Ronnie’s Blog – There’s more to Macclesfield than silk….

Posted on October 21, 2010 in Ronnie's News

There’s more to Macclesfield than silk…. 

I’ve recently been involved in the town centre branding meetings. It’s all interesting stuff; Macclesfield means different things to different people. I’ve learned more about the town that’s been my home for 24 years or so in the last 6 months than in the previous 23 and half years.  

The silk heritage is undoubtedly the thing that springs to mind for many, one of our national brands (the football club) are known as The Silkmen; we have a silk museum; we used to make a lot of silk; etc. And because of silk the town has many connections and renown around the World, to people who know about silk. 

I am though now reminded of a conversation I had not so long ago with Jeff at Matmi who quite passionately stated that ‘there’s more to Macclesfield than fucking silk!’ For those of you who don’t know, Matmi is a pretty big deal in digital media creating web experiences and advergames for big names and brands all over the World. And when I say big names and brands I mean the likes of Lloyds TSB, Orange, Red Bull, Vimto, Lily Allen, Jim Beam, there’s a huge scrolling list of clients’ names on their website so check it out for yourselves if you need to. Matmi are based in Dukes Court, Macclesfield. 

I’ve banged on and on about Joy Division and the musical impact and influence they have had throughout the World on many occasions before. This is something that needs further permanent recognition within the town (watch this space). It’s not just Joy Division though; music of Macc origins could and should be a big thing in promoting Macclesfield throughout the UK and the World. There are many examples too from the Macc Lads to folk music’s up and coming star Jim Moray to the awesome Virginmarys.  

There’s also a thriving visual arts community in Macc. Fallibroome High School is an accredited performing arts academy. Then there’s sport, both the football and rugby clubs play in the national leagues. 

And let’s not forget Arighi Bianci which is a destination in its own right as people travel from far and wide to shop there. 

The underlying thing for me about Macclesfield throughout all of this is creativity. Whether that’s silk, visual arts, music, advergaming, performing arts academies, sport, pharmaceuticals, business, cocktail bars, late night entertainment, restaurants, hairdressers, furniture or whatever. Creativity underpins it all. Macclesfield has an abundance of it if you look for it. Any rebranding, redevelopment and promotion of the town should reflect this. 

The major flaw with the Wilson Bowden Masterplan for the redevelopment of the town was it was focused solely on retail. Retail is not a point of difference and of course the plan would have created a new town centre whilst desolating the old one. The Masterplan would not have brought people flooding to the town. 

Rebranding and promoting the town is a crucial factor in shaping the local economy. It will determine whether businesses want to invest and create jobs here, it will determine whether people will venture into the town centre, it will have huge impact on attracting people into the town from further afield which in turn will stimulate the retail sector in the town.  

If you agree with me, or for that matter even if you disagree, or if you feel I’ve missed something then please join in the discussions whilst there is still time. Visit and register your views. This process is after all shaping this town for the foreseeable future. 

See you soon 


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