Our vision is to make the Wharf a unique community heritage centre, cafe and fitness facility created to fill identified gaps in the markets in Marple. It will be a hub for the local community and visitors – where people can go to meet, learn, participate and be entertained. It will be a place to connect with fellow fitness enthusiasts, learn about Marple’s heritage and enjoy simple wholesome refreshment whilst taking in the picturesque views The Wharf aims to be the town’s most successful community facility in both commercial and visitor appreciation terms. It will provide a range of facilities and must-see experiences for the community and visitors alike. We will encourage social cohesion, communal activities, fundraising events and participation in local groups and fitness activities.
Marple is well known for having the highest number of special interest community groups in Stockport Borough. Over 100 different organisations are active every day of the year, enthusiastically working on their respective passionate interests and regularly meeting to organise and manage their activities.
Community venues are in short supply and often do not offer the range of facilities required.
Marple’s heritage is quite possibly the best kept secret of the Borough, with many local residents being unaware of the rich and nationally important, unique history on their doorstep. Stockport attracts well over a million tourists to its visitor attractions every year. The Revealing Oldknow's Legacy opened to visitors in 2018 and is a major attraction and valuable addition to the heritage trail in Stockport. The Wharf will be a natural extension of The Revealing Oldknow's Legacy, as it will continue the story of Marple’s industrial heritage, complete the heritage trail circle and ride on the back of the undoubted uplift in visitors to the town.
The many health and fitness groups in the town currently meet in church halls and the like, which do not meet their specific needs. The Wharf will provide purpose designed fitness studios, to cater for local groups such as Aikido, Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga as well as other health-related organisations. The flexible space will also offer accessible and free space to community groups such as Dementia Friends and other such groups.
The canal system in and around Marple is well-used by many people; dog walkers, ramblers, cyclists, narrow boat holiday makers and canoeists. Research has shown that many of these people would appreciate a nice place to stop for refreshment and rest, whatever the time of year. The Wharf cafe, in its picturesque location and being the only such facility on the canal, is perfectly placed to satisfy this demand.
Overall the Wharf’s great appeal to these markets and its ability to meet their specific needs ensures its success and sustainability.