D evelopers have unveiled further plans to improve Sale town centre which include bringing nightlife to the Mall.
One of the first steps would be to remove barriers to the walkway – described as like ‘prison gates’ by owners.
More independent traders would be encouraged to set up and canopies removed to add more light. Flexible first floor office space is also part of planned improvements. At present the Mall is closed from 6 pm until 8 am.
The Mall would ‘repurpose’ existing space, working within the fabric of existing buildings rather than demolish them. The developers felt that although tired in appearance, the existing architecture was fundamentally strong and could be stripped back.
The plans, recently submitted to Trafford Council, were outlined in a webinar entitled ‘The Changing Face of Sale Town Centre’ and hosted by Altrincham and Sale Chamber of Commerce.
Michael Brown, director of developers Altered Space, told local business owners and community groups supporting Sale’s regeneration plans that the effects of Covid-19 can act as a spur rather than a deterrent.
He said: “With every crisis comes opportunity – this is not just about our ownership but the town as a whole. There are so many key components in Sale that are right. I feel the time is right for Sale at the moment.
“There are a number of key assets in Sale. It’s Sixties shopping centre but you’ve a beautiful town hall and Waterside arts centre. The canal is also unique as the waterfront hits the town centre.”
The Mall project, which could start later this year, forms Phase Two of the redevelopment of The Square and these are likely to overtake the larger Phase One residential scheme.
Phase One, involving apartments, town houses, a new multi-storey car park and a six-screen cinema, received Trafford Council approval more than a year ago.
However, an investment partner is still being sought which means the two-year project would not start until next year at the earliest.
Mr Brown added: “For Sale town centre what might come out of Covid-19 is hopefully a greater sense of community which has been aroused in the last couple of months.
“It’s a big population but it all does link to the town centre. We want people to shop locally and stay in their own community without necessarily rushing to the city centre and the Trafford Centre.
“The Square and School Road are pretty tired and our aim is to amalgamate them. We want to bring the Mall to life with new shop fronts for high quality retailers and commercial traders.
“Sale’s pretty dark in the evenings, it’s not that inviting and what we want to do is to drag night life down to this part of the town and make it inviting and warm in the evenings.
“The Waterside is a unique asset and there’s a huge arts and culture movement. We want to make the town vibrant and give it a brand and an identity.”
The Square’s letting agents Sixteen have launched a campaign to attract tenants, including pop-ups. The rejuvenation of Altrincham has led to a greater impetus to stimulate Sale.
It is understood there are also plans to refurbish Sale Leisure Centre in due course. Along with bringing forward changes to The Square Shopping Centre, Altered Space has been working collectively with Sale Town Partnership, The Chamber of Commerce and Trafford Council to set up a Sale Regeneration Body to develop a detailed business plan for the future.
Mr Brown said: “We would encourage all businesses, stakeholders and residents in Sale who have a passion to transform Sale town centre into a vibrant community hub to get in touch and share ideas.”
Sue Aldridge, President and CEO of Altrincham and Sale Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is exciting to see the regeneration proposals for Sale town centre which will encourage further growth in the town and the locality. The collaboration of local organisations to drive the redevelopment forward successfully for the benefit for all is crucial.”