Manchester to borrow £227m for capital projects

Manchester City Council has revealed details of its capital programme for the next three years, detailing projects that are safe from the cutbacks announced earlier this week.

These include £19m for the relocated Cornerhouse and Library Theatre cultural centre at Ask Developments' First Street and £20.5m towards the public realm around the new Co-operative HQ on Miller Street.

Download the full report below

Manchester City Council Capital Programme Budget February 2011

The council report, due to be discussed next Wednesday 16 February, proposes capital spend of £275.316m in 2011/12, plus forward commitments of up to £149.377m in 2012/13 and £49.9m in 2013/14.

The council recommends borrowing £227.547m to support this proposed budget, broken down as follows:

Housing programme: £28.363m

  • £14.303m housing capital budget
  • £10.060m as 50% match funding for government grant to build new homes in West Gorton. Loans will be funded by additional rental income generated by the additional dwellings created
  • £4m to fund new neighbourhood regeneration bids within West Gorton and Collyhurst, plus funds from resources released elsewhere in the overall capital programme

Non-housing programme £199.184m

  • £6.740m additional ICT investment over three years
  • £1.5m Systems upgrade
  • £6.204m highway planned maintenance over three years
  • £26.447m asset management over three years
  • £104.415m Town Hall Complex
  • £14.5m St Peter's Square Public Realm
  • £10m First Street Cultural Complex
  • £1.567m Etrop Court
  • £20.019m Building Schools for the Future Programme
  • £634,000 Miles Platting Joint Services Centre Infrastructure
  • £7.2m Primary School Rebuild Programme and smaller schemes

Detailed elsewhere in the report, the council proposes spending £6.842m over the next two years on the new National Football Museum at Urbis.

The current year's budget, ending in April 2011, is also detailed, including £15.9m on the acquisition of land at Spinningfields from Allied London to develop 580,000 sq ft of office and retail at 1 and 2 Hardman Square and 2 and 3 Hardman Boulevard.

The Sharp Project Digital Media Centre received £3.979m this year and is set to receive £450,000 in 2011/12.

This year the council spent £11.566m on the indoor BMX centre at Sportcity and has set aside a further £5.716m in the next two years.

There are also reserves set aside to spend on several key projects not yet in the capital budget but approved by the executive if suitable proposals emerge:

  • Irwell River Park £2m, dependent on partner contributions
  • Alexandra Park £2m, dependent on Heritage Lottery Fund grant application
  • Royal Eye Hospital £2.75m, dependent on European Regional Development Fund bid for Co-operative HQ development releasing the necessary Manchester City Council resources

Your Comments

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Why, why, why are they moving the cornerhouse and library theatre to that dreadful, out of town development. Don’t they realise that people are not going to make the trip out there and it will just kill them both off. The Cornerhouse has its own captive audience already with the student set and is close enough for others to walk to from elsewhere in the city if they fancy a spot of art-house cinema. Moving it will kill off its bustling lunctime trade, people won’t go there for a quick drink despite not going to the cinema (as I sometimes do as its convenient for me to meet a friend who gets the train from Oxford Rd Station and on the South Manchester Bus routes so easy for me to hope on, post bottle of wine). Waste of money and a completely unneccessary move!!

By Anon

I agree, I go to the Cornerhouse because of its location and the charm that the building has; not just for the films etc. Moving it to a new building will remove that- may as well just go to the Odeon and pay a little less. I would be very disappointed to see it go, what will replace it?

By Anonymous

In absolute agreement with the previous comment. The Cornerhouse is the last vestage of the indy arts scene in Manchester. Why package it in a commercial development on a site that will indeed feel out of town. What will then happen to the current site? Sold off to build yet another budget hotel or student accommodation block? Will the Greenroom Bar also be encouraged away from Whitworth Street as a result?

By Anon

But you all know of course that because of all the money that has been poured into the Ask Development by Manchester City Council who have a ‘controlling stake’, apart from their own move into the offices, they now need to justify expenditure and fill it with something that will provide this lovely, cold, glass block with some life and people – oooh I know let’s get some arts stuff in! NO way will this work. Badly thought out as usual with Manchester; pockets of new stuff but no overall masterplan, coordination or consultation with us the public. No hope for us…..time to move abroad.


Are any of the Council actually qualified property professionals? Have they taken any ‘advice’ on this? Does the Cornerhouse want to move?

By Peter Fields

Please don’t move the cornerhouse cinema.

By Gerald Sinstad

I agree with all of the below. The Cornerhouse is perfectly located at the moment, it is the heart of Oxford Road and in a unique building full of charm. Replacing it with a glass box at First St called ‘Cornerhouse’ is not a relocation, it is a closure.

By Anon

This is mind-boggling. What are they thinking? The Cornerhouse works because of its charming venue and perfect location. On the face of it moving it a few hundred yards is neither here nor there, but in truth as one previous commenter says it’ll lose the walk by trade and be in a venue that is woefully inappropriate. Can’t the council leave well alone for once. There’s nothing wrong with the Cornerhouse where it is. Leave it alone!

By Will they never learn??

why not see this as a positive i.e. what can it bring/open up, Hotspur House across the river from the possible site has a thriving art/culture set up – connect them up and create a new destination bigger than each of them indivudally.

By alan davies

Many of your complaints seem to be short sighted, and rooted in a unhealthy distaste for change. People will go to the Cornerhouse wherever it is relocated to. I will still be in the city centre, and amongst what is a lovely corner of the southern expansion, close to Deansgate and the ring road. It is also served by one of the free buses, so accessibility is not an issue. The move will mean it shares a home with the Library Theatre, securing the future for both of them and opening them up to each other’s demographic. People haven’t stopped going to the Odeon cinema because it has been relocated to the Printworks. Manchester city centre is an easily navigable city on foot, and having to walk a little furhter, just means you’ll have the opportunity to take in more of the sights.

By Manchester Bee