Urban street trees breathe life into Stockport regeneration plans

27 July 2016

Viridor and Stockport Council support street tree planting in historic heart of Stockport, connecting key projects of the town’s wider £1 billion regeneration programme.

As part of Manchester City of Trees and the Viridor Street Tree programme, 10 sweet gum and serviceberry trees have been planted on St Petersgate in Stockport town centre, helping to bring greenery and improved biodiversity to the urban environment, as well as linking key new development sites via pedestrian friendly tree line routes.

The trees were planted in the historic heart of Stockport’s urban centre, delivering key aspirations from the Council’s Green Infrastructure Strategy.

The planting also forms part of Stockport Council’s Investing in Growth programme, which will see £1 billion ploughed into a range of ambitious projects across the borough, bringing 5,000 new jobs and 1,100 new homes to the town.

The trees are situated on the approach to the historic Market Place and Underbanks area, a unique jewel in Stockport’s crown which is benefitting from a £7 million programme of activity aimed at securing the long-term future of this key area.

The planting took place to mark the 5th anniversary of Viridor’s Street Tree programme in partnership with City of Trees, which plants trees in urban and residential areas across the conurbation.

Since 2011 Viridor has planted over 150 street trees in six districts across Greater Manchester including Trafford, Manchester, Bury, Wigan, Bolton and Oldham directly benefitting 364 homes, over 1,000 residents, and improving 3,144.03 metres of road, 1.95 miles which is equivalent to 30 football pitches.

Viridor has a strong presence in the North West of England; with 45 facilities across the region, employing over 1,300 employees throughout the North making up 40% of its workforce.

Patrick Killeen, Operations Manager Greater Manchester for Viridor said: “Street Trees provide a range of environmental benefits including reducing harmful pollutants in the air, aiding urban cooling due to climate change, reducing the risk of flooding and capturing carbon.

“They are a positive way we can contribute to improving the local streetscape as part of this fantastic investment programme, which can only serve to strengthen the conurbation and enable further economic growth.”

Councillor Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Housing, said: “These new trees will help to reinvigorate the green spaces in our town centre and it is hoped this will spearhead further tree planting opportunities identified in the Green Infrastructure Strategy key objectives, together with the development projects that are well underway in Stockport.

“We’re determined to revitalise the borough by supporting sustainable economic growth and regeneration, which will bring more jobs and opportunities to Stockport.”

Kevin Wigley, from the City of Trees team comments; “Trees deliver a whole range of benefits, which makes them an essential part of the future of any town or city.

"This is just one of many projects we are delivering across the region, with important partners such as Viridor, contributing to the goal of planting 3 million trees – one for every man, woman and child who lives in Greater Manchester, within a generation”.

City of Trees would like to acknowledge the support of Viridor, Stockport MBC, GreenBlue Urban and local businesses in helping to make this project a success.