Castlefield House Beetham
Castlefield House, left, has been acquired by Allied London, joining up St John's and MOSI estate to Upper Campfield Market

St John’s edges to Deansgate with site acquisition

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Plans have been revealed for an extension of the St John’s masterplan, stretching the development area towards Beetham tower and bringing Allied London chief Mike Ingall’s vision for an arc of activity from London Road to the former ITV Granada site closer to fruition.

Ingall first hinted about his idea for “a spine of experience, art and culture” along Whitworth Street from the Allied London-owned Fire Station to the £1bn St John’s neighbourhood at MIPIM earlier this year.

According to a report put before Manchester City Council’s executive, St John’s strategic regeneration framework will extend to Liverpool Road and absorb the Museum of Science & Industry complex, Upper Campfield Market, Lower Campfield Market and Castlefield House.

St Johns night view

SimpsonHaugh designed the masterplan for the £1bn St John’s regeneration

The council formed a joint venture with Allied London, called Manchester Quays Ltd, to deliver the 13-acre St John’s neighbourhood. St John’s is set to include a tower cluster containing 2,500 homes, 600,000 sq ft of commercial space and cultural facilities centred around the £110m Factory. The council also owns the MOSI estate, including the two listed Campfield Market warehouses.

The Campfield buildings sit either side of the 32,000 sq ft office building, Castlefield House, which Allied London acquired from Property Alliance Group to complete its holdings in the area.

According to the new regeneration framework, Lower Campfield Market, which is currently used as MOSI’s air and space gallery, would be reworked to create a multi-use space, incorporating events and flexible work areas, still centred around the MOSI collection. The main MOSI site over the road will continue as a science museum and further refurbishment plans are being considered.

Upper Campfield Market

Upper Campfield was used for indoor markets

Upper Campfield Market is vacant, and the council has faced pressure from the public to bring the building back into use. Manchester Quays has worked up a concept proposal for the space, named in the report as Union City, “a free flowing, visually and culturally interesting space that will integrate some of the region’s most talented and ambitious operators, and curate a space for culinary experience, innovation and enterprise”.

At the same executive meeting, which is due to be held on 27 July, the council will discuss an update to the Water Street framework, which encompasses a 4.6-acre plot to the western end of Liverpool Road. The council has earmarked the site for up to 900 homes, but has also included the provision of 750 parking spaces “to service St John’s”, alongside another 300 for residents.

The expansion of St John’s will bring the regeneration area nearer to other major development sites at the southern end of Deansgate, including the 20-acre First Street, which includes the HOME cultural venue, offices, restaurants, and 600 planned PRS apartments. It also brings the scheme close to Ask Real Estate and Carillion’s proposed £300m mixed-use redevelopment around Beetham tower, Manchester Central and Deansgate-Castlefield interchange.

Your Comments

The Arc concept should be supported, but like the Northern Quarter and Gay Village, there is a coherent public realm and people led transport plan. Investors are put off by the what could be great mixed use neighbourhoods but ruined by excess traffic, noise, poor paving, air quality. Leeds and Birmingham seem to be far ahead of us in stitching the city back together and increasing footfall and economic development beyond the current core areas.

By Mark Hammill

Birmingham far ahead of Manchester! Their city centre is dreadful and not user friendly at all, unless you like lots of Arndale centres linked by underpasses and pedestrianised streets.

By Elephant

Manchester City Centre is among the least user friendly I’ve had the misfortune to navigate!

Have you tried walking from Piccadilly to, say, St Anne’s Square?

And don’t suggest getting a tram – we shouldn’t be expecting people go into the basement and find the Metrolink station, to then buy another ticket, to then figure out the route map – for a journey that is relatively short in distance terms. The station approach/London Road is intimidating, Piccadilly gardens is a mess, and Market Street is narrow and crowded. Not a nice place!

By zebith

Ahh…Birmingham, and its arthritic network of highways and byways….unlike the syrupy twists of Greatchester…..one of the most inspiring cities in Europe.

By Wilf Bittern

Have you tried walking from New Street to the Jewelery Quarter?

By Elephant

Aye, its still better!

By zebith

Sorry, Birmingham….? Yeah quite the destination for visiting Americans…..not! Anyway, I can’t hear you – there must be loads of ugly Brummy concrete in the way……………….

By Sparky Nolan

Zenith you need to walk under some of those subways in Birmingham city centre,particularly near Aston university.That is supposed to be our second city. What a joke.

By Elephant

Define “second city”

By zebith

I think the point being made is that Birmingham are making a terrible situation better (gradually getting rid of their “concrete collar”) whilst Manchester seem hell bent on making an OK situation worse (Piccadilly Gardens, Library Walk, clutter on Market Street etc)

By Gene Walker

I guess the point is that Manchester is on the same sort of plane as Birmingham in terms of poor navigation, depressing urban fabric, and vying for the pathetic title of “second city”, “capital of the north/the regions”, etc.

Maybe they’re both just equally bad.

By zebith

Please no-one bring Liverpool into this conversation. It’s got the hallmarks of a Manc v Brum classic. Adding the ‘Pool will send it into meltdown.

By Wilf Bittern

Actually, mate, I think r Liverpool tops the lot of yous…….

By Scouse Jill

Calm down, calm down…

By Shell Suit

What a phony conversation.. looks like a good effort to improve that end of town. I don’t think it’s gonna become a festival marketplace, but it is one of the better ends of Manchester.

By Alfie

Birmingham! I wouldn’t even describe it as a ‘concrete jungle’ as it wouldn’t be fair on concrete jungles.

By Cheshire Boy

Such hate on her? Live and let live..Manchester & Birmingham have their good & bad points….As regards Second City..I look at The BBC at The Quays, and the airport in Manchester, and KNOW the answer….Greater Manchester…

By Schwyz

Definition of Second city.The second most important city in a country.As in Milan in Italy,Chicago in The USA. ,as in Hamburg in Germany,as in Melbourne in Australia and Barcelona in Spain.0h,as in Birmingham in the UK.Get the analogy? No neither does anyone else.

By Elephant

Then define “important”. In the USA, I’d argue LA over Chicago, in Germany I’d argue Frankfurt over Hamburg. Or Munich. Depends what you’re judging it on.

Point is, “second city” is a pretty irrelevant concept. Both Manchester and Birmingham are secondARY cities, and as such this kind of squabble for a nonsense title is pathetic.

By zebith

LA perhaps,but Chicago is more established and Frankfurt is just a big bank.Manchester is a Beta city,by virtue of having an International airport,whereas Birmingham is not graded as highly.Manchester also produces more wealth per person,anywhere outside London and it’s environs and has three times as many Super rich,which is people worth £19 million pounds or more.Greater Manchester is England’s wealthiest county other than Greater London,whereas Birmingham continues to decline economically,with 5 of the ten worst wards for unemployment.You are right about the pathetic second city status and both cities are third rate at the side of the list I gave,but this is down to years of under investment in both of them.I don’t see any of our regional cities,being able to rival the ones in Europe,anytime soon.

By Elephant

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