Why we love Stockport, and so should you
Stockport has a perception. It’s had one for a while: unfavourable, forgotten, derelict and declining, the weak younger sibling of the nearby Manctopia.
Towns located near big cities often get pitied for being so close to success and are always by popular opinion almost doomed to fail.
Yes, Stockport has its die-hard fans that have stuck by it through its hardships. Those people should be honoured for their commitment to supporting Stockport.
But there is no denying that Stockport’s had some negative connotations – denying that would be rose-tinted at best.
Despite this, there is a feeling of change in the air. A progressive attitude, one that seems to grow with every flight that glides over our town.
Things that once felt like negatives are no longer so – the noise of consistent flights, the A6 thats cuts through the spine of the town or the M60 that bypasses it. Our location is our friend, it’s our personality, it’s interlocked into our history and part of its future.
We are 7 mins from the city by train, we are located on multiple junctions of a thundering carriage way, we are 20 mins from a worldwide airport hub and 20 minutes from the dramatic Peak District landscape.
Despite anything else that list of convenient circumstances should make you consider our town. Whether that be a place to call home, a space to set up your business or a location to look for work.
Stockport however, is greater than its geographic and complimentary infrastructure. It has a heart, a visceral set of collective spaces that would be prized in the European countries that we travel to visit.
Stockport Marketplace has arguably one of the most enticing streetscapes in the North West. Set with the backdrop of a dominating, yet beautiful, gothic church and anchored by the Victorian market hall that stands so proudly almost as beacon of hope.
Adjacent lies the flowing narrow streets of the Underbanks, with its undulating brows, peaks and interesting hidden passageways. As heritage funding begins to trickle into this historic street, positivity continues to flow. Every new set laid, every building brought back to life and every passerby listing the memories of these spaces with nostalgic precision.
Weaved into this beautiful and chaotic regeneration sits the small businesses that have committed to Stockport. Passionate people who believe in the towns future and aren’t afraid to share it. The plant sellers, record stores, niche magazine collectors, indie clothing distributors and a sprinkling of pubs, bars, food halls and restaurants.
These people are central to the change taking place: the mavericks who took the plunge when friends asked why. It is through these dreamers we should take great comfort in the town’s future.
Not only that but monumental change is around the corner. Stockport bus station is to be transformed into a new state of the art transport interchange topped with a brand new urban park. Merseyway is to be brought to life with vast investment and Stockport Exchange continues on its path to creating a corporate quarter for larger businesses with aspirations to grow.
Stockport of course has its issues like any town or city across the country, but the continued optimism is catching on.
The next stage for Stockport is building the homes for the people that have caught the bug. The focus should be on sustainability, green space and a diverse set of housing types. It’s in diversity that we can compete and win against our nearby neighbours.
With Stockport West and its 3,500 homes coming over the horizon, the potential redevelopment of the large Sainsbury’s site, the towers being built on underused car parks and other areas becoming available – we are on the right track.
Despite the barrage of negative statements littered in the comments sections across social media and the often relentless slurs of negative stories splashed in the press. We. Us. Stockport. Our town. Continues to progress.
We are a sleeping giant, gradually awakening by the roar of the not so inconspicuous Emirates Dreamliner. We can all rest easy knowing that those negative comments are starting to fade and it’s not if those perceptions change, it’s simply when.
Stockport isn’t dying; it’s evolving, changing and adapting to a new generation of ideas.
We’ve built Stop in Stockport to an audience of over 28,000 people on social media. Reaching over 100,000 people a month. We’ve done it through listening, sharing, joking and documenting Stockport’s transformation with transparent positivity and we want to thank you for being part of the journey that’s got us here.
Vive la Stockport.