Co Op Academy Showcase Cinema
Space Architects designed the school

Showcase demolition starts as school plans approved 

Dan Whelan

A 92,000 sq ft secondary school is to be constructed on the site of the former cinema on Hyde Road after Manchester City Council gave the scheme the green light. 

The Gorton school is to be operated by the Co-Op Academies’ Trust, which runs 25 education facilities in the North of England.  

Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine is to build the 1,200-place facility, designed by Space Architects, and the school is due to open in time for the 2022/23 academic year. 

Under plans lodged in January, there is to be a three-storey main school building linked to a sports hall block of two-storeys.

In addition, the project features a 93-space car park, a drop-off area, grass football pitches and tennis and basketball courts. 

The demolition of the former cinema is underway following council approval earlier this month. 

Tetra Tech Planning is the planning consultant, BDP is the M&E engineer, and Hoare Lea is the fire consultant. 

Built in 1989 as part of the Belle Vue entertainment complex, the 14-screen cinema closed permanently in March 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the 13-acre site is now owned by the city council. 

Manchester City Council has highlighted the need for an additional secondary school in East Manchester to serve the area’s growing population. 

The authority had planned to build a 1,200-place school on Nutsford Vale in Gorton, but the authority scrapped its plans in favour of the Showcase site following opposition from local residents. 

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