(Photo: Manchester Evening News)
Earlier this week Council Leader Mark Hunter was joined by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and local stars Mercury-nominated band Blossoms and Stockport County’s Macauley Southam-Hales to announce Stockport as Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture.
Stockport is already recognised nationally as having a thriving arts and culture sector. Home to the iconic Strawberry Studios, where artists including Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, and Paul McCartney recorded, the borough is also the birthplace of TV Stars including broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell, and actors such as Claire Foy, Sally Lindsay and Sacha Dhawan.
There is also several historically important public buildings across the borough such as the Edwardian Central Library, built with the assistance of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and the Town Hall, which has become a popular filming location for a number of primetime TV shows such as Peaky Blinders.
The bid was centred around the One Stockport Vision to support the local economy, connect communities and promote health and wellbeing.
Cllr Hunter said: “Winning this accolade at the very first attempt is a real achievement that comes at a great moment for the borough as there are so many exciting projects happening here and a real cultural buzz around the town. We want our Town of Culture programme to give everyone the opportunity to be active and creative right across our borough and we want to make sure we use it to really celebrate the people, places and stories of Stockport.”
“We also want Town of Culture to give a real boost to our cultural heritage and creative organisations and other businesses.”
Cllr Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Sport, added: “An announcement will be made in the next few weeks about funds being made available so creative organisations and communities can bid to develop their own activities linked to the Town of Culture themes of Stockport Makes, Stockport Moves, Stockport Sounds and Stockport Tastes.
“During Stockport’s year as Town of Culture, the Council will also continue to invest in the borough’s cultural assets, with the completion of the Hat Works refurbishment and fully refurbishing Stockport’s Central Library.”