Event to discuss London Road Fire Station future

Campaigner Adam Prince has organised a public meeting on Wednesday 27 February to address ways a viable future for Manchester's disused London Road Fire Station building can be assured.

The meeting, at The Mechanics Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD, starts at 6.45pm and is open to everyone concerned about the way the building has been left empty for 27 years.

Speakers will include Henry Owen-John, English Heritage's North West planning director; Stan Edwards, compulsory purchase order expert director at Evocati; and Bob Bonner, author of The Greatest Fire Station in the World and curator of Greater Manchester Fire Station.

In 2011, Manchester City Council failed in its CPO attempt to force the building's owner Britannia Hotels to sell the building. At the time, Britannia claimed it was committed to developing the site. In February 2012, Britannia said development was not viable in the current market.

Andrew Green, director of architecture firm Blue Barnacles, and Emma Curtin, architect and university tutor, will also address the event on the way historic buildings such as London Road Fire Station can be restored and retro-fitted to provide valuable city centre space to meet modern business and leisure requirements.

The meeting will be chaired by Phil Griffin, freelance writer, broadcaster and curator with special interest in architecture and urban issues.

Britannia Hotels has owned the London Road Fire Station for 27 years. The building was given a Grade II* listing in 1974 and placed on the English Heritage at Risk Register in 1998.

The Save London Road Fire Station campaign was launched by Adam Prince with an online petition in November which has more than 2,000 signatures.

"I've been watching this building deteriorate every day as I pass it on my way to work," he said. "It's time the people of Manchester to work together to save this amazing piece of the city's heritage and I hope Wednesday's public meeting can bring this a big step closer."

Britannia Hotels declined an invitation to speak at the public meeting.

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