Manchester nudges Central Retail Park regeneration forward
A plan that could see the 10-acre Great Ancoats Street eyesore redeveloped into a 1.25m sq ft office scheme, including the potential for a civil service hub, has been signed off by the city council.
Manchester City Council acquired the former Central Retail Park from TH Real Estate for £37m six years ago. Since then, there has been much speculation about the city council’s plans for the site and frustration about a perceived lack of progress.
Late last year, the city council announced it was planning to refresh the strategic regeneration framework for the site in response to interest from the Government Property Agency around relocating staff there.
A six-week consultation on the proposals followed, and yesterday afternoon, the city council’s executive approved the updated SRF, drawn up by Avison Young.
The masterplan features offices that could accommodate up to 8,000 jobs and reach up to 16 storeys. An area of green space linking Great Ancoats Street to Cotton Fields Park and New Islington Marina is also proposed.
The western half of the site would be developed first, followed by the public realm, according to the SRF. Phase two would see the eastern portion of the plot progress.
Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said the development of the former Central Retail Park “presents a number of key opportunities to deliver a really impactful programme of regeneration”.
“These include access to quality public green space, creating a green route to open up and celebrate Cotton Field Park, creating a highly sustainable office space that will support thousands of new jobs in an ecosystem that encourages business growth, and all while bringing an eyesore of a brownfield site back into constructive use.”