<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Macclesfield pins its future on leisure regeneration scheme

PUBLISHED: 13:44 27 July 2015 | UPDATED: 22:04 23 October 2015

Market Place

Market Place


Silk has defined Macclesfield. Locals are keen to retain its heritage while regenerating for the future, writes Rebekka O’Grady

An ‘inspirational’ CGI image of a leisure led development featuring a cinema in Corby from local Bollington architects NBDA An ‘inspirational’ CGI image of a leisure led development featuring a cinema in Corby from local Bollington architects NBDA

Macclesfield is a town that is constantly evolving. From finding its fortune in silk to becoming home to one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca, the town is now moving forward to secure a new leisure-led scheme to spearhead the regeneration of the town centre.

Two potential sites identified by the council are the Duke Street car park and the Churchill Way car park. This new development follows the ending of the Silk Street development agreement with Wilson Bowden.

‘This is a watershed moment for the realisation of a leisure regeneration scheme for Macclesfield town centre and signals a new era,’ said leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Michael Jones. ‘As the development agreement with Wilson Bowden has terminated, the council can now actively test the market for interest from other potential developers, who may wish to invest in the town centre utilising some of the land, which has for many years been earmarked for the Silk Street scheme.’

The councillor said they believe there is a strong market interest in this project, which will be central to delivering a town centre that the people of Macclesfield deserve. The council has also committed £1,000,000 in capital funding to support projects to refurbish and revitalise the town centre.

Macclesfield Town Hall Macclesfield Town Hall

‘This council is about actions, not just words – and we are proceeding with real purpose to unlock and realise the great potential of Macclesfield.’

It’s not only the council wanting to unlock what Macclesfield has to offer: two local businesses are keen to revive the town’s famous silk connections. John Douglas Menswear, located in the late-16th century building on Chestergate, have teamed up with Bollington silk mill R A Smart, to produce a heritage range of silk ties, scarves and handkerchiefs.

‘Ron has been a customer here for years. We were having a casual conversation about the type of ties I sold in the shop and he realised we don’t stock Macclesfield silk,’ explained David Johnson, who owns the menswear store with his brother, Richard. The original John Douglas was their father. On his death he left the shop to the brothers. ‘It was embarrassing to think we didn’t have Macclesfield silk, especially as we have been established in the town since 1964. It then all started from there.’

After viewing some of the classic Macclesfield designs from Ron’s own archive and in Macclesfield museum for inspiration, David and Ron decided to go into business under the name John Douglas Silks.

Ron Smart of R A Smart and David Johnson of John Douglas with the new collection of John Douglas Silks Ron Smart of R A Smart and David Johnson of John Douglas with the new collection of John Douglas Silks

The heritage range incorporates elements of those classic designs but are brought up-to-date with vivid patterns and colours. ‘Ron made us 50 ties and they flew out,’ said David, who is selling the ties from £36, scarves are priced up to £60 and handkerchiefs range from £15 to £25. ‘The ties we had available here beforehand were popular but the designs were the same. Men are now reading into heritage, they like things with a history or if a story has a chance to come through.’

The partnership between John Douglas Menswear and R A Smart, which is one of only two silk mills still active in the Macclesfield borough, means that the high street store is the first in decades to stock exclusively designed Macclesfield silk in the town.

‘The next collection is going to be really colourful,’ continued David. ‘We’re hoping to also be able to stock the range in heritage or visitors centres around the country, so that others can buy into the town’s heritage.

‘We just wanted to bring something that a part of Macclesfield’s history into the mainstream. There’s no age in style.’

Macclesfield Macclesfield


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cheshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cheshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cheshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Rebekka O’Grady looks at businesses in Frodsham that have stood the test of time, and meets those hoping to have a bright future

Read more
Mon, 00:00

In 2018, Wales celebrates its outstanding coastline and invites visitors to discover epic experiences all around its shores. This is the Year of the Sea, writes Penny Lloyd

Read more
Thursday, January 11, 2018

There are several major canals that run through Cheshire, these walks run alongside or cross over sections of at least of these waterways.

Read more
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We head for Styal for a walk which combines river and woodland with the din of international air travel, writes Howard Bradbury.

Read more
Styal Quarry Bank
Monday, January 8, 2018

What is it that makes Macclesfield a magnet for the art crowd? Janet Reeder heads over there to find out

Read more
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Whether you’re horse crazy or just along for the ride, equine events are an important part of the Cheshire social calendar.

Read more
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Eight great, and easy, resolutions that will help make 2018 your greenest year yet. Words by Katie Piercy from Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Read more
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It’s been an action packed year in Cheshire, how much of it can you remember?

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search