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What the locals really think of Heaton Moor

PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 April 2016

Heaton Moor shops

Heaton Moor shops


The restoration of an old Heaton Moor building is transforming a corner of this smart suburb, writes Emma Mayoh

Steve Dillon at the Village Point projectSteve Dillon at the Village Point project

They’re an enterprising bunch in Heaton Moor. This smart Stockport suburb has over the years produced Hollywood actors, cricketers, bestselling crime authors as well as being home to Cecil Kimber, founder of the MG Car Company.

So it should be no surprise that many ‘movers and shakers’ can be found here now, albeit some way from the spotlight.

Father and son Stephen and Liam Dillon, who are working to transform part of the old Conservative club, can be counted in this group. They have masterminded the project in The Moor Suite where work is going to transform the 19th century architectural gem into a state-of-the-art events and business centre.

At the heart of the £250,000 redevelopment will be a stunning ballroom, The Lodge piano bar and The Hub, a space for freelancers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and students. The development is the latest in a line of exciting new arrivals in Heaton Moor including the revitalised Savoy Cinema, which opened its doors in October 2015. Village Point is expected to open in the spring.

Strictly fun.....Workmen Shaun Pugh and Johnathan Key imagine the scene when the Village Point project's ballroom is completed....Strictly fun.....Workmen Shaun Pugh and Johnathan Key imagine the scene when the Village Point project's ballroom is completed....

Stephen said: ‘I’ve lived in The Heatons for 30 years and it’s been a long-standing ambition to invest in a business within the local community. Our aim for Village Point is not only to revitalise a great building, but to bring an outstanding space for events and business right into the centre of local life.

‘It’s an exciting time for Heaton Moor with the arrival of some wonderful new businesses and our hope is that Village Point will become another jewel in Heaton Moor’s crown.’

Another group putting Heaton Moor on the map is the team at Brassica Grill. The man at the helm, 44-year-old Paul Faulkner, is company director and head chef. He forged a successful career for himself working at top establishments including the former Urbis restaurant, The Modern in Manchester and Albert Square Chophouse, and in London at the OXO Tower Restaurant and several Knightsbridge establishments.

Last year, within a few months of opening, the popular restaurant was awarded a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand in the 2016 guide. It is one of only two in Stockport to make it into the publication and the only one in the Greater Manchester area to achieve the accolade.

At The Brassica Grill are Chef Patron, Paul Faulkner (left) and team Megan Motlev, Ben Collinge,  Mark Miller and Matt O'BrienAt The Brassica Grill are Chef Patron, Paul Faulkner (left) and team Megan Motlev, Ben Collinge, Mark Miller and Matt O'Brien

‘Opening a restaurant of my own was something I’d always thought about doing and I love Heaton Moor, it’s a fantastic place. There are some good restaurants here and the site is good. I used to eat in here before I took it over. I loved the place.

‘We had no idea we were going to be in it the Guide. Of course, everybody wants to be in it, it’s really highly regarded in chef circles and is a great achievement for us. We were very happy and it’s great for the area too.’

Two Heaton Moor residents educating other women about nutrition as well as exercise are Steph Rice and Rachel Sanderson. The pair, who established the Busy Woman’s Fitness Project, spent years working for affluent women in London, including some celebrities, at places like Champneys Health Spa and the Baglioni and Sanderson Hotels as well as at private clients’ homes.

But they decided to move North and leave the capital’s fast pace behind.

Rachel Sanderson and Steph Rite of The Business Women's Fitness ProjectRachel Sanderson and Steph Rite of The Business Women's Fitness Project

They got into fitness training after overcoming personal struggles. Steph was a talented figure skater but injury meant she could no longer follow her dream. She was devastated and unsure of what to do for some years. It also led to weight gain. It was a similar story for Rachel, who spent more than 15 years as a competitive dancer. When she stopped she too gained weight and became unhappy but she used exercise to get herself back on track.

The pair, who say they are the only female-run personal training service exclusively for women in the Cheshire area have never looked back. As well as offering training sessions and boot camps, they also give advice on the optimum nutrition and hold healthy supper club evenings. One is coming up at Damson in Heaton Moor on April 27th. They produce their own granola which is sold to clients as well as some local retailers.

Rachel also devises recipes for the Busy Woman’s Fitness Project and has her own food blog and vlog.

‘We love what we do. Female trainers across the North West are like gold dust so we’re really pleased to be able to offer that to other women. Our supper club has become really popular because it means you can still enjoy a night out without worrying that you’re spoiling your healthy eating intentions.

‘Healthy and fit doesn’t mean you have to look like a fitness model. You just have to live a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, eat foods that fuel and nourish your body and lead a fulfilling and active life.

‘The feedback we get is really encouraging and we thrive on being able to work with other women to help them make real and positive changes to their lives.’

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