Chorlton Vision

Making Chorlton a better place

Frequently Asked Questions...

What will the Vision be used for?

We want to create a vision statement that reflects the views of local people and businesses, and which is recognised by the City Council so that it can help guide decisions and investments that take place in our community.

We believe local residents and employers should be the ones stating proactively what sort of place we want Chorlton to be – rather than only being asked to respond to things that happen around us.

That starts with developing a clear, locally-owned view of the priorities for our neighbourhood; the kind of place place we want to live in, work, go to school, or visit.

What difference can it make?

We would like to focus our efforts on encouraging more suitable development, rather than having to campaign against plans developed outside Chorlton that don’t match our aspirations.

We want the Vision to be adopted early in any planning process or investment proposal and for the city council to ensure all planning proposals and developments demonstrate how they align with the Vision before they are approved.

We also want to work with developers early in their planning, to ensure they understand local priorities and are able to reflect them in their plans. We have already begun to do that, but we really want to have a more broadly developed plan in place which has local support to add extra weight to our case-making.

Does it include everything: will it include residential development, for example?

We decided, for the project to be manageable and for greatest impact, that we should focus on the core commercial parts of Chorlton, rather than the larger parts of Chorlton where most people live.

We will, however, want to look at whether we could improve how people who live in and around Chorlton can access local services, businesses and amenities, and the connections between the various parts of our community.  As the work develops beyond this initial phase, we may look more widely at the need for a plan that covers Chorlton’s residential areas.

What sort of environmental considerations are included?

 Our initial analysis has shown that environmental sustainability has already emerged as important to local residents and traders, therefore this will be a key strand within the Vision and ensuing actions.

We will aim to align the vision with the ward action plan and climate action plan, to include the work carried out by Our Streets Chorlton, as a local climate change action project.

Will it include protection of our green spaces?

The focus will be on the key commercial areas – and one of the recurring themes that have been voiced in several previous pieces of work, is how these can be greener.

With this in mind, we have put forward a proposal for students at Manchester School of Architecture to help us explore this further in spring / summer 2022 and hope to be overseeing a complementary piece of work over the coming months to look more closely at this issue and inform the Vision.

Will the Vision include anything to support local small business and job creation in Chorlton?

Appreciation of local businesses and traders as something that makes Chorlton very special, has already emerged as a strong theme in previous pieces of work, including the local economic recovery plan, and will therefore undoubtedly be a key strand.

We are committed to engaging with local businesses as we draw up the vision and want to ensure we help create better conditions for them to thrive and prosper.

Isn’t this just ‘yet another’ plan for Chorlton? What happened to all the others?

There have been a number of plans for Chorlton in the past with some proposals coming to fruition and others not.  We’ve summarised these in a document including the findings of most recent consultation exercises, partly so we don’t end up asking people the same things again! We know that we need to be realistic about what we can change, and honest about the things that will take a long time to sort out. We believe, however, that off the back of COVID there is an increased desire for local people and organisations to work together and a better chance of us making a change.

How much can we actually change? Isn’t a lot of this to do with national, rather than local, policy?

We appreciate that decision making in this country is highly centralised, yet on the other hand we believe that local people and local organisations can make change happen: they have an important role helping the city council and businesses understand what is important locally.

The pandemic has highlighted the value of our local shops, schools, health services, community groups and bars/cafes. We want to use whatever influence and powers we have to help shape what happens in our community.

Who else has done this kind of work – and what came of it?

Every area is different and there are many good examples of people coming together to shape the future of their areas.

Nearby, Withington is a good example. Here people got together to save Withington Baths and, subsequently through the Withington Regeneration Partnership have led on a number of initiatives to improve the appearance of the Withington and attract investment.

There are a variety of mechanisms that can be adopted to do this – some formal such as a Neighbourhood Plan, some less so. In general the starting point is a ‘Vision’ in some form.

How long will it take to generate the Vision?

We are planning to start active engagement with local businesses and residents in February and have an initial draft of the Vision in April.

This is intended to be an ongoing process the success of which will partly rely on attracting people who which to actively take forward the ideas and proposals with will be outlined in the vision.

What form will ‘the Vision’ take?

Although no firm decisions have been made yet, we expect the output from this first phase of work with be an initial vision statement that will include:

  • An overarching aspiration that tries to capture the type of place we want Chorlton to be
  • A series of priority areas for action that will set out the sorts of things that need to changed and the sort of principles that should guide investment
  • A set of planned actions that will begin to commit us to implementing changes in Chorlton
  • A governance structure that will show who is overseeing the vision and how we plan to report to local people and businesses

But we are open to where this all leads to and would be really keen to hear your views.

I have ideas / time, how can I help?

We’d love to hear from you.  Please contact us initially on

Who is behind this work?

At the moment the Visioning process is being facilitated by a small group that includes local councillors in both Chorlton and Chorlton Park wards, representatives from Chorlton Traders, Chorlton Voice, Our Streets Chorlton and Chorlton Community Land Trust (who are project managing the process).

The bulk of the work is to represent the community and connect people to this work – to facilitate ways for the views of local people to be distilled / captured and represented.

A local communications specialist, Linsey Parkinson, is providing some freelance support. 

There are also links to Let’s Reimagine Chorlton, an informal group of people who get together fortnightly on Zoom to “reimagine our Chorlton, to make it into a different place that works better for all who live and work here”.

How is this work being funded?

The core group is furthering the work on behalf of the community, with people either giving up time on a voluntary basis or as part of their existing community role.

Some of the detailed work we will be doing to generate the Vision is being supported by a small Manchester City Council Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF) grant.

The bigger picture is that with a Vision in place, Chorlton will be well placed to apply for or generate funding opportunities in the future – whether that be private or public sector investment.

Who ‘owns’ Chorlton Vision, and who do we need on-side for it to have any impact?

Our plan is for the vision to be owned by the people and employers based in Chorlton.

To be successful, we will need local residents, organisations and businesses to feel this represents the kind of place they want to live work or play.

We will need ongoing support, on a variety of levels, from Manchester City Council.

We already have good commitment and involvement from local councillors and neighbourhood staff.

As we move forward, we will be engaging with senior people in the council to secure their backing for the vision and actions.

How will decisions be made, longer-term?

Over time, a more formal group will need to be established that reflects the range of interests in Chorlton and is committed to open regular reporting to local resident and businesses.

This constituted group would also work with other local groups to ensure we are working together and adding value to the important work that existing community and voluntary groups do locally.

How can I contact you?

Please contact us initially on

And if there’s anything we’ve missed, or anything more you’d like to know, please get in touch.