Strangeways Manchester p.Google Earth

The location of the prison makes regeneration in the area difficult. Credit: Google Earth

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.

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Much needed – the area is an absolute state at present.

By Anonymous

Relocating the prison to a modern facility and total redevelopment of that land seems the only way forward!

By Anonymous

Anything is better than the current offering. Is this dump really a stone’s throw from the centre of the second city of the 5th biggest economy in the world? The prison is actually the only decent building in the area. The other good structures are surrounded by neglect.

By Elephant

I’m thinking Manc’s version of Digbeth. There’s a few hidden gems around Strangeways.

Do something unique rather than a lazy extension to the Green Quarter. We’re all sick of false promises, unrealistic CGIs and filler projects.

By Anonymous

Long overdue Counterfeit Street is a blight

By Anonymous

Yet another ‘pocket’ within Manchester that should be bulldozed and started all over again. Manchester City Centre can be sprawled right the way up Bury New Road and Cheetham Hill Road, to the A6010 if redevelopment in this area is done correctly. Throw a couple of tram stops here along with luxury apartments and you have yet another desirable neighbourhood, for city centre dwellers to live in.

By Verticality

The potential of the location with its proximity to the city enter is enormous. It will take considerable planning and imagination to get the most out of it and a long term vision much like the nearby crescent coming in from Salford should be utilised .

By Anonymous

The sooner the better! The whole area is an absolute embarrassment

By Bernard Fender

I really hope they bulldoze everything up to the A6010 / Broughton Lane / Waterloo Road! Expand the city centre, shops, offices, skyscrapers, a statement park! You could easily get 30,000 apartments into that area.

By Anonymous

Very much needed! I do however wonder why Strangeways is seen as such a barrier to developing the area?

By Digbuth O'Hooligan

Keep the interesting buildings please, don’t do a Manchester special and just flatten it to build some dross that will look outdated before it’s even complete.

By Loganberry

Not another block of apartments, if we are bull-dozing things, make it into an entertainment Hub, there are some good examples already there with wedding venues that are well utilised, space for light shows perhaps, a version of indoor/outdoor “drive-in” cinema…you can have so much more over there than some blocks of apartments

By Anonymous

City Council if I recall compulsory purchased a lot of properties to make A56 wider and improve the area approx 40 years ago . Is this the same plan ?

By Anonymous

Agree please keep the buildings – look at what Mal Maison have done in Oxford – fantastic former Castle and Jail other parts transformed into historic venues. What about a gallery and hotel. Sorry definitely not 2nd city though – that’s Birmingham.

By Bob Dawson

The prison could be converted into a fantastic apartment complex with plenty of character, with the purchase capital then used to construct a new purpose built prison.
the new commercial district could then be integrated into this residential element of the area.

By Anon

Agree with the comments keeping interesting buildings. There are several in this area that should be retained. The first thing to go should be all the horrid shops on Great Ducie St. which looks like a slum.

By 1981

Cheetham Hill Rd could be a marvellous boulevard if its buildings were restored properly. All those Victorian shops have been turned into eyesores by their present occupants.

By Tony Heyes

Agree with the long term plan but 15yr at least. Could be such a prime area for an expanding city centre but the prison needs to go first. This needs the kind of long term vision and investment that the Northern Gateway and The Crescent are getting the sort of once in a generation opportunity that could create another statement gateway into the city.

By Simon

Will never happen

By Cal

Sell some land to Renaker and we’ll see a completed development by the end of 2025.

By Big Dub

I was brought up in Strangeways from the 1940s, but my father’s ancestors had lived in the area for 50 years prior. I would love to see a rejuvenation of the area but without the eyesore of a concrete jungle. The prison is of historical importance and maybe a complete makeover of the buildings would be all that’s needed.

By Susan

Good news for the area for starters Strangeways has got to go it looms over the entire area depressing values

By Anonymous

It would help a lot if the Council and the occupiers cleaned up every now and again.

By Anonymous

This area is so ripe for redevelopment and has been for a long time. If Manchester is to consolidate its position as the 2nd city it really must continue to grow the engine of all that investment the city centre. We may have have more offices and more investment than anywhere else outside London but that investment has to be long term and sustainable not piece meal. I like the analogy with the already happening Northern Gateway. This will be a more complex plan due to what is already there but the longest journey starts with the first step and this city has a history of making things happen.

By Rogernout

Rebuild the Manchester Assizes Court. If the Council can refurbish the Town Hall, there’s no reason why it can’t work with the private sector to make this happen.

By George

The obvious elephant in the room is the huge prison. There is only so much that can be done here with such a dilapidated, dominating prison at the centre. This has to move and once it does, this could become a fantastic neighbourhood. Excellent proximity to the city centre, Prestwich not far north and as some have pointed out, some nice stock already exists if renovated.
As for the prison, that could become an art gallery. Manchester doesn’t have a dedicated museum for contemporary art (and no, the Whitworth is not dedicated to contemporary art and is focused on textiles). That is crazy that a city the size of Manchester doesn’t have this and the prison would be perfect.

By Jo

out of all the areas in manchester which needed redevelopment this is much needed. its a strip of rundown shops, factories the prison a stones throw away from deansgate and the rest of the city. This would improve the city tenfold in a similar way to the ancoats/new Islington redevelopment. I say retain the buildings but redevelop the shops into housing with retail space .

By Anonymous

There are some great buildings, companies and clubs in this area of town. Although I’m all for redeveloping the area. Hopefully, this doesn’t spell the end for them.

By Anonymous

HMP manchester needs to go deffo

By Anonymous

I hope this isn’t a false promise because it is long overdue. The area is an absolute disgrace and embarrassment to human life. The litter is at times ankle deep and when cleared up by the council is in exactly the same state the next day. Animals behave better. The counterfeit shops have been allowed to operate for too long and the owners need prosecuting. As a local resident that lives over by the river the local community is sick to death of the mess they leave. Actions not words please.

By Anonymous

Total redevelopment is what is required of the whole area. The prison is not fit for purpose and should not be renovated into a hotel. The land could be put to better use for business and luxury apartments. I hope its transformed to the standard of spinningfields. High End. There is enough entertainment in the city centre nearby. the focus should be work and homes. Cheetham Hill Rd and district has massive potential as it starts from near Victoria Station and stretches up towards Prestwich. Cheetham Hill Rd Village/district centre could be like Didsbury Village or Chotlton.

By Mrs IB

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