Churchgate House
The grade two-listed building faces Oxford Road in the city centre

More offices mooted for Churchgate House

Sarah Townsend

Property investor Helical wants to increase the provision of office space at the grade two-listed headquarters of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Mayor Andy Burnham.

Under the change-of-use application lodged with Manchester City Council, part of the basement of the building on Oxford Street in the city centre would be converted from car parking into around 14,000 sq ft of offices.

The basement has been used for several years for car parking associated with the building.

“However, the lack of demand for parking (driven in part by the city centre location) has presented an opportunity for the basement to be repurposed as a separate lettable unit,” documents drawn up by planning consultancy NJL Consulting as part of the application state.

The application, submitted on behalf of Helical, a Manchester and London-focussed property investor, proposes creating a single office unit of around 14,000 sq ft.

The remaining space would be left untouched as car parking. External alterations would also be required to create high quality office space, according to the documents.

Such alternations include removing existing covered windows on the Oxford Street frontage and replacing with an entrance and two windows on each side; replacing a section of louvers on the Rochdale Canal elevation with glazing to add natural light to the basement, and reopening pavement lights on the Bridgewater Street side of the building.

The GMCA selected Churchgate House as its first dedicated headquarters building in 2016, co-locating existing departments and creating new offices for Burnham, who had recently been elected as mayor.

A GMCA report at the time said the authority was taking 25,000 sq ft at the building on an eight-year lease at a rent of £16.50/sq ft.

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Great news. Imagine how much more space in the city centre is currently being wasted by car parking. Space for offices, more jobs, more apartments, more parks, gardens, cycle lanes…. the list is endless! Cars are a waste of space, time to dump them out of the city altogether

By Anonymous

Bit dark down there…….

By A Lamp

Hold your judgement on it being dark just because it has been a car park. Wait until you see what they are doing. . it looks a great space to me!

By Insider

I think there could be limited appeal for employees to dwell in victorian basements, no matter how jazzed up they will be.

Interestingly, over the past 20-odd years a lot of basements in city centre buildings have been leased by telecommunication companies to pack in telecoms and telemetry equipment.

By North by North-West

Hmmm, I don’t fancy working in a basement office with no windows, even if some trickery forced natural light from above a bit. But, still better than a car park