City centre recovery – why is it needed?
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided new challenges for town centres and local economies. As it has changed people’s everyday life, the footfall and use of town centres have fallen significantly.
Once everyone gets used to the new situation, cities around the UK have decided to take different actions to hit the road to recovery. But it’s not only city councils' responsibility to work on this – local companies also should put the effort in to help the communities.
Stockport during the pandemic
Since entering the lockdown, all urban areas around the UK have seen footfall levels drop sharply, but the drop in Stockport and Manchester city centre was more profound than in other cities. On the week national lockdown was announced, the minimum weekly footfall reached was 12% of its pre-lockdown levels. In August 2020, Stockport recovered to 64% of footfall, but the gap between others Greater Manchester cities was widely seen – i.e. Wigan has recovered in 102% and Ashton under Lyne in 77%. Even Eat to Help Out scheme, which significantly affected some cities, didn’t change much in Stockport.
At the beginning of 2021, Stockport has been awarded £14.5 million to support the town centre’s pandemic recovery. The money will be used to deliver on ambitious £1 billion regeneration plans, including improvements to the Merseyway shopping centre, Underbanks area, train station and the new bus interchange.
To increase footfall Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council decided to use the resources to transform vacant retail units in the heart of the high street into Stockroom, universal learning and discovery space where people will have opportunities to learn new skills, practice arts and crafts, enjoy live performances and many, many more.
Three Sixty helps in town recovery
As a profit-for-purpose company, we give back part of our profits to improve local communities. We donated over half of our profits from financial year 19/20 to Foundations Stockport, which works closely with the people of Stockport to help transform their lives.
During the lockdown, lots of people lost their jobs and had financial problems. Thanks to our donation, Your Local Pantry, a network that helps tackle food poverty and social isolation, was able to deliver food for people in need. Your Local Pantry delivered 4579 food parcels to vulnerable and self-isolating households, including those referred via the Stockport Council Covid-19 helpline from April to July 2020.
Hiring local people
To help local people to get back on track, we’re providing workplaces for local people – about 40% of our staff lives in Stockport.
At the end of July, we’ve hired nine local people, who have filled operatives' positions, in one evening. Even though we were looking to cover only seven positions, we’ve decided to hire two more candidates. They didn’t have enough qualifications for the trades, but we will provide the required training, so they can work and contribute to local community. Read more about the Open Evening here.
Do you want to make a change with us? Meet us at Housing 2021 to talk further about different opportunities! Book a meeting now!