It's very disappointing for Macclesfield town centre to learn that M&S will be closing its store on Mill Street and moving its operations to the Barracks Mill site during the winter of 2022/23. The store is much-valued by its customers and plays a well-recognised role in attracting shoppers to our high street.
That's why it is vital that Cheshire East Council now actively works with interested parties to find alternative retail and leisure-led uses for the location, so that this important site does not fall vacant and continues to help drive town centre footfall.
I have been in contact with Marks and Spencer to find out more about the support that will be provided to the current members of staff.
The pandemic’s impact highlighted the need to support local retail and hospitality businesses and M&S's decision now underscores the need to take urgent action to revitalise Macclesfield town centre.
I would urge Cheshire East Council to accelerate the development of its regeneration projects for Macclesfield, so that the £5 million allocated for this task can be drawn upon and utilised as soon as possible. This will help offset the impact of this latest news and help make Macclesfield more responsive to the latest consumer trends.
We need to build on the work of the Macclesfield Town Centre Recovery Working Group and address these challenges with greater pace. I will go on working with Cheshire East Council, local stakeholders and businesses in this vital task.