Holt Town Aerial, Manchester City Council, p Manchester City Council

The area is located between two growth areas. Credit: via MCC

Manchester takes steps to regenerate Holt Town 

The city council is seeking a multi-disciplinary team to draw up a “bold and innovative” vision for a 74-acre post-industrial backwater that sits between the city centre and the Etihad Stadium and could support the delivery of 4,000 homes.

Having recently announced plans to revamp unloved areas including Moston Lane, Strangeways, and Wythenshawe, Manchester City Council is now turning its attention to Holt Town.

Little more than a Metrolink stop between the city centre and Manchester City’s stadium to some, city Leader Cllr Bev Craig believes Holt Town is “one of the biggest and most exciting opportunities” in Manchester.

“We have a large area of brownfield land brimming with potential and sat between two of our city’s key areas of economic growth,” she said.

“Holt Town should be bold and innovative – a new and vibrant city centre community that supports our residents to thrive.”

Craig added that the area, which could accommodate commercial space and bolstered digital infrastructure as well as homes, is not without its challenges.

“Despite the pros for this area, we already know that developing this part of the city comes with major complications linked to post-industrial land,” she said. “Regenerating this community comes with real challenges – but they are worth overcoming.”

To do so, Craig said teams bidding for the chance to draw up the Neighbourhood Development Framework for the area must aim high.

“The successful team will help us to realise Holt Town’s potential and they need to share our lofty ambitions,” she said. “We expect exemplar proposals that take our vision to bold and exciting new places. If this is you, we look forward to hearing from you.”

Interested parties should bid via The Chest before 27 November.

The successful bidder is to be announced next February.

Keeping the plates of regeneration spinning

Manchester City Council’s search for a team to shape the future of Holt Town comes in the same month the authority, in partnership with Salford, appointed Avision Young to lead a team to regenerate Strangeways.

The multi-disciplinary team will draw up a 10-year vision for the area aimed at guiding its long-awaited transformation.

Meanwhile, the hunt for a development partner to overhaul Wythenshawe town centre is underway and last week, the city council signed off a framework aimed at guiding the delivery of affordable homes around Moston Lane.

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I know there are historical reasons why Manchester, unlike most of the developed world, has a donut of dereliction surrounding it’s city centre, but it still surprises me that this hadn’t changed decades ago. Most cities that had derelict inner city neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre, started developing them 40 years ago. We’re just beginning now. That said, it makes complete sense that Holt Town is being redeveloped. Considering it already had a Metrolink stop (unlike many of the others), I would have thought it would have been one of the earlier ones to start, but this does show how our local councils fail to fully grasp the relationship between public transport links and urbanity, let alone the attraction inner city neighbourhoods possess. In many other cities, these have been the most talked about neighbourhoods in their cities.
But hopefully this will eventually change.


Sorry EOD – MCC did recognise the opportunities to extend eastwards to the Etihad Stadium over a decade ago through Holt Town – unfortunately the Cibitas Partnership were unable to deliver. The Post 2008 funding landscape destroyed that opportunity and was terminated in 2015. Now is the right time to recommence that regeneration journey as the market between Beswick Street and Great Ancoats Street is now more established. That combined with the momentum being established at the Etihad Stadium offers more confidence that serious proposals can now be brought forward.

By Anonymous

Think EOD is a bit harsh on Manchester, Ancoats, Islington, New Cross, now Redbank and Collyhurst are all coming back from the dead, and now Strangeways too. I guess the sadness is although you see this thorough and strategic build out into the donut, it’s still going to take decades, even where there is Metrolink.. That said, if you compare Manchester to the donut in Brum, Glasgow and Liverpool it’s impressive.

By Rich X

This is exciting. Holt Town and the areas around it are so ridiculously over-looked considering parts of it are less than a 5 minute walk from Ancoats/New Islington and the city centre. Also if this is what will finally regenerate the River Medlock then I am very supportive of it, it could be a nice riverside park.

By kl

74 acres = 30 hectares, and to accommodate 4,000 homes = 133 dwellings per hectare (gross). Allowing for roads, open space etc. and the odd retained building lets call it 200 dwellings per hectare which pretty much rules out the provision of any family houses,

By UnaPlanner

Fantastic…. Huge potential here to reinvigorate a long overlooked part of the city

By Cheggers

I can only imagine that EOD hasn’t been around for the last 25 years during which time there has been more investment in Manchester than any other UK city and the majority in Europe. Can’t do everything at once old boy/ old girl…. there is only so much that can be invested in a city at one time!

By Really

So much potential here. Areas a 5 minute walk away are becoming nice places to live. The Metrolink and bus links offer so much potential. The Etihad extension and Co-Op live will drive up activity and footfall along this corridor.

By Great News

This is brilliant news…exactly what Manchester City Council should be promoting, new towns or regenerated old ones… more space for everyone. So, if this is happening why are the Council almost demanding that Chorlton becomes a crammed, cramped and over-populated conurbation? Filled with 1 or 2 bedroomed high-rises? Please developers…”Give us a break”

By Anonymous

EOD has a point but the doughnut ring around Manchester is grotsville. The inner city suburbs are featureless and impoverished and the architecture in them is in general, of poor quality. We are not talking Camden Town and Islington here, which had beautiful Georgian squares ripe for redevelopment in the 80s.There were great plans for Holt Town years ago, including a Street of houses designed by people in a competition. What happened to that idea? Holt Town needs to be a Townhouse area, an extension of Ancoats and New Islington. It needs to be a destination too.

By Elephant

So where is the wealth generating productive capacity coming from? The high value jobs? Skilled and semi-skilled employment? Once again when construction is over we are left with low paid retail, leisure and hosptality outlets whose main function is to drain income from the city to profit centres elsewhere. MCC you cannot build a city on hedonism and consumption, or inflict your own lack of personal aspirations and low grade values on others. Eventually we will have McManchester inhabited by impoverished alienated masses and unemployed people with BTec diplomas in visual arts and degrees in phonecam video editing. There’s hardly any productive work left and certainly bugger all to do in this wasteland you are creating except eat, drink and shop.

By Patrick Symmond

This sounds great. There’s a potential to create a very pleasant medium density neighbourhood here

By Anonymous

There is a lot of potential in the area. Im sure Manchester City Council can put a stop to that. Bland substandard unaffordable housing incoming!

By Marvin

We’ve heard it all before, nothing ever happens, nothing ever will

By Dave

Will the houses be built on existing footprint of buildings already there, saving what green space there is
Will they be affordable homes
If the answer is yes, then it’s a great idea

By Steve

Can’t wait for the “vibrant” community of £250k shoeboxes in the sky

By Bernard Fender

Big opportunity for some tall towers here

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

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