Online fashion business Pretty Little Thing has submitted plans to redevelop Ancoats Works into its new headquarters.
Advised by Jenkins Design Services, PLT has lodged an application for change of use from general industrial uses to offices at the Pollard Street site, which has been vacant since May 2016 – prior to this it was occupied by Springbank Flowers, which has relocated to Monsall Road.
The proposal for the development includes the extensive repair of the existing building envelope, full thermal upgrade, the addition of two floors to the warehouse to add 26,200 sq ft of office space.
The site sits at the junction with Carruthers Street, wrapped around the Bank of England pub site, with the Ashton Canal to the rear. The bulk of the accommodation at the site, which is owned by the Kamani Property Group, comes in two main halls leading back from the Pollard Street facade.
Seventy four parking spaces will be provided at a site it is envisaged will house 250 employees. The company’s requirement to move from its present base at nearby Wellington Mill is described as “urgent” as its expansion continues. In total, around 64,500 sq ft of office space will be created at Ancoats Works.
Pretty Little Thing’s plans seem to align well with Manchester City Council’s desire for more commercial development to bridge the gap between a rapidly maturing district at the Oldham Street side of Ancoats and the areas towards Eastlands, as outlined in the refreshed Eastlands Regeneration Framework.
The supporting planning statement said: “The site is well placed for office space which can offer a high-quality floorplate that meets the requirements of the client’s growing needs.
“Repair and maintenance of Pollard Street facade will enhance the street scene. This would assist in helping to build a strong economy, as supported by the NPPF, by creating employment whilst reinstating the building.
“The principle of development is thereby enhanced not only by the previous building but also by up-to-date policy support, and weight should be given to the benefit of a significant development, which can hopefully be a further catalyst to other investments in the same area of Manchester.”
Pretty Little Thing is part of the Kamani family’s booming fashion group, being set up by Umar and Adam Kamani in 2012 and majority-acquired by Boohoo Group in 2016. Its clothes are targeted at women aged 16-34 and it now operates in Ireland, Australia, the US and France as well as the UK.
The professional team on the project also includes Westlakes Engineering and KP Acoustics.