50 Fountain Street 2, M&G, P.planning Docs
The scheme features a gym, an indoor living wall and a rooftop pavilion. Credit: via planning documents

M&G lodges plans for £40m overhaul of Manchester office 

Dan Whelan

The investor, working with Ask Real Estate and Jon Matthews Architects, wants to demolish 50 Fountain Street and construct a new seven-storey building while retaining the original façade. 

Providing 55,000 sq ft of workspace, the £40m development would create “an attractive proposition for new and existing businesses within Manchester and the wider region”, according to planning consultant Deloitte Real Estate. 

“The existing office building on the Site no longer makes a positive contribution to the area, either architecturally, historically or commercially,” Deloitte said. 

Comprising floorplates ranging from 4,500 sq ft on the ground floor up to 9,400 sq ft on the first and second floors, the office building would also features cycling facilities, a gym, an indoor living wall and a rooftop pavilion. 

The project would see the buildings original entrance brought back into use. The office is currently accessed via 50 Fountain Street where the building is set back from the road. 

50 Fountain Street, M&G, P.planning Docs

Under the plans the new-build would be realigned with the original 19th century sandstone façade along Fountain Street. Credit: via planning documents

Under the plans the new-build would be realigned with the original 19th century sandstone façade along Fountain Street. 

Hill Dickinson occupies the grade two-listed building at present. The law firm’s lease expires in April 2024. A spokesperson told Place North West in April that no work would take place until the expiry of Hill Dickinson’s lease. 

Ask was appointed as M&G’s development partner for the project earlier this year. 

Construction firm Bam is lined up as main contractor for the project, according to a construction management plan submitted with the planning application. 

Renaissance is the structural engineer, Ridge is the M&E engineer, and Stephen Levrant: Heritage Architecture is advising on heritage. 

Cundall, Planit-IE, DFC, Cundall, Gardiner & Theobald are also advising on air quality, landscape, fire and cost. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

What a disgrace of a development.

By Byronic

I expected better. The design and access statement hints at construction costs being an issue as to why they didn’t go for the much better arched frontage. Whatever the outcome, that glazed roof extension has to go.

By Andrew

Why is this making me want to watch Alien?

By Jeff

What a truly appalling concept. The CGIs wholly misrepresent the impact. It leaves a very bad taste

By Richard

A truly dreadful design

By Monty

No, no, no, no. Just so you know, I’m no nimby, but no, seriously….no.

By Dr No.

Hahaha shame on Manchester they are destroying the only few decent biuldings they have
Famous for destroying the city !

By Anonymous

I don’t get the vitriol against this, it’s a better use of the site area and it re-orientates the building to use the original main entrance again, both positive moves. It’s not ‘outstanding’ but it’s not terrible as some seem to think.

By Bradford

Yes, people get very het up about cgi’s , silly really. Great concept making use of the existing building.

By NoRomance

Brilliant, we should be retaining more original facades like this. Get it built.

By New Wave

I’m with the majority here; it looks dreadful.

By 1981

Hill Dickson sold that building and signed a 20 year lease back. The old extension needs to be demolished and replaced. It’s a good improvement.

By Jasper chavesse

I’m sure the viability of the scheme doesn’t hinge on what appears to be an over sized cranial extension plonked on top of the listed building. It doesn’t look like a large proportion of the overall floorspace. Maybe just remove that bit or reduce it in scale?

By Frank N Stein

What a joke! I thought facadism had been binned and forgotten as it is an empty gesture that removes the cultural value of our historic buildings. It shows you that if you wait long enough, truly dreadful architectural trends will return. We are destined never to learn from our mistakes, particularly in Manchester.

By Jon M