"I've seen the decline and now I'm seeing the comeback" - Culture title another sign of Stockport's revival

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It's become the go-to place in the region - and shows no sign of slowing down.

Stockport’s title of ‘Town of Culture’ is yet another sign it has become one of the most exciting and desirable areas in Greater Manchester, according to local businesses. 

The local community is coming together to host more than 50 events across 25 different locations to celebrate the honour the town has been given for 2024. It comes amid a town centre transformation with new flats going up around improved transport infrastructure, and a stream of new cafes and bars opening. 

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The weekend-long event, on March 23 and 24, will be split into different categories of make, sound, move and taste so every aspect of Stockport can be explored.

Val and the Valkyries will be part of the Carnival of the Animals ParadeVal and the Valkyries will be part of the Carnival of the Animals Parade
Val and the Valkyries will be part of the Carnival of the Animals Parade | Stockport Council

Some upcoming events include the Carnival of the Animals Parade and dance performances by Company Chameleon, as well as a walk down memory lane through a music walk and street art tour – which are all free. There will also be tours of Stockport’s historical sites and events hosted by local businesses. 

For those who know the town well, it’s another example of why Stockport has become a go-to place in the region. 

Owner of SK1 records, Gareth Kenyon, said: “I was born and raised in Stockport, so I've seen the decline, and now I'm seeing the comeback.  Obviously when we opened six years ago, this summer, it was still a very quiet street – whereas in the coming years, there's constantly redevelopment that's going to bring people back into living in the town centre.

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“And I think in the next couple of years, you'll see it completely transform again. There's not really any sort of venue where you've got the capacity because we're in the old part of town, everything's small, which was why we just took (live music events) to the street instead. 

“I think everyone was weary of what we were doing, because they didn't know us at first, but then quickly the council got on board with it, because they want to see these things flourish within the town. So they've been fully supportive and played an active role in helping us.”

Ghost Stock Clothing owner, Katie White, is confident the town’s recent improvements are just the start. She said: “Stockport was a place, when I was growing up, that wasn’t on the map. I’d come down here and there'd be nothing.

Katie White from Ghost Stock Clothing Katie White from Ghost Stock Clothing
Katie White from Ghost Stock Clothing | Manchester World

“This title will only bring people to Stockport to come and see the culture and history because there is so much of it that's interesting when you tap into it – it’s a colourful place and it should be recognized. 

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“The transformation over the last four to five years you can visually see the change to culture and community. In the next three years it's going to be even better, which I can't wait for. I'm glad Stockport has been put on the map, and it will continue to grow on the map.”

The ‘Town of Culture’ award secured Stockport with a £50,000 investment from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) which will go towards redevelopments and investments in the town. This includes celebrating the newly opened town centre park on top of the transport interchange, which is set to host many of the activities across the weekend. Previously crowned Town of Cultures include Bury, in 2020, and Stalybridge, in 2022.

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