Month in property | September

Games for a laugh

Liverpool lost out to Birmingham for the right to be the English bidder for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and while the bid’s romantic element was strong – how cool would the jumping events have looked, with airborne athletes against the Pier Head backdrop – the lack of an actual main stadium probably counted against it. It’s not like Everton stadium projects haven’t gone belly-up in the past, after all. The positive spin is that Brum needed the regeneration more, so let’s stick with that line and wish them good luck.

It’s all academic

The irrepressible Gary Neville’s at it again, teaming up with his United chums to bring forward University Academy 92, a sportsy, businessy kinda learning place along the lines of the University College of Football Business operation established successfully by sometime-Neville-collaborator Brendan Flood in Burnley – and City’s Etihad Campus. Neville’s classrooms will take over the Kellogg’s site in Old Trafford when the Cornflake maker moves to Media City UK, and Trafford Council has footed the bill for the site, so the lads have got it sorted, really. The ‘Class of 92’ brand shows no sign of slowing down – maybe there’ll be merchandise available soon.

And what you’re looking at is the masterplan

If you’re a Greater Manchester town, you need a masterplan of some kind right now, with Bolton, Oldham and Stockport all having skin in the game. Oldham’s out to consultation, while Bolton has launched its framework, setting out five key town centre development zones. Although smaller scale, Stockport is interesting, scratching the long-term itch of the rundown shop-littered A6. The historic value here includes a takeaway that gave its name to a single by two members of New Order. Tasty Fish, as you were wondering.

A good airing

Oh blimey, Cheshire East, what now? No sooner is the Local Plan, which has already seen off two Parliaments, declared shipshape and Bristol fashion, than a legal challenge lands, connected to some jiggery-pokery over air quality statistics that might have played merry hell with planning decisions between 2012 and 2014. Calling in the police to investigate the allegations of manipulated air quality figures was absolutely the right thing to do for a council striving to be transparent, it’s just a shame the chief constable of Cheshire Police won’t oversee the work as he’s currently suspended pending the conclusion of a gross misconduct hearing.

Arc at him

The Northern Arc is one of 10 winners in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, and if all goes to plan we could see 1,200kmph magnetic levitation trains connecting all the key cities of the North in a big loop, with Liverpool-Glasgow taking 45 minutes. It’s not like major transport infrastructure presents a problem for the UK, eh? So much of this is compelling – Elon Musk fronting it, testing in the Nevada desert – but as long as we’re packing onto those Pacer trains you can’t blame people for being cynical.

Let’s move on

Development activity this month at two of Manchester’s better 1990s bar ventures, Mash & Air and Dry Bar. The tale of Oliver Peyton’s Mash & Air is well told, and there’re still people who’ll swear blind Manchester’s seen nothing as creative since. Dry Bar was still doing a job, although its day as a “destination” for long distance visitors had passed. Are their futures – as an aparthotel and boutique hotel respectively – a reflection that we 1990s stalwarts should just accept that all things change? Probably.

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