Members of Stockport’s official Portas Pilot ‘Town Team’- who will be responsible for shaping and running the town centre – have been announced.

It will comprise two main groups – the Town Team Board and the wider Town Team.

The Board will be made up of selected representatives and will have responsibility for shaping the town centre’s future, delivering key projects, agreeing actions and communicating with partners and the public. The Town Team will be a larger group including everyone within the town centre who wants to be involved, find out what’s going on, have their say and meet others.

Stockport’s Town Centre Business and Retail Forum called for nominations to make up the Board.

Members were also asked to vote on the selection process. The majority voted for a selection panel comprising the President of the Stockport branch of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Stockport Town Centre Business and Retail Forum and Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at Stockport Council.

The selection panel chose the following representatives to be appointed to the Board:

• Market trader: Corin Bland, High Peak Beer

• NMTF President Stockport branch: John O’ Mara

• Independent trader: Paul Bowes, James Bowes Jewellers/Kevin Nurse, CEX, Princes Street (joint application)

• Major retailer: Kate Pickup, Debenhams

• Food & drink: Dave Howarth, Rhode Island Coffee

• Young people: Adam Thorneycroft, Spot on Youth Club

• Cultural/creative: Ted Doan, Plaza

• Voluntary sector: Rachel Jones, Pure Innovation

• Chamber of Commerce: Matthew Kershaw

• Commercial (via the Chamber of Commerce): Ben Poland, Salamander Rentals/Stockport Business Awards

• Resident: no one has applied; applications still invited

There are also the following fixed representatives:

Cllr Iain Roberts
Ann Coffey MP
Merseyway Centre Management (Brendan Webb/ Brian Adshead)

The Town Team is still calling for nominations for a member to represent residents in the town centre.

Councillor Iain Roberts, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “We have already seen a wealth of enthusiasm and passion to improve our town centre. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination and well done to those selected. I’m confident that we have a committed and innovative team to take forward some exciting plans for the town centre.

“It’s obvious that there is a lot of energy and ideas in Stockport and we welcome all of these. We all have the same goal – to put Stockport on the map and make it the place that people are talking about.”

The first meeting of the Town Team Board will take place as soon as possible and at this, a Chair will be nominated.