchange Phase Four to begin early, in 2022


ollowing the granting of planning consent, Muse Developments and Stockport Council are aiming for work on the latest phase of Stockport Exchange - the area around Stockport Station - to begin early in 2022. Planning consent was approved following the developers’ decision to bring forward the latest phase of work on the site after securing £4.2 million of funding from the Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ through Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Phase 4 of Stockport Exchange, one of Greater Manchester’s most connected and accessible business hubs, will include a 64,000 sq ft high-quality office building, along with an innovative 400-space multi-storey car park for office occupiers, featuring electric vehicle charging points and a green ‘living’ wall. The £145 million development sits as part of the Council’s wider £1 billion town centre regeneration programme and visionary Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC).

Three phases of development have been successfully delivered at Stockport Exchange: a 115-bedroom Holiday Inn Express, a 1,000-space NCP multi-storey car park, two stunning office buildings totalling 120,000 sq ft with ground-floor retail, sat within extensive public realm. Hazel Grove based O’Neill Patient will be relocating to Stockport

Exchange joining international and national occupiers BASF, musicMagpie and Stagecoach. Tom Webber, senior development surveyor at Muse, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement from everyone involved with Stockport Exchange. The country’s economic recovery will come from our towns and cities and with people looking to return to the office, it’s clear that there’s still a strong demand to bring forward high-quality office space and infrastructure, but it must promote wellbeing, sustainability and active travel to be fit for the office of the future. Stockport Exchange ticks all those boxes and existing occupier feedback has been very positive on how the scheme fully serves the needs of their teams. “Together with our partners at Stockport Council, we’re investing in and repurposing the town centre, transforming it into one of the most connected and vibrant destinations, which is acting as a catalyst for further place-changing regeneration through the Mayoral Development Corporation.”

Stockport’s feast of a three-day Food & Drink Festival S

tockport served up a feast of a sunny, 3-day Food & Drink Festival across Stockport town centre at the beginning of September attracting thousands.

Over 30 food and drink stalls tempted the most discerning of taste buds with fabulous aromas and food and drink from all around the world and on Sunday Mr Bloom and his Veggies entertained a bumper crowd at The Plaza There was summer fun for all the family in Merseyway where, as well as the fantastic stalls, a chance to Spin to Win had people of all ages visiting the Market Place to claim their prizes and Merseybay was a big hit with the children, building sandcastles at the beach! • Simon Wood

Over the weekend celebrity chefs Aldo Zilli and Jean Christophe Novelli entertained the crowds, performing cooking demos as they rustled up some favourite recipes. Joining the celebrity chefs on stage was Britain’s Got Talent’s supreme mixologist Neil Garner from Cherry Jam and Stockport’s latest Chef de Patron Marc Mole who will soon be opening Bistro Marc at Winters on Underbank while BBC’s Stefan Gates wowed everyone with his foody science demos.

• Aldo Zilli

The team from The Plastic Shed and Where The Light Gets In ran a series of sellout workshops

• Sushma Solanki

Stockport’s hospitality offering is growing as more and more independents choose to open their businesses here. Pop down for yourself any day or evening and sample some of the delights in food & drink that Stockport offers all year round!

• Andrew George

So your singing career began with a trip to Woolworths Yes, it did. And without my parents knowing anything about it. I was 13 years old, living in the suburbs and I knew that in Oxford Street in London there was one of these recording booths - a bit like a passport photo booth - but you could go in, put your two shillings in and record yourself. So I went up there with a friend during the holidays, put my two shillings in and sang Brian Hyland’s Sealed with a Kiss and out pops this acetate record. Round the corner in Marble Arch were the Pye studios which was one of the major labels in the 1960s. So I walked into the studios with this record in a brown paper bag, went to reception and said “’I’ve just recorded this in Woolworths, would somebody like to listen to it?” They took my address and.. that was it. About six weeks later something drops through the door and it was a letter from the executive of Pye Studios saying they were so impressed by the acetate, would I like to come up for an audition? That must have been incredible! Of course, even at 13 it was a dream of mine to sing and to get this letter was unbelievable, so obviously now my parents had to know about it . My dad chaperoned me to Pye Studios for the audition and there and then they said they wanted to offer me a recording contract. It is the stuff dreams are made of. We’re talking about the 1960s, not like today when lots of younger people get recording contracts, this was very rare. During the year that I was under contract I recorded two singles and honestly, it was the most exciting time of my life. They gave me a track to learn which was The Marvelettes I’ll Keep Holding On. I remember sitting by my dansette day after day, learning this track and three others then I got a call saying “no, no, no, the studio have changed their mind, could I now record a song by Shelley Faberes who was an America actress/singer and the song was called Lost Summer Love. It was a very twee, American song. When I came to record it, they changed the sound so much. It became one of the big 60s sounds, with the brass, the tambourine etcetera. And they really expected it to be a hit. I was given a manager and did all the photographs and I got a lot of press because of my age. I had my own show on Radio Luxembourg - it was so exciting. But the downside was that my manager had another act - The Overlanders who had a number one with a cover of the Beatles’ song Michelle. So obviously all their attention went in that

Stockport Gets on its Bike!

A great turnout for the town’s first cycling festival


housands of cycling enthusiasts and intrigued visitors rode and walked into Stockport town centre for two awesome days of racing, spectating and festival fun on 18th and 19th September. Two thrilling days of stunts, pro-performances, spectating and festival fun centred around Mersey Square, Merseyway, Redrock and the Market Place. An exciting fun-packed cycling festival, an amazing weekend of activities took place across the town centre -

amazing BMX riders twisted and turned on the half pipe; breath-taking stunts from the pro-riders. Visitors had a go on the Pop-up Pump Track from Fast Traxx as well as having the chance to cycle round the town centre and visit all the attractions on 2 wheels. As well as exhilarating, nail biting stunt displays by the hugely talented BMX, Mountain Bike and Parkour athletes from Fusion Extreme, action was abundant around the inspiring and animated Event Village in St Peter’s Square where a wide range of fun, cycling related activities took

place including free Bike MOTs, giveaways from TfGM and bizarre pedal power challenges. Face painting, a children’s bike circuit with bikes provided and pedal powered smoothies kept the kids entertained while a dedicated children’s bike circuit with a supply of different sized bikes and an opportunity to try baby, toddler and child trailers meant the whole family enjoyed cycling together. After such a fantastic and exhilarating weekend, organisers are hoping to see the festival back in Stockport next year – watch this space!


Stockport Murals A palette of vibrant artwork lights up the town centre


tockport’s historic Underbanks area has been brought to life with a collection of fantastic murals.

Totally Stockport teamed up with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to add a variety of street art installations and a wealth of colour to the town centre. The artists, selected through a tender process, were asked to create designs that connect to the history as well as outstanding works of art to attract

visitors and generate greater awareness of the much- anticipated regeneration of the Underbanks. Four artists were selected, including both local artists as well as internationally renowned street art creators: Head over to Royal Oak Yard and be amazed by local artist Qubek’s nod to the Mersey, Robinson’s brewery, Winters famous clock. The Stockport Moth by Paintsmith was part funded by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust and chosen to highlight the importance of overnight pollinators for a wide range of flowers and plants like the barley plant, fundamental in the brewing process. Hop over to Robinson’s Visitors Centre when you seek out The Moth located in the brewery yard, best seen from higher up Lower Hillgate. Jimi Hendrix, created by Otto Schade, overlooks Chestergate from the site of the former caretakers flat at Merseyway. Otto’s installation focuses on the Underbanks’ musical past and pays homage to Jimi Hendrix, who played at the Sinking Ship Club located on Royal Oak Yard in 1967. Shop Small, Love Local by local artist Emily Flanagan (brightens up the window arches under St. Petersgate Bridge. Emily studied Art and Design at Stockport College and is known for her signature art style, consisting of big eared characters teamed with bold shapes and contrasting colours.