Trafford Council has insisted that the disruption caused by roadworks in Altrincham town centre will be “more than compensated by the long term gain”.
Deputy Leader, Cllr Alex Williams, praised the “cooperation and understanding” of local businesses and visitors at a time when the town is undergoing a series of transformational projects.
Works to improve Stamford New Road have been most disruptive for local businesses, particularly as the project is six months behind schedule and not due to complete until the end of April.
“We appreciate that this on-going major scheme is taking time, but we need to make sure it is right,” Cllr Williams said.
Other major projects include the demolition of the old hospital and its replacement with a new development to include a health and wellbeing centre, pharmacy, tourist information centre and the relocated Altrincham Library, with completion scheduled for summer 2018.
And the first phase of the £70m Altair project is finally underway, with the demolition of the former ATS Euromaster centre on Oakfield Road to make way for a 59-apartment development that should also be ready by mid-2018. Further phases will include 91 more apartments, 44,000 sq ft of leisure retail space, 20,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, a 200-space basement car park and a new leisure centre.
But while acknowledging the “inconvenience and disruption” that is resulting, Cllr Williams said the level of investment was “unprecedented” in recent times and that it would all be worth it in the end.
“While everyone involved recognises that these are exciting times, there is also an understanding that they bring with them short term issues and inconvenience for established businesses, workers and visitors.
“As a Council we believe that the short term pain is more than compensated by the long term gain. To see developers, new and relocating businesses and increased numbers of shoppers from near and far all choosing Altrincham as their destination of choice, is encouraging and testimony to the high quality opportunities and prospects the town centre offers.
“By working together, we are all ensuring that Altrincham once again shines as the region’s premier ‘go-to’ destination.”
The council said that footfall in December was up 28% year on year, with shop vacancy rates down from 19% in March 2014 to 11.1% in December.
It also highlighted the arrival of national chains JD Sports, Paperchase and Bistrot Pierre, as well as other openings including along with high quality independent retailers and food and drink outlets opening such as The Con Club and Rankin Styles.