Northligth Allied 2
Plans for Northlight could be submitted in spring 2022

Allied adds to Enterprise City offer

Dan Whelan

The developer has unveiled Northlight, a 23-storey office concept on the corner of Manchester’s Quay Street and Water Street, a site it had previously earmarked for The Tower, a 54-storey residential scheme.

Speaking to Place North West, Allied London chief executive Mike Ingall said the proposed 215,000 sq ft office tower would be aimed at technology and media-enabled companies and that the developer was “gauging occupier demand coming out of Covid”. 

A planning application for Northlight, which would also feature 25,000 sq ft of restaurant space on the top three floors, will likely not be submitted until spring 2022 when the post-pandemic outlook is clearer, Ingall added. 

Allied London proposes 16,500 sq ft of media studios in the basement and at mezzanine level, and aims to complete the scheme in 2025 subject to planning approval, the chief executive said. 

The scheme sits within Allied London’s Enterprise City masterplan south of Deansgate and Spinningfields in Manchester city centre.

The proposed development has been significantly scaled back in height since plans for The Tower – which mooted 287 apartments and a 110-bedroom hotel – were approved in 2016. 

However, a shift away from residential use for the building has been in the pipeline since 2019, when Allied London said it was looking to rework its plans to include 350,000 sq ft of offices across 25 storeys.

No1 Grape Street

Plans for No1 Grape Street have also be reworked

The developer has also unveiled refreshed plans for No1 Grape Street, a 13-storey building that would contribute a further 85,000 sq ft of workspace to the Enterprise City masterplan. 

A previous iteration of the project, proposing 57,400 sq ft of workspace, was approved alongside plans for Allied’s 300,000 sq ft Manchester Goods Yard office development  in 2018.

No1 Grape Street would be built next to the Goods Yard, which is pre-let to Booking.com. 

Elsewhere, the developer has also announced plan for a Media Cube, billed as “a multifunctional venue capable of adapting to multiple uses including film and TV production, live music and performance venue, live sporting events, and rehearsal space to support The Factory”. 

The 10,000 sq ft building would sit between The Factory arts and culture hub being developed by Allied London and Manchester City Council, and the first of PRS operator Vita’s co-living towers, a 36-storey building with 372 apartments.

Media Cube Allied

The Media Cube would be operated in conjunction with The Factory

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It would be very ambitious considering Manchester’s economic future.

By PDM

Looks impressive let’s hope it happens.

By Anonymous

@PDM and what exactly is Manchester’s economic future? Offices continue to be proposed, approved and built. Developer’s don’t spend millions developing something which isn’t credibly backed up with evidence to support it.

By Andrew

As a cluster this works well (at least from the render).

I must say I hate the whole co-living thing. I think it is just a wheeze to squeeze more money per sq ft. I can see problems stored up ahead for that type of scheme.

By Chris

Cramming it in there. It’s a shame they’re determined to build right up to The Factory.

Allied make a lot plans but end up changing them, this will be something completely different again by the time they start building.

I am looking forward to the huge site opening up though.

By Hmmm

Well according to reports like the one from Deloitte recently, Manchester’s economic future remains what it has been for the past few years or so , the economic powerhouse outside London with the next most significant, Birmingham , Leeds and Belfast some way behind by many measures. Contractions probably on the way for everyone though but given the huge investment in infrastructure and in attracting the right jobs I think Manchester’s going to be just fine.

By James

Whoever ‘designed’ this dullness needs to just leave this country and never come back

By Michael

Really like the new plans for this and reading Allied’s vision for the area online last night it is going to be such an incubator for Tech and Media businesses. Hopefully Manchester’s 6th unicorn will be born here.

By Bob

Is there going to be any public space in St. Johns. I welcome the investment and development, but think there needs to be some room to breath.

Not sure the Media building is needed. This was supposed to be a public square, opening onto the river.

By ALL

All these plans will be changed at least three times before anyone puts even the slightest hint of a digger bucket near the ground.

By Anonymouse

Yes what’s the deal with the Media Cube?

I can’t tell whether it’s taking up the proposed square/open space or if it’s just the angle.

By Anonymous

When the Factory is finally finished and we start returning to normal this is going to such a great area of the city. It should work well with New Bailey and with Spinningfields Be a while yet but we’ll get there.

By James

The wrong place for residential, they will complain about the city centre being on their doorstep, always happens.

By Mitch

Strange times – our office has closed in Manchester and we will never be returning?

By Beth

This is slap bang in the city centre. Why would anyone complain the city centre is on their doorstep when they are in it, like the tens of thousands of others who’ve chosen to live there?

By JohnP

Some idiotic comments as usual. Looks great, is mature in it’s design and the media cube looks very interesting. Exactly the type of development that should be built in the centre of a city.
You don’t hear about New Yorkers complaining of the hustle and bustle, why’s the UK any different?! Looks like an exciting place to live imo and there certainly aren’t many city centres in the UK that can say that.

By The Squirrel's Nuts

Unlike New York there is very little decent open space in the centre of Manchester which can make living and working here feel quite oppressive sometimes. You don’t address that by over developing already constrained sites and building a pointless ‘media cube’ on the only bit of meaningful open space on the whole site.

By Observation

How can you possibly complain about development in a city centre that requires building , it’s a city centre, that’s how they work, what they seem to want is countryside. That’s somewhere different altogether.

By Realist