CAPTION COMPETITION… Answers on a ballot paper please for this lil beauty courtesy of Cllr Sean Anstee’s mayoral campaign photographer Benjamin Wareing captured during the manifesto-launching tour of the Bury Black Pudding Company with Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. What exactly are they looking at? (Yeah yeah, a black pudding being made, thanks for that.)
HR WHEEZE… Morgan Sindall, never a firm to let the construction industry appear stuck in its ways, will next week hold its first virtual careers fair in an attempt to circumnavigate the skills shortage. The online event will take place on Thursday 30 March between 10am and 4pm and offer potential employees the chance to chat online with MS employees during a webinar about career opportunities at the business. Global is good, in our view.
CHANGE OF USE… What do you get if you cross a massive sporting event and tourist occasion with an office market struggling for stock? A change of use application submitted by the Grand National’s latest sponsor, Randox Health, to convert a 3,000 sq ft ground floor office at Tithebarn Street’s Exchange Station to a private medical centre. If it’s not whole office buildings being sold off for apartments and hotels, it’s the chipping away of the remaining estate suite by suite. Maybe the office agents will be among the first on the medical table seeking pain relief.
ART LAUNCH… The “New Topographies” exhibition at Saul Hay Gallery includes this bespoke, site-specific work on the themes of history and regeneration by urban landscape artist Julian Bovis. “The Manchester Triffids” is a panorama of Castlefield Basin that captures the changing mood of the area as the city centre high-rise towers slowly envelop their surroundings. The piece, measuring 8ft by 2ft, has a topical feeling given the recent and ongoing controversies surrounding certain development proposals in Manchester, not least those by Renaker opposed by the Castlefield Forum.
ANCHOR MAN… Pro Manchester, the professional services industry group otherwise known as The John Ashcroft Show, hosted its annual business conference this week with the show-master in chief chairing proceedings as usual. The day’s theme was digital disruption and smart cities. One panel debate was introduced with a quip from Ashcroft about Amazon Echo, the retail-tech giant’s new artificial intelligence gadget linked to the Alexa personal assistant, often advertised with a female speaking voice, described as being like having another woman around the home. Ashcroft then dug his hole a little deeper by interrupting and talking over guest speaker Claire Braithwaite, ventures director at Co-op Digital, as she tried to inject some intelligent insight into the debate, causing much squirming among the audience. All the more strange as Ashcroft’s entire team of staff is made up of women.