PRESTON PROTESTS… THING is a big fan of this proposals, put together by David Cox Architects, for a scheme-that-never-was in Preston. It’s a particularly bold design for a city that doesn’t exactly have a wealth of stunning new-build architecture, at least, not yet. Place’s interview with David can be found here, where the architect reflects on the future of the city, and what it needs to be successful. Not included is an anecdote the architect shared about a run-in with the EDL at a planning committee, where designs for a mosque were being discussed; committee members scarpered to leave Cox facing down the ‘brunt’ of the protest group. Certainly one worth hearing if you ever get the chance.
LUCK OF THE IRISH… It’s usually news of a pub closure that makes the headlines but some welcome news this week is the rumour doing the rounds that Manchester’s Shamrock pub is set to re-open with Holt’s stepping in to run the 200-year-old boozer. The pub on Bengal Street dates to the early 1800s but closed its doors last summer, and its landlord at the time said the building would be “sold off” to developers as the area continues to be built out. However, the word on social media is that brewer Holt’s is to take on the pub from owner Marstons, potentially saving the building from development. Watch this space, but good news for an area that has seen a number of traditional boozers disappear.
ON BOARD… Property favourite Mr Thomas’s Chop House has temporarily been renamed Mrs Sarah’s Chop House, in honour of a mother and daughter, both called Sarah Studds, who ran the dining rooms at the pub in the 18th and 19th centuries. The new name has been revealed today to celebrate International Women’s Day. Following on from the recently unveiled Emmeline Pankhurst statue in St Peter’s Square, is Sarah set to become one of the other most famous women in Manchester?
DON’T FORGET YOUR SANDALS… It’s just a few days until the lucky ones, or unlucky ones depending on your perspective, head out to Cannes for the annual MIPIM property conference, so the good folk at Landmark Investments have given us a few top tips from some of the faces you’re likely to see while you’re out there. Tom Bloxham, of course, recommends taking a hat; Vaqas of Shoosmiths thinks getting yourself a whatsapp group with your colleagues is a good call; and Lisa Ashurst perhaps gives the sagest advice of all: don’t wear new shoes. The Place team will be out there this year, all in well-worn trainers no doubt, so expect a special edition of THING next Friday.
SPOKE TOO SOON… A pop-up biking track at Manchester’s Mayfield opened its doors this week with a visit from walking & cycling commissioner Chris Boardman. Dubbed the Dirt Factory, the track is made up of more than 2,000 tonnes of reclaimed soil inside one of the site’s warehouses, and will be open for up to two years from next month, before relocating to a new larger home elsewhere in Greater Manchester. It’s another string to Mayfield’s leisure bow, alongside the ever-popular Grub food market, ahead of the wider site being redeveloped into 1,300 homes, offices, leisure, and the city’s first new park for more than a century. The bike track is open from early April for those wanting to give it a go.