More than 200 people are expected to attend a protest in Cutting Room Square on Sunday, in response to what the organiser describes as “demolition, poor civic dialogues and concerns about transparency and the direction of planning in Manchester”.
The event is being run by Manchester Shield, an unfunded civic movement formed in April by Adam Prince, secretary of campaign group Friends of London Road Fire Station.
The event will be held near the Smith’s Arms, the oldest pub in Ancoats, built in 1775. The Smith’s Arms is due to be demolished by a joint venture between Manchester City Council and Abu Dhabi United Group to make way for one of Manchester Life’s residential developments.
In a statement about the event, the growing protest group said: “People are critical of there being no social or affordable housing. There are grave reservations over a partnership with a dynasty in the United Arab Emirates with human rights abuse allegations. People feel that there has been poor transparency and dialogues about redeveloping Ancoats and East Manchester.
“The protest also comes after Gary Neville’s developments which see the destruction of the Sir Ralph Abercrombie, the Bootle Police Street Station facades and a historic synagogue. Though Shield says they realise that all buildings should not be saved all of the time, the negotiation and common sense integration of an important heritage must be genuinely forthcoming.
“The rapidly rising amount of people coming shows the passion people have for their city in ways many feel are not being heard.”
Prince, recent founder of Shield, said: “Simply there is very poor advocacy in the city for the preservation and civic involvement in planning decisions. The national system is flawed but without this local advocacy in seeking better models people feel increasingly disenfranchised.”