The Wharf Marple CIC has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £10,000 for an exciting heritage project, Market Appraisal and Engagement Study in Marple. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on developing the plans to bring The Wharf Warehouse back into use for the benefit of the community in Marple and beyond.
The Wharf Marple Project will enable local people to discover the origins and explore the history of Marple’s canal transport heritage and how we plan to transform the former Grade 2 Listed Warehouse into a place where the community can come together and enjoy a variety of activities. The CIC is in the process of buying the Warehouse, having raised an impressive £160,000 so far from local investors via the Wharf Marple CIC’s Community Investment Scheme.
As the development gets underway, we will be looking for people to get involved and volunteer their time and expertise for tasks such as market research, admin support, clearing the outside space to a spot of gardening. There will also be opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills such as lime mortar pointing and digital media communications. And we will be running a series workshops and talks on these topics for anyone interested in getting involved over the next few months.
The Wharf Warehouse is a Grade 2 Listed building of national significance, much loved and well known by many people in Marple and beyond. The Warehouse building was built around the time of the construction of the Peak Forest Canal and Macclesfield Canal in the early 1800s and sits between two Grade 1 Listed Roving Bridges. In its heyday the Warehouse would have been busy as a trans-shipment point conveying goods to and from the neighbouring Historic England Listed Lime Kilns.
Commenting on the award, Director, Susan Ingham said:
We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will be a big help in getting this important piece of our heritage we are all so proud of into community hands”.
And Heritage Director, Bob Humphrey -Taylor said:
This iconic warehouse building is a hugely important part of Marple’s industrial history. The Wharf will be front and centre of the Marple Heritage Trail and a place for people, young and old, to learn about Marple’s rich heritage. The warehouse, with new Heritage Display areas, will add a new dimension to understanding the explosive growth of Marple during and post The Industrial Revolution”.
The Wharf Marple CIC is very pleased to announce that we are now in a position to go ahead and buy the Warehouse building from CRT.
It is thanks to you, our Investors who have pledged to buy a stake in, what is quite possibly, Marple’s most important and exciting community project, that we have reached this first important milestone.
The wonderful view of Marple Wharf from Bridge No. 2 on the Macclesfield Canal.
However we still need more investment to reach our target to fund the essential repairs, renovations and refurbishments, so if you can increase your investment even by a small amount that would help enormously. The good news is that as owners of the Wharf it will mean that we’ll be in a much stronger position to secure grant funding going forward.
We are aiming for a purchase date of 30th April 2021. So for that reason we would like to forewarn you that we will be asking for your investment to be confirmed and submitted to the CIC by 22nd March 2021 for our planned purchase on 30th April.
We are very pleased to announce that we intend to appoint local building firm MPS as our development partner. MPS have generously agreed to invest their time and expertise up front to enable us to start the essential work ahead of securing the main grant funding. MPS are experienced in working on heritage projects and managing a volunteer workforce and so are the perfect partner for our renovation. We will have more news on what they will be doing in later newsletters.
As Investors we will shortly be contacting you directly with details of how and where to transfer the cash amount you have pledged to the CIC Bank Account. If you originally sent a cheque that is now out of date we will return this to you and you can either resend a cheque back to us or submit via bank transfer.
Of course if you haven’t got round to investing yet now would be a good time to get involved.
The planning appeal that stopped any progress has found in our favour so we are clear to go ahead. In his decision, the planning inspector said “the converted building will provide a much-needed community resource…..and would constitute benefits in social and economic terms”
He went on to say the proposal will “lead to the preservation of an important listed building...and maintain the area’s prevailing character...”
Marple Wharf in the winter of 2008, by David Burridge.
We are back into discussion with the Canal and River Trust and now, because we have the planning go ahead, there are many more grants and funds available to us to apply for.
However, with just £35,000 still left to raise to reach our target of £175,000 to buy the Warehouse building, we need more investors, support and donations to help us get there. As we come out of the lock down restrictions that COVID has enforced on us, all our usual fundraising activities have slowed, but it hasn’t stopped completely and community spirited people of Marple have been Investing and donating throughout the year. We expect to resume Open Days and specialist topic meetings by Easter - all being well - and look forward to meeting more of you then.
In the meantime, a Gift Bond from The Wharf makes a great Christmas Present for a loved one and we have printed Christmas Gift Vouchers ready to make it extra special.
The Wharf Marple Directors would like to thank you all for your continued support and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.
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Marple residents and heritage enthusiasts are being offered the chance to save an historically important canal side building and convert it to a community and heritage attraction. The building has been at risk of conversion to residential, but a new plan would renovate The Wharf to be a Community Café and Heritage Centre, with a much-needed health and well-being facility too.
Marple Wharf in its working days, from Marple Local History Society Archives.
The Community Investment Scheme has been put together by The Wharf Marple Community Interest Company (CIC), a social enterprise committed to acquiring, renovating and bringing back into use the well-known former warehouse exclusively for the Marple community. The scheme aims to raise up to £175,000 to purchase the building and people will be offered the chance to invest in the project by purchasing Investment Bonds starting at £100/Bond up to a maximum of £25,000.
Located at the junction of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals, the Warehouse building was built around the time the canals were constructed in the early 1800s and sits between two Grade 1 Listed Roving Bridges. In its heyday the Warehouse would have been busy as a transshipment point particularly for goods to and from the neighbouring Historic England Listed, Lime Kilns.
An image of Marple Wharf from the Virtual History Tour
The Wharf Marple Project seeks to tell the story of Marple’s industrial heritage and the significant part that Samuel Oldknow played in the town’s economic, social and cultural development. Oldknow was a prominent local industrialist, owner of the Mellor Mill and undoubtedly the chief architect and driving force in the development and industrialisation of Marple and the canals at the time.
The Wharf Marple CIC, whose Directors are local business people and heritage experts, have worked closely with CRT, many of Marple’s special interest groups and other stakeholders to develop a viable business plan which will secure the long term future of the Wharf building for the community.
The vision for The Wharf Marple
There has been widespread support for the plan from many organisations and individuals including, SMBC’s Conservation Officer, Mellor Archeological Trust, Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy Team, CRT’s development partner, Local Councillors, local business owners and many individuals and residents. As well as the Heritage Centre, cafe and shop on the Ground Floor, the First Floor will provide purpose designed studios for health & wellbeing groups such as Tai Chi, Pilates and Aikido.
Founder Director and Chair of The Wharf Marple CIC, Susan Ingham said:
This plan has been a long time coming but now, thanks to the support we have received and the help from H2O Urban over the past 2 years, we will launch the Community Investment Scheme. It’s a great opportunity for people to be part of realising the long- awaited dream of saving the Wharf for Marple and in providing the much-needed new facilities for community use.”
As Heritage Director, Bob Humphrey-Taylor said:
This is an important local heritage site which will sit well with the recently completed ‘Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy: Mellor Mill and The Peak Forest Canal in Marple’ project. It is vital that this piece of local history is allowed to flourish for the benefit of the local and wider communities. I am delighted to have been asked to be part of this visionary team.”
The Wharf Marple CIC held an open day at Marple Library on Saturday 3rd August, and will be holding other events in the future so that visitors can talk to the Directors and see more of the plans.
For more information about The Wharf Marple Project and how to invest go to the website www.thewharfmarple.co.uk where you can learn about the Directors and their ambitions for The Wharf, browse the detailed Business Plan and download the Investment Prospectus.
You can also like The Wharf Marple Project on Facebook, and
The Marple Website will become a shareholder and invest £1,000 in this great community project.