First Street

Ask appoints Groundbreaking for events study

The property division of events agency Ear to the Ground has been commissioned to carry out a 'space audit' aimed at showing how the 20-acre First Street development in Manchester city centre can fulfill its potential outdoors.

Groundbreaking has carried out similar work for Peel Group at Media City UK and the Co-operative Group at its Noma development.

Ken Knott, chief executive of Ask Property Developments, said: "We are committed to making First Street Manchester a genuine destination providing major amenity with the benefit of exceptional transport links. When completed, the new cultural facility will be boosted by a mix of bars, restaurants, hotels and independent retail thereby creating a stunning new place in the city centre, attracting up to 1 million visitors a year. To complement this, we need to ensure that our outdoor spaces are utilised to maximum effect."

The audit will be used to devise an events strategy aimed at maximising footfall, increasing dwell-time and in turn attracting new tenants.

As well as commercial space, First Street will be home to the new Cornerhouse art cinema and the Library Theatre.

David Norris, operations director of Groundbreaking, said: "The First Street project is a fantastic opportunity to extend the city centre and create a vibrant location that will appeal to the public. We are very excited that Ask Property Developments have brought Groundbreaking in at the earliest stage possible to advise on the best use of the public spaces to bring their project to life.

"We will be undertaking a full audit of this project over the next few months that will help ensure that by the time it is completed in 2014, First Street will be a new and vibrant retail and leisure destination for people living, working and playing in Manchester."

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