Saturday, April 08, 2006

Stockport Times excerpts 6/4/06

Pyramid 5
Originally uploaded by Torve.
How the Co-op cast off Pyramid 'curse'
Co-operative Financial Services is celebratin gthe 10th anniversary of its move to one of Stockport's most distinctive buildings.
Stockport Council launched a design and tender competition in the Spring of 1987, with a brief that any proposed development should contain at least one significant landmark building.
Architects Michael Hyde and Associates teamed-up with developers Provincial and City Properties and drew-up an office park design consisting of five buildings, one of which was the pyramid. The tender was declared the winner in June 1987.
Following the start of construction in September in 1989, managment contractors Rush and Tompkins becase a victim of the recession and ceased trading in April 1990 when the steel feam of the pyramid was nearing completion.
In 1991 with project funding from the Co-op, construction started again in April under management contractors, Ballast and Nedam. And, in spite of the additional recievership of the electrical works contractor in September that year, the project was completed on schedule in March 1992.
The pyramid stood empty for four years until The Coo-perative Bank took control and moved into the glass landmark in 1996.

TV man hears of museum's restoration
Staircase House was featured on the BBC TV programme Flog It recently.

Family firm leads made-to-measure menswear revival
The oldest surviving family business in Stockport town centre, is embracing modern technology to sell made-to-measure suits at High Street rather than Savile Row prices. Freedmans, the 114-year-old menswear business in Little Underbank, has been chosen to spearhead the UK launchof a revolutionary system which allows individually-cut suits to be sold for £300-£400.
The Stockport shop is owned by sprightly 73-year-old David Freedman. His father founded the business in 1892 in Church Road. At one time, it was based in Princes Street on a site which is now part of the Marks and Spencer shop. Mr Freedman, who has no thoughts of retirement, says he is the only tailor left in Stockport.

Shuttered and empty: a sad sight
The future of Edgeley precint will go under the microscope after it was revealed it has the highest proportion of empty shops of any Stockport District centre. Around £1m has been spent on improving the Castle Street area in the last year but the vacancy rate for retail untis stands between 20-25%.
Edgeley Councillor Philip Harding said: "Castle Street is at a pivotal point in its history."
But council regeneration officer Steve Burns has spoken to recent aria committee meetings saying Stockport's district cnetres - except Edgeley - are reversing the national declining trend.
It is thought Castle Street suffers from its proximity to the town centre.
Mr Burns told the Victoria Area Committee: "Edgeley has always had high vacancy levels. The time is right to take a hard look at the boundary and shop front policy."

New dates for walks
Bruntwood Park's weekly health walks are changing dates from Fridays to 1pm on Wednesdays. To join simply meet at the ice crea, kiosk near the main car park, or call 428 5391 for details.

"In the last few days, an area of scrub has been levelled to provide yet more space for the ever increasing horse population. In doing this, birds like blackcap, willow warbler, song thrush and bullfinch have lost a home, as well as the site being ruined for butterflies like comma and speckled wood.
"To me, horsey-culture is a bigger threat to biodiversity in Stockport than farming, and leaves the fields the churn up useless for anything - they are just not suited to large number of horses.
"I would like to ask people who like wild places to keep an eye open for this sort of development, and to oppose any planning applications associated with them."
Andy Bisset