Chorlton Traders

Working together in Chorlton

Update on a MCC Business Support Package Offer for Chorlton Precinct Traders. Received from Cllr John Hacking. 

18 July 2023

In the next few days, there will be a newsletter from the appointed developers PJ Livesey posted to over 20,000 homes, to inform residents about the next steps regarding the Chorlton Precinct development and seeking your views. This first newsletter is initially to hear from residents as to what you think is important here.  After the summer holidays, in October, this engagement will be stepped up and we have been promised multiple in-person events with residents and ongoing engagement which could continue right through until the formal planning meeting.

 This is a really big moment in the Chorlton’s long history. 

Local councillors have pressed hard to ensure that our community’s voices will be heard as part of this process. 

On the specific subject of the future of the traders currently operating in the precinct, we know that there has been a lot of interest in this from residents relating to the previously announced decision to redevelop the precinct from early 2024.

To address these concerns Chorlton Ward Labour Councillors Eve Holt, Mathew Benham and John Hacking, supported by the Chorlton Park Ward councillors Joanna Midgley, Mandie Shilton Godwin and Dave Rawson asked that Manchester City Council coordinate the putting in place of a package of support for traders on the Chorlton Precinct in the face of the upcoming closure and re-development of the site. This is to ensure that as much as possible is done to support traders who wish to continue trading in Chorlton and/or return to trading on the redeveloped site once completed.

We have just received this update from MCC Officers on recent activity relating to a support package.

Report from Manchester City Council on Businesses Support Package Offer for Chorlton Precinct Traders.

The Council’s Work & Skills Team, alongside the South Neighbourhood Team, and the Business Growth Hub visited the Chorlton Precinct on 11th July 2023 to meet with traders on the day. The agent, responsible for managing the precinct, Avison and Young sent letters to all traders informing them that the team were in the area on the day offering support.

The aim was to meet individual traders, understand and establish their needs/requirements and offer one-to-one information and specialist business advice and support. 

Initial feedback from traders has been generally well received and they welcomed the opportunity to meet with and talk to named contacts and appreciated the team’s support.

Some businesses have forward plans and exit strategies in place.

Others appreciated the support of a dedicated business adviser who can help and support with matters such as cash flow, forecasting and business planning. 

Some key features from conversations with traders.

  • There is an acknowledgement that there is limited retail space in Chorlton, those that are actively looking for new premises have the offer of support through Sixteen Real Estate.
  • Some traders are looking to attend the Makers Markets after Jan 2024 and also seeking to increase their online trading.  
  • Linked to this Business Growth Hub have offered support with marketing and growing a business online.
  • A few traders are interested in a vacant large space located close to the precinct but would need this space to be split, with rents shared, which can be explored.
  • Some traders are keen to secure new premises in Chorlton, to continue to trade in the area.
  • Some suggested they might return one the development is completed. 

Next Steps

  • The team to follow up on actions taken away and feed outcomes back to the businesses
  • Future meetings between Work & Skills, South Neighbourhood Team, Business Growth Hub and Sixteen Real Estate will be put in place to continue to support the business up to Jan 24.
  • A Business support information leaflet was created by Work & Skills and has been left with every business. The info consists of links to lots of business support including MCC, Enterprising You, BIPC, Business Growth Hub, Manchester Markets and Here for Business.