SWEET TOOTH…Pudding outlet Heavenly Desserts has continued its mission to expand the collective waistline of the country by opening a store at Muse Developments’ Time Square in Warrington. Having already set up shop at Rochdale Riverside, the cake seller has now taken a 1,500 sq ft unit in the town, its 30th store in all. Mohammed Imran, director of Heavenly Desserts, said: “We’re delighted to be opening our 30th site at Time Square, right in the heart of Warrington town centre and bring our desserts to the community. The vision of what is here at Time Square is exactly what we’re looking for and we can’t wait to open and serve the town.” Bring on the sugar rush!
CAR WOES…It has been a tough year for Dan Meis. The man who designed Everton FC’s 53,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock took to social media to voice his displeasure at being dropped from the project and now, on top of everything else, the American architect is facing a bill of $1,100 for a set of new brakes on his Porsche Macan. When it rains, it really pours.
NIMBYs…Proposals from Cheshire West & Chester Council to turn two former student houses in Chester into staffed homeless accommodation have been criticised by some local residents. A petition opposing the plans, which would create 21 flats, has so far garnered 223 signatures. “Imagine the current problems we already face with the homeless in the city centre but moved right outside your home!” thunder the petitioners. The houses have been vacant for the last two years and would be staffed 24/7 by a team of nine support workers. A petition in favour of the scheme is close on the heels of those in opposition, collecting almost 150 signatures so far.
SHARED OWNERSHIP…There seems to be a designated day, week or month for everything these days. In September, National Organic Month, we have had Roald Dahl Day and the International Day for the Protection of the O-Zone layer. Today is the final day of both World Reflexology Week and Shared Ownership Week.
A study by housing association Clarion Housing, which recently won consent for 66 shared ownership homes in Manchester, found that a third of people who had heard of shared ownership didn’t actually know what it was.
Many of those surveyed thought it meant sharing a home with somebody else, and really, who can blame them? It is a confusing name. To eliminate all doubt, here is a handy definition of shared ownership to end the week dedicated to it: A type of affordable initiative that gives first-time buyers, and those that do not currently own a home, the opportunity to purchase a share in a new build or resales property. The purchaser pays a mortgage on the share they own, and pays rent to a housing association on the remaining share.
There we go, now, back to my foot rub.
RECYCLING…Roman stone blocks found in excavations during the construction of Chester Northgate, the £70m mixed-use scheme in the city centre, are to be used to repair the city’s Roman walls.
Contractor Vinci Construction and archaeologists Oxford Archaeology have been working together to find signs of Roman life and other historical artefacts since work started on Northgate in July.
The blocks will be dressed ready for use in repairing the city walls to provide “a perfect match with sandstone used when the walls were first built”, according to Cheshire West & Chester Council.
Cllr Karen Shore, deputy leader of the council, said: “It is very pleasing to be able to recycle these stone blocks and help repair our city walls for future generations to enjoy.”
THE OTHER CITY…Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said the completion of the council’s purchase of Islington Mill, a community arts institution, was a model to help “communities resist gentrification”. The £6.8m project to refurbish the mill and create a 25,000 sq ft workspace for SMEs called The Other City, received a boost this week after bagging £3.3m from the European Regional Development Fund to pay for the purchase.
Dennett said: “This is about protecting and cultivating the production of culture, not just the consumption of culture. Ownership is key and the project we are embarking on with the mill will be crucial in creating models for communities to resist gentrification.
“It’s about putting power into the hands of local communities, recognising the huge cultural contribution made by the arts sector to the lives of Salford people, and providing a stable home and future for our residents and our creative community.”
FLIGHT PATH…Airline Loganair has confirmed it will provide flights from Manchester to Newquay starting next March. The daily service will depart Manchester Airport from Terminal 3 at 10:55 and will transport you from rainy Manchester to the sunny climes of the Cornish peninsula in 80 minutes. After the collapse of Flybe in March, Loganair will be the only airline to provide a direct service between Manchester and Cornwall. However, until the flights take off, passengers wishing to make the trip by plane will have to do so via Alicante, which kind of defeats the point.