Capital & Centric acquires listed Manchester mills

The Manchester-based developer has bought the 200,000 sq ft grade two-listed Crusader Works near to Piccadilly Station in an off-market deal with private landowner Shafiq Tufail.

The cluster of buildings are on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street in Manchester city centre. Some of the mills are linked, forming a central courtyard.

The mills are partially occupied by a variety of businesses, including Rogue Studios which provides space for around 100 artists, alongside clothing manufacturers. However large sections of the mills are vacant and falling into disrepair.

The vendor and his family have owned the complex of buildings since the 1970s. The biggest mill is Crusader Works, constructed in around 1830 by Joseph Chessborough Dyer, co-founder of the Manchester Guardian Newspaper and the Bank of Manchester. The mills were initially used to produce machinery for the textile industry.

The area around the mills has been earmarked for the proposed high-speed rail terminal which would extend the existing Piccadilly Station buildings and act as an anchor for the wider regeneration of the area. Manchester City Council’s masterplan prepared by Bennett Associates shows offices, apartments, hotels and retail surrounding the mills.

The mills are the only listed buildings in the area surrounding the HS2 expansion zone.

According to Capital & Centric, potential future uses for the mills are yet to be defined, but the developer is in conversation with current occupiers.

Capital & Centric and Henry Boot Developments are currently bringing forward the £200m Kampus project, also near Piccadilly Station. The scheme will redevelop the former Manchester Metropolitan University campus to include residential, hotel and leisure uses.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “This is a rare thing to find; beautiful old mills right next to Piccadilly Station in need of a lot of investment to bring them back to their former glory. These buildings have evolved for various different uses over the years and we’re delighted to be the current custodians of their future.

“We’re excited by the prospect of HS2 and we wanted to be involved in developing this part of the city, dubbed East Village. We like reusing and repurposing buildings, and opportunities like this don’t come around often.

“We only had four weeks to buy the building. We don’t have any bank debt which gives us the ability to move quickly, and we’ve got a great team that have been able to achieve that timescale.”


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Amazing buildings. I’ve often walked past on the way to the match and wondered why they’ve not been developed, shame to see them fall into disrepair.

By Liz SM

This will be the only building left standing once the HS2 Masterplan is implemented, I suspect they’ll be turned into apartments, not many recent mill conversions so they’ll get snapped up.

By ManchesterBlagger

Yes, it’s a lovely mill and ripe for development – however I’m concerned about the displacement of 100 art studios with this development. Rogue Studios have been an important grassroots studio complex for over 15 years. It would be amazing if this could be taken into consideration by the developers who do claim to have a creative vision. Yes, accommodation is necessary on the city, but we need a place for artists to work, experiment, play and create unusual contributions to our rich city. The process of gentrification usually pushes artists out and this cycle is often seen as a fixed one. Maybe it doesn’t have to be so. But it would require an imaginative leap and a potential sacrifice of maximisation of capital gain. Who has a win-win solution to this one?

By Roger B

Why don’t they use some of the £110m from George Osbourne towards the Factory arts centre to find a new home for the artists?

By Pete Simmons

I went inside one of these mills that overlooks the courtyard, its like going back in time, but its in a sorry state, needs rescuing.

By Great Scott

Cant wait to see what Capital&Centric will do with these buildings, who is the architect?

By Marcus Froom

Without the artists practising in Manchester, there will be no soul left. Apartments and leisure sounds like another characterless wasteland … Artists work in these run down spaces because they are affordable. Nothing will be affordable soon in the city – and Manchester will lose its contemporary creative edge. All great cities need a few ruins to remind us what was – layers of culture and texture to explore. Endless renovated facades hiding echoing plastic interiors doesn’t do it…

By A K

A K – good point, but I think Manchester’s already gone too far that way anyway. I doubt anybody genuinely moves here for the cultural offer

By Uni

I hope the developers can see some way of relocating Rogue Studios either here or in another central property – Manchester desperately needs to space like this to retain any proper cultural creativity, rather than continue to gentrify itself into Blandsville

By MancLass

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