Dransfield retail scheme renamed

Michael Hunt

Dransfield Properites' new Openshaw district centre in east Manchester will be renamed Lime Square.

Work started last November on the first phase of the £40m development, to deliver a new 80,000 sq ft Morrisons store on an 11.9-acre site off Ashton Old Road, which will open later this year.

Earlier this year, pupils at St Clements Church of England Primary School in Openshaw were set the challenge of suggesting names for the scheme.

After going through the dozens of entries put forward by the youngsters the judges have selected ten year old Alex Parkinson as the winner. He came up with the idea of using The Square which inspired the judges final choice of Lime Square.

A presentation is being held today for the pupil and his classmates who are being given a chance to look at the first branding ideas for the new development.

Janet Fitzgerald, head teacher of St Clements, said: "Alex is so proud of his achievements and it means a lot to our school to know that one of our pupils was so directly involved in the development stages. We think that the name reflects the exciting new addition to Openshaw. We have enjoyed working with Dransfield and the pupils have relished the chance of learning more about their town and are very excited to see Lime Square completed."

As well as the new Morrisons store the scheme will eventually house a further 76,550 sq ft of additional retail space and a new health and fitness centre. Up to 750 new jobs will be created.

Mark Dransfield, managing director of Barnsley-based developers Dransfield Properties, added: "We were really keen to involve the local school on what is happening in their community and they came up with lots of great ideas.

"We loved the idea of using Square in the name and after speaking to our landscape architects about the use of lime trees in the area the judges agreed that Lime Square was the right choice. I'd like to thank the staff and pupils at St Clements for working with us on this project."

The new development will also house a piece of sculpture by the renowned sculptor Robert Erskine. The sculpture depicts a modernised steel version of the steam hammer which was first produced and used in Openshaw in the 1840s by James Nasmyth.

It has taken seven years from inception for the project to reach the first phase stage. Demolition work was carried out by Windmill Demolition in April 2008. The Denton-based company demolished the former social security offices as well as a snooker club and bank, all fronting Ashton Old Road in Openshaw.

The presentation will be held on the site of the new Morrisons store on Tuesday 11 May at 11am.

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