East Village Central, MCC, p SRF

A 45-storey height limit has been set. Credit: via SRF

Manchester’s Great Ancoats Street vision evolves 

A strategy is now in place that could see four acres currently occupied by Stocktons furniture showroom and the Diecast leisure destination redeveloped into around 550,000 sq ft of offices and 1,100 homes. 

Manchester City Council yesterday signed off a strategic regeneration framework for East Village Central, drawn up by Turley and SimpsonHaugh, which is an addendum to the Piccadilly SRF that was adopted in 2018. 

The site is bound by Store Street and Ducie Street and is split into two main parts: Stocktons and the 3,000-capacity Diecast. 

The authority wants to see it transformed into a mixed-use scheme, featuring buildings up to 45 storeys with 30% – 40% of the site given over to public space. The city council says the site could be capable of accommodating more than 3,000 jobs.

If this comes to pass, Great Ancoats Street could legitimately call itself Manchester’s newest commercial district; plans for more than 1m sq ft of office space on the former Central Retail Park opposite are in the pipeline, with a large government pre-let in the works. 

The city council says the plan for East Village Central “complements” the regeneration proposals for Central Retail Park, which the authority acquired for £37m in 2017. 

A consultation on the East Village Central site was held earlier this year and the SRF addendum has now been adopted, meaning it will underpin any future development proposals on the site. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Manchester desperately needs a park. This is ridiculous.

By Anonymous

Here we go again with Simpson and Haugh can’t wait to see more repetitive square blocks.

By Michael

This, and the Central Retail Park over the road is such a great opportunity for a skyscraper cluster!


Re Anonymous and the park comment. Manchester has parks, what it doesn’t have is a big park in the city centre. This is a small site. It’s effectively a single city block. I’ve got no probs if this was turned into a park, but it would be a small one. There is a much nicer park, with waterfrontage and even slightly larger a whole 3 minutes walk away, Cotton Field Park. So yeah, I don’t think this is ridiculous not being a park.


Superb. Not sure why it has to be limited to 45 storeys, but hey ho. Hopefully SH come up with something a little more… innovative.

By Tom

Just hoping that Simpson-Haugh put their creative hats on for once. Please look at what other architects are delivering in the city – like that stunning EPR proposal from earlier this week. Try and do something like that, not just another random-cladded box.

By Anonymous

I will believe it when there are spades on the ground, its been years with drip feeding “plans”.

By Anonymous

We were promised a 100% park on the central retail park. Don’t let MCC get away with anything less !

By Rodders

Anyone who actually uses Cotton Field Park knows that whenever the sun’s out and it surpasses 15c you can barely see grass for how many people use that space. The fact accessible parks provide indirect rather than direct economic benefits is such an oversight. Just a little bit more green space… please.

By Anonymous

Landscape a park at Central Retail Park MCC,and show this awful London government that they aren’t using our city to house civil servants, on the cheap. If we are not good enough for HS2, we are not good enough to save them a few Bob on the ministry of safety pins, or whatever northshoring antics they are trying to fob us of with as a conciliation prize this week.

By Elephant

Something to go high above the oxygen building shielding that grey from my view of walking down great ancoats will always be a winner

By Tomo

45 storeys is good, but make a real statement and go for a 60 storey tower. The european tree lined boulevard of great ancoats street deserves it

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

Do we really need more offices in the city centre when there is already empty office space available after the increase of post-pandemic remote/hybrid working? We are more desperate for decent and affordable housing in the city. And why does it always have to be tower blocks?

By Anonymous

A large Government prelet? I thought that First St had been targeted for 2500 civil servants or is this a different prelet?

By Anonymous

I am excited about these plans for the new development in Manchester’s booming city centre. I agree that it would be great to have taller buildings, and I hope that Simpson-Hauge will allow their creativity to flow more freely this time. I am confident that the development will be a positive addition to the city.

By Marylebone

Re comments from contributors like Tom, Michael,MC and Giant skyscraper fan.
Totally agree with your comments.
No doubt the design is ready for ‘ cut and paste’ from a previous development.
When are architects and developers working in Manchester going to build ‘statement ‘ skyscrapers ?
What we are currently getting are bland and lacking architectural merit.
I suppose if nobody challenges it they will get away with it.
Are these projects not advertised internationally ?

By Peter Chapman

Great to see some height here – great ancoats street still remains a barrier….and a park at Central Retail? Would be better recycling the land value into other public realm and infra upgrades in other locations

By Quixote

Any chance that any of these apartments will be affordable? 1 beds in new blocks are going for £1100…

By Anonymous

Im sorry but hope that Manchester Council are not paying S&H to produce something as basic as this. Honestly I could have drawn this up over a lunch-break. This city needs to look at cities like Amsterdam in how to create exciting and innovate urban master planning to create dynamic truely mixed use regeneration. Parks are usable space not sure patches of grass mainly in the shade inhabited by tents from homeless people.

By Mark

Appalling plan, completely inward facing, all the public realm boxed in by big bulky buildings – this will create a black hole at the centre of that site. But hey, Simpson Haugh for you, don’t expect a creative or contextual response – just plonk some slabs on whatever piece of land you can find.

Manchester City Council, at what point are you going to start working with urban designers who understand place, and can actually masterplan?

By Anonymous

I agree there is potential for scale but there are some really interesting buildings in the Stocktons complex; these should be retained and incorporated. It would be a total lack of vision if they were not.

By Heritage Action

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below