Keith, Graham and Iain

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New study looks at retail in Cheadle

by Lib Dem team on 18 November, 2014

Every few years the Council commissions a report into the state of Stockport Town Centre and our district centres. It feeds into the Council’s planning policy – is land being correctly allocated for different purposes around the borough.

There’s lots about Stockport Town Centre in the report – despite its issues it’s still the fourth largest centre in Greater Manchester after Manchester Central, Trafford Centre and Bolton.

The latest report has just come out and it has some interesting research about Cheadle.

Cheadle is the third largest district centre in Stockport on money spent. The only places above it (Hazel Grove and Cheadle Hulme) both have supermarkets in their centres. £44.9 million is spent in Cheadle annually.

Cheadle has 175 retail and service units – more than any other Stockport district centre. That includes 17 vacancies at the time of the survey. Its mix of shops is fairly typical but it has more banks than most. The percentage of empty units in Cheadle peaked in 2004, then fell to 2008. It rose again in the recession, but has been falling since 2011 and never went higher than it was in 2004.

An unusually high proportion of people walk into Cheadle. 48% of trips to the village centre are made by car or van, 10% by bus, 1% on bike and 40% on foot. However, Cheadle is less of an everyday destination than most other centres. For example, 51% of people surveyed in Romiley said they visited at least four times a week, compared to just 30% in Cheadle.

When asked what they most liked about Cheadle, people said it was convenient and near to home, and mentioned the good choice and quality of independent shops. When asked what they didn’t like, 17% mentioned difficulty parking, 15% said too many charity shops and 12% said heavy traffic (of course, more parking spaces would mean more cars and heavier traffic so that might not be an easy one to sort out!)

Asked how Cheadle could best be improved, 17% said more parking, 15% said more independent shops and 10% said more non-food multiple stores.

Asked what was lacking in Cheadle, ‘delicatessen’,’Marks & Spencer’ and ‘bakers’ were the food shops mentioned. For non-food shops, 40% mentioned a general clothes shop was missing, 16% a DIY shop and 12% a shoe shop.

Cheadle generally rated low for accessibility: by bus, cycle, foot and on car parking. It was also rated poorly on access for people with mobility, hearing or sight difficulties.

The survey looked at ‘linked visits’ – combining shopping with other things like eating and drinking. 35% of people almost always did more than one thing when visiting Cheadle – the highest of any district centre.

Overall, Cheadle is rated as a healthy district centre, but the report notes the high number of charity shops and the poor ranking on transport and accessibility.

The report focuses on the larger centres so it doesn’t have a lot to say about Gatley. However, it does tell us that the total annual spend in Gatley shops is £6.3 million (compared to £44.9 million in Cheadle) and that most of that spend (£4.1 million) is “convenience” – i.e. food and the sort of goods you’d buy in a convenience store.


14 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Is there somewhere one can see a map showing the boundaries used to define the district centres? For example, does “Cheadle Hulme district centre” mean only the Station Road area, or does it include the Church Road area as well?

  2. Mark McIntyre says:

    Best thing for ‘Cheedul’ High Street ? – the Bulldozer !
    Whether they be old or new (the Warwick Mall replacement excepted) – the buildings that line said street be nothing more then an unmitigated mediocre mish-mash – one has seen shanty towns with more ‘character’ !!

  3. MK says:

    Pretty good evidence showing the need and demand for pushing for a station in Cheadle village in those transport meetings. Improve the transport situation, give us a chance for another car park and also some more retail space opportunities. Let’s get that Stockport – Altringham tram-train line accepted!

    Any word on how that plan is proceeding?

  4. Neale Hayward-Shott says:

    Thanks for the info Iain. More encouraging than I wax expecting. Do the figures keep strictly to the centre or do they include Cheadle Royal? Hopefully the Christmas Market will bring a few visitors to Cheadle village.

  5. Iain says:

    Neale – the study just looked at the village (it does have figures for Cheadle Royal but they’re separate).

  6. Iain says:

    MK – should have more news soon on that.

  7. Neale Hayward-Shott says:

    My apologies for being lazy (I could read the report myself) but how does the just under £1m a week get spent in Cheadle?

  8. jb says:

    I look forward to hearing what progress has been made on re-opening Cheadle station on the Stockport – Altrincham line. This seems long overdue.

  9. Iain Roberts says:

    jb – should have more news soon. The way we get a new Cheadle station is almost certainly via a new tram-train service on the Stockport-Altrincham line with several new stations.

  10. Alan Gent says:

    Iain, a wealth of good stuff in there and justification, I feel in the investment made by both SMBC and the Civic Society.
    Regarding other comments, parking should be set against, for example the woeful offerings in Didsbury and Cheadle Hulme. The car parks here will surely improve once the works have been completed and the builders have departed.
    As to the tram, well, I travelled on it yesterday from E Didsbury into Manchester and all I can say is, “if you build it, they will come”.

  11. jb says:

    Unfortunately, the tram-train proposal will take years, if ever, to come to fruition. What is needed now is a simple pair of platforms with steps, handrails and lighting, etc., so that the existing trains can stop there – even by request. This should not cost a fortune.

  12. Iain Roberts says:

    jb – that’s not the way the rail system works, I’m afraid. We don’t have request train stops, and train companies don’t just add on extra stops without a lot of evidence that it would work and be beneficial.

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