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Welcome Welcome to the Christmas issue of Totally Stockport, your town centre magazine, packed with news, views and what’s happening in Stockport Town Centre. This Christmas Stockport is set to sparkle brighter than it has ever sparkled before and, if you haven’t visited Stockport Town Centre for a while, now is the perfect time.


Stockport lights up for Christmas on November 15th when the S CLUB stars dazzle as Merseyway hosts the big Stockport Christmas switch on – where wide eyes will wonder at the 3D projections as Santa unwraps a Merseyway Christmas. Snowflakes dance in St Peter’s Square and Santa’s sleigh lights up the town.


Get a taste of Christmas Past as you fill your Christmas sacks with beautiful gifts from the Christmas Maker’s Market and Victorian Christmas Market. Join in the fun at the Snow Garden in Merseyway; pop over to Princes Street for some more Christmas delights as the traders put on a shopping extravaganza; see Santa in his sleigh in Mersey Square and don’t forget to get your fabulous Christmas jumper – see pages 6 & 7 for a great selection, right here in the heart of Stockport. And for the first time this year, you can find out about everything that is happening in Stockport this Christmas in one place at It’s hard to believe that 2017 is nearly over – where did the year go? But if we stop to look at all the changes that have taken place in Stockport, it’s amazing to see that so much has happened in just a year


The brand new offices at Stockport Exchange are fully let – read about it on page 23; the Holiday Inn Express is at capacity most nights and the new Redrock leisure complex is opening in time for Christmas – see page 26 for details. Did you come along to the Totally BIG Day Out? See if you can spot yourself on pages 8 & 9, strolling among the dinosaurs, at the Maker’s Market or with Mr Bloom at the Plaza. There’s always something happening in Stockport – plan your next trip with our What’s On pages while we start planning our new year issue packed with more news from the BID and a peek into what’s planned in 2018. Totally Stockport is the name of Stockport’s Business Improvement District, or BID area. There are 280 BID areas across the UK, business-led and business funded bodies, formed to improve a defined area, in our case Stockport Town Centre.







Big Day Out










Food & Drink






Christmas Lights


Stockport in Pictures


What’s On

A round up of Christmas events

Christmas jumpers!

Mr Bloom and much more

The Welsh wonders talk to ImagineFM

The new hairdressing kids in town

Your Business Improvement District

The Town Navigator

Christmas fayre from the supermarkets

Including the Heritage Open Day

Welcoming musicMagpie to Stockport

All the illumination news

A local gallery

A listing for the next three months

Get In Touch If you have a story, news or an event in Stockport Town Centre why not drop us a line? Tel: 0161 244 9896




‘Celebrating Stockport’ Unveiled at Merseyway A

community art project has brought a splash more colour to Merseyway. Students from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and St Thomas’ Primary School, Hillgate, joined Councillor Wendy Wild and Merseyway Centre Manager, Brendan Webb to officially unveil the artwork which celebrates the local heritage and community of Stockport. Pupils at both schools created silk paintings of Stockport, past, present and future, including historical buildings, natural landscapes and other popular local attractions during workshops run by a team of skilled community artists. The artwork was then used to create a heritage montage which has been displayed along the shopping centre’s outside staircase.

40 Years of Stockport Symphony Orchestra

Brendan Webb, Centre Manager at Merseyway said: “Merseyway Shopping Centre is proud of its heritage and our role in continuing to attract new visitors to Stockport. The Celebrating Stockport art project has transformed a well-used staircase at the centre into something eye-catching and vibrant which creatively showcases the the fantastic attractions and buildings the town has to offer.” “The artwork celebrates many of the things that make Stockport such a unique and wonderful place. Well done to all of the children who have worked so hard to create these beautiful pictures, they look great and have transformed the Merseyway staircase,” commented Wendy Wild, Deputy Leader of Stockport Council.


years ago, Stockport Symphony Orchestra held its first concert as Stockport’s official orchestra among the splendour of Stockport Town Hall and they are celebrating their 40th anniversary season with a series of wonderful concerts again in the very same venue Saturday November 11th Elgar and Schumann Featuring Stockport International Young Musician Winner 2017 Conducted by Sergej Bolkhovets • Cello – Konstantin Brums Saturday December 9th SSO plays Broadway Featuring Eleanor Garside and Richard Pollock Conducted by Robert Chasey Saturday January 27th Three Pieces for Orchestra Dvorak – Carnival Overture Martinu – Symphony No.3 Saint-Saens – Symphony No.3 ‘Organ’ with R. Brocklehurst Conducted by Wyn Davies To find more visit


Town Hall Stars on Question Time

he Town Hall Ballroom recently played host to an episode of Question Time, BBC1’s flagship political discussion programme. Audience members from across Stockport brought up topics ranging from university tuition fees to investment in housing and transport. Panellists included Damian Green MP, Angela Rayner MP Fraser Nelson (Editor of The Spectator), Professor Sarah Churchwell and Michelle Dewberry.



n 30th September Stockport was treated to a Big Day Out that featured a variety of completely free events across the town centre, kicking off with a brilliant 9.30am event at Stockport Plaza. The lucky families who applied for their free tickets early enough were treated to a show by the CBeebies superstar Mr Bloom, which was followed by a Trolls show that gave a handful of kids the unforgettable experience of dancing on the Plaza stage, in front of a full house! Meanwhile, in St Peter’s Square a Dinosaur Park was pulling in the crowds. As well as the large-scale model dinosaurs, the park was occassionaly visited by a very convincing, very mobile, T-Rex that was a huge hit with the kids, once they plucked up the courage to pat it on its nose. Outside the bus station entrance to Merseyway, a vinyl market was operating throughout the day, while in Merseyway itself there was an hourly fashion show featuring new collections from all the big chains in the heart of Stockport. Needless to say, the marketplace wasn’t being overlooked and the Maker’s Market that was being held there proved very popular, even with the weather being a bit less than everyone would have hoped for.


Stereophonics Formed in South Wales in 1992 it took Stereophonics five years to break into the charts but once they did, their ascent was stellar. They have sold over 10 million albums worldwide. They became the eighth group to have five consecutive number one albums when Pull the Pin topped the charts, joining the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, Genesis, Oasis, Blur and U2. As they release their tenth studio album, Imagine FM’s Paul Willett chats to singer songwriter Kelly Jones and long-term colleague Richard Jones

One of the best gigs I’ve ever been to was one of yours, at Life Cafe in 2004. You played Dakota for the first time and it obviously went on to be a big hit. Do you remember that gig? Rich: Yeah, I think a lot of the Man United team were on the balcony. I remember looking up and seeing Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney. The new album - your tenth studio album - is called ‘Scream Above The Sounds,’ where did that come from ? Kelly: That came from a lyric in ‘All in one Night’ “Three o’clock in the morning We hear a scream above the sounds” The title’s usually the last thing that comes when you make an album and there are a lot of songs on the record that are, I guess celebrating the small things in life. A lot of things intrude into people’s lives these days, there’s lots of bad news and people are constantly on devices, that sort of thing. So it refers to screaming above the noise that we’re constantly surrounded by. The single ‘All in One Night’ takes the listener on a journey over 24 hours Kelly: I saw this German film called Victoria which starts with a girl going into a nightclub and the film follows her and another character through that night as they end up in situations they never


thought they would be in. It was a cool film that I caught by chance one afternoon and as I was writing the song the 1am, 2am, 3am angle developed for each verse. I wrote a lot of variations on the story but I enjoyed writing it. And I believe you shot the video for that here in Stockport? Kelly: Yeah, we did it with Joe Connor who lives up here. He did the Elbow video for Magnificent and he did the Coldplay ice skating one, I think. But he had a good spin on it - literally, using a circling camera effect. I think the guy who shot it had just come off Wonder Woman, so he probably did a lot of that. ‘Caught by the Wind’ was the next single from the album, tell us something about that Kelly: It’s a song I wrote on the piano and I felt it had a very strong melody so I wanted the lyric to actually mean something. In 2000 you had a hit with “Mama Told Me Not To Come” working with Tom Jones, in an age when everyone is working with other people and someone always seems to be ‘featured’ what has prevented you from revisiting this way of working? Rich: Well, we had a good laugh doing the Tom

Jones thing but that was Tom Jones. He was a good reason to go to the pub for four hours. To do something like that you’ve got to have the right person and he was. You’ve not been tempted to dip your toes into a bit of grime with Stormsy or someone like that? Kelly: Well funny you should say that because I bumped into Fraser T Smith - the famous pop producer - at the traffic lights last week. As you do. I was taking my daughter to school and he was buying coffee. He said ‘hiya Kelly, how are you?’ and I said ‘hiya Fraser, how are you?’ so that was the small talk out of the way and then he said ‘I was with my mate Stormsy the other day and he was banging on about how great your vocal was on the Grenfell record” I just said, “oh, okay, cool.” And as I was walking away I was trying to explain to my daughter who Stormsy was - she doesn’t know what I do half the time” but I did see that there might be a little opening there... He writes a lot about his upbringing and his town and we’ve done the same thing in a different genre. There’s not a lot of difference in what we do, it’s just put out there in a slightly different tone. But you never know with people like that... What’s your touring schedule at the moment? Rich: We’re doing a lot of one-off gigs here and


there to promote the album and we have a European tour coming up in January and we’ll be doing the UK in February and March. When you play live, what gives you the most satisfaction, seeing the faces who have been following you since the early days or younger faces who are just discovering you now? Kelly: It’s a combination of both I think. To see new faces in the front row who have just discovered ‘C’est la Vie’ or ‘I Wanna Get Lost with You’... it’s brilliant. It kind of happened ten years before that too, with ‘Dakota’ and ‘All in one Night’ has done something similar. When we’ve played festivals like Kendall Calling and Victorious which have a very young audience they look at the band thinking that’s the only song we’ve got, then they go on Spotify or wherever and discover we’ve got ten albums up there. With the streaming thing, I think there are more people listening to music now than there ever has been and that gives you the opportunity to play to lots of new people in a lot of places in the world where a record shop would never have distributed your albums. So it’s always lovely to see the people who supported us from day one but it’s amazing to see the new people. It’s them who are helping us to keep on growing.

Happy Birthday BID voters!


t is just over 12 months ago since Stockport town centre businesses voted in favour of a Business Improvement District – BID – which went ‘live’ at the beginning of April 2017. Through Stockport’s BID, approximately £450,000 of funds will be generated each year from a business levy. As each BID runs for a minimum period of five years, that’s £2.5m that will be used to deliver projects to improve the offering in Stockport town centre for everyone visitors, residents and businesses. Since the ballot back in October 2016, the BID team and their partners have been working to create a more vibrant town centre, to attract more people on a more regular basis, many of whom said they hadn’t visited for many years.

Under the new, friendly face of the BID, Totally Stockport now has a permanent BID company Board, made up of BID levy-paying members and their representatives, who have a vested interest and an enormous amount of enthusiasm to support town centre focused projects and initiatives. You can keep up to date with the BID Board’s activities on the Totally Stockport website where minutes of Board meetings are openly available The Board have employed BID manager Paul Taylor, a familiar face about the town both in his role as CEO of Imagine FM and a passionate Stopfordian, to head up Totally Stockport and lead a team to deliver the BID’s objectives, outlined in the original BID business plan.

Events are going to feature a lot in Totally Stockport’s future plans. The Totally BIG Day Out was a huge hit. You can read all about it on pages 8&9 and, despite the rain, thousands visited the town. The Maker’s Market was a big hit too: they are back for a totally fabulous Christmas Maker’s Market on 9th December and will be in Stockport every month from January. To deliver the projects, Totally Stockport has created Steering Groups - Destination Stockport, Experience Stockport, Business Stockport and Digital Stockport - each made up of representatives from businesses within the BID area, who will work together to devise, manage and deliver initiatives and events for everyone to enjoy.

Emergency D

uring the last School half-term holidays, Police Fire and Ambulance services held an Emergency Services Event in St Peter’s Square and were rewarded with a great turn out of families who came along to look, learn and play. Attending alongside the emergency services were organisations such as Stockport Mind, Age UK, St John’s Ambulance, Blood Bikes and, of course, Totally Stockport. The event was very hands-on, with kids clambering over the fire engine, sitting in the police car and learning CPR, along to the innevitable “Staying Alive” soundtrack.

Services Day


A Town o


The opening of Redrock is just days away and excitement is starting to build. Fit out work on The Light Cinema is well underway and the brandnew state of the art 10 screen cinema will be opening its doors in Stockport town centre on 24th November, just in time for some of the most awaited films of the year. Priding themselves on treating every single one of their guests like a VIP, The Light will take cinema viewing in Stockport to a new level. Visitors will be able to relax and enjoy the latest blockbusters, independent and international films as well as live opera, theatre and pop concerts from around the globe from the comfort of The Light. “We are really looking forward to opening in Stockport.  Customers are at the heart of The Light and we want everyone to have a trip to the cinema they will remember from the moment they step through our doors. It is not just about the film - it is about the place, the environment, the accessibility and the service. We aim to make all people feel they belong. Redrock is an exciting new destination and we are delighted to be part of it,” commented Mike Thomson, Commercial Director, The Light Cinemas. Popular dining spots Zizzi and Pizza Express will also be opening at the same time bringing their Italian culinary expertise to Redrock. So whether you fancy pizza loaded with the tastiest toppings or pasta cooked to perfection you’ll find it here. With access to over 1,200 car parking spaces, bike stands galore and a new cycle hub, it’ll be easy to enjoy a day out at Redrock no matter how you travel. Free parking is available for visitors to the cinema! Redrock is part of the Council’s £1 billion investment work taking place across Stockport transforming the town for the future.

TOWN CENTRE RESTAURANT’S SCOOP PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS Congratulations to Stockport’s The Allotment Vegan and Where The Light Gets In who both scooped awards at this year’s Manchester Food and Drink Awards. Where The Light Gets In (below right) were named ‘Newcomer of the Year’ after opening their popular fine dining restaurant in Stockport Market Place last year. The Allotment Vegan enjoyed double success at the awards. Being awarded both the ‘Best Vegetarian Offering of the Year’ award as well as seeing their chef/owner Matt Nutter (below left) named ‘Chef of the Year’.

This is fantastic news and shines a light on Stockport’s ever growing food and drink scene. The town received no fewer than 14 nominations in this year’s awards, second only to Manchester itself.


Stockport residents who are eligible for a free vaccination are being encouraged to receive it, as health experts are predicting a bad flu season following the worst outbreak of flu in Australia in 10 years. Anyone in an ‘at-risk’ group, such as those aged 65 and over, expectant mums or those with an underlying medical condition, can receive a free flu jab by contacting their GP or Pharmacist. To find about eligibility for a free flu vaccination see To further reduce the spread of flu, the vaccine is also given free as a nasal spray to children aged two and three and children in reception class and year 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Totally Stockport Issue 3  

The Magazine for all things Stockport Town Centre