Manchester approves 3,000-capacity leisure venue
The creation of The Foundry, an entertainment, enterprise and cultural hub at the former Presbar Diecasting Foundry on Store Street, would provide “economic and social regeneration” to the surrounding area, according to the city council.
Plans for The Foundry were developed by hospitality firm A Very Inc, whose directors Joel Wilkinson and Adele Winter have been involved in several successful Manchester ventures including Ramona, Albert’s Schloss and Rudy’s.
Their latest project would see the four-acre Store Street site transformed into a 3,000-capacity leisure venue for a period of three years.
The site previously operated as an aluminium diecast factory and distribution centre until it closed last year.
The Foundry would have “a community and creative ethos, which aims to create an environment and combination of uses that will offer amenities for local residents as well as for visitors to the city,” according to a planning statement prepared by Deloitte.
Key features of the scheme include:
- Office and creative spaces for art and technology start-ups
- A beer hall selling a large variety of beers from small local breweries
- Night market – designed to be an immersive experience that includes a mixture of immersive entertainment, with circus and theatre performers and themed market stalls
- A garden featuring two shipping container bars, four pergolas, and a 1,550 sq ft tent
- Seven spaces for small retailers
- A gym featuring free weights, CrossFit and boot camp sessions
- Private hire function room
- 29 electric vehicle charging points
- Improvements to Paradise Walk between Store Street and Ducie Street.
The Foundry would be split into two parts. Diecast would feature the beer hall and night market, while Diecast Studios would include the gym, and offices.
Creating around 1,000 jobs, the scheme aims to boost the leisure provision in order to serve the area’s growing population.
The area around Great Ancoats Street and Piccadilly Basin is seeing several large residential developments come forward.
On the opposite side of Store Street, Property Alliance Group’s 500-home Oxygen completed last year, while there is a raft of projects coming forward in the emerging Piccadilly East neighbourhood.
In addition, The Foundry site abuts Stocktons furniture shop, which fronts Great Ancoats Street and is earmarked for redevelopment into around 850 homes.
The city council said it was “prudent to consider the [The Foundry] on a temporary basis only” given the potential regeneration benefits of the site in the longer term.
A planning officer report said: “Due to the large amount of capital required, 3 years is considered to strike a balance between viability/reasonableness of the scheme and the relevant consideration to long term objectives/potential externalities of the area.”
Consent for the scheme will expire on 30 June 2025.