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Councillors pay tribute to firefighters who tackled Hyde blaze

Councillors have been provided with an update about the huge blaze that ripped through Hyde on Monday.

Firefighters rushed to the Visual Architects building on Stockport Road to tackle the blaze. Five fire engines from Hyde, Gorton, Stalybridge, Stockport and Whitehill fire stations, alongside a hydraulic platform from Oldham all attended the scene to extinguish the fire.

Coun Jack Naylor, executive member for Tameside Council’s Inclusive Growth, Business and Employment, said on behalf of the executive: “I would like to put on record my thanks to the emergency services for their swift action in controlling the incident and to share our relief that there were no reported casualties or injuries as a consequence of the fire. 

“The fire has destroyed the business premises of Visual Architects, a vibrant and growing local business specialising in immersive decor and set design with a national & international reputation. They have a track record of supporting the local economy & residents through employment and event sponsorship as well as being passionate advocates of the future plans surrounding Hyde Town Centre.

“Our team in Economy, Employment & Skills have been working with the business in the aftermath of Monday’s devastating news & are providing a range of support to the team both immediate term but also looking at their longer term disaster recovery. Tameside are proud to be the home of Visual Architects and we are committed to providing business support to their team as they navigate through this difficult time.”

Coun Naylor went on to provide some light for Hyde’s neighbouring town Stalybridge – for which he announced the framework for the £19.9m redevelopment plan. The meeting, held at the Tameside One building in Ashton, heard that Stalybridge town centre was named as one of the council’s priority areas that is to become a hub for living, culture, employment and services supporting a sustainable retail sector. 

The Framework is focused on the immediate opportunities unlocked by the award of £19.9m in external capital funding from the UK Capital Regeneration Projects scheme. This funding will have a significant impact on the town’s regeneration.

Plans include repair work to the Civic Hall to support its reuse and enhancement including housing the Astley Cheetham Art Gallery and library. Improvements to the public realm, pedestrian and cycling routes and access to public transport are also part of the proposals.

The executive cabinet meeting also saw the cabinet approve a plan to tackle their £11.9m overspend. The authority says the £9.651m they have to find for next year would largely be funded by reduced spending and a proposed increase in council tax of 4.99 per cent – the same as last year.

The council has made no immediate plans for reductions to their services such as bin collections, children’s services, adult social care, and homelessness.

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