Manchester gets ball rolling on Strangeways regeneration
The city council is in the early stages of mapping out its long-term vision for the complex area of the city, earmarked for redevelopment into a new commercial district.
Strangeways, the area off Great Ducie Street around HMP Manchester, has suffered from issues relating to crime for several years, including the trade of counterfeit goods.
Just last week, Manchester City Council closed four shops on Great Ducie and fined their owners for selling illegal goods.
As well as crime and antisocial behaviour, Strangeways is characterised by a poor-quality built environment and public realm.
In an update on how work to revitalise several district centres across Manchester is progressing, the city council said it has “commenced work on a preliminary baseline study to evaluate council-owned assets, registered landowners, and businesses” around Strangeways.
“It is anticipated that a professional design team will be appointed to set out a long-term vision for the regeneration of Strangeways as a new commercial district,” the report states.
The proposed redevelopment of the area, which is made up primarily of retail and warehouse stock, would see it transformed into an “attractive gateway to the North Manchester suburbs, complementing existing legitimate business functions and the adjacent city centre”, the report added.
A strategic regeneration framework for Great Ducie Street was adopted by Manchester City Council in 2018 and two major projects have come forward off the back of it.
The Manchester College’s £93m city centre campus on the former Boddington’s Brewery was recently completed, while Latimer is preparing to start construction of a 461-home development on an adjoining plot.
The refreshed vision for Strangeways currently being worked up is expected to address issues related to the location of the prison. The earlier framework recognised that HMP Manchester, formerly Strangeways Prison, was a potential “barrier for growth”.
There was hope at the time for a potential relocation of the facility after the government announced in 2015 that it intended to replace dilapidated inner-city prisons.
“HMP Manchester was not explicitly referenced at this time but, considering its age and condition, could be seen as a candidate for replacement in the future,” the 2018 framework stated.
Manchester City Council is also due to begin working up plans for the redevelopment of the nearby Cheetham Hill district centre in 2023, according to an update to the authority’s scrutiny committee.
This project could be delivered in collaboration with Salford City Council.