Northstar NQ


REALITY RULES…The real-life Big Mac never looks like the picture, is one the cruel truths of life. The beautiful symmetry advertised simply doesn’t translate when you open the box and take in the sight of your dishevelled lunch, looking as if it has just gone the distance with Mike Tyson. In short, it is disappointing when things don’t look the way you hoped or expected. This rings true in property, too: how many times have you had your hopes raised by a beautiful CGI only to feel let down by an uninspiring end product? Happily, this is not the case with Northstar, the Northern Quarter’s funkiest new workspace developed by Bywater Properties. Billed as a Bauhaus-style office packed with character and “unique twists” when construction started early last year, it was pleasing to see the near-finished development resembling the concept drawings and standing proud on Oldham Street. 

Northstar Concept 4

Sheila Bird Studio has designed the Bauhaus-style block

Cat On A Train

CAT-GYP…Yes, very funny, a cat on a train. But spare a thought for the poor souls waiting to escape the capital city and get back to Manchester who had their service delayed by the inconsiderate animal. What about THEM!? While the rest of the world is busy cooing over the cat on the stopped train roof, THING is telling it how it is: this cat is a menace to society and another contributing factor to this country’s already dismal transport system. Instead of purring over its audacity, we should be nipping behaviour like this in the bud and making an example of this four-legged criminal for crossing the fe-line. 

Angel Meadow Lighting

c. Cllr Jon-Connor Lyons

DARK PARK…With so little for insomniacs to do these days, making parks accessible at night time has never been more important. What is the point of having a nice bit of green space if you can’t enjoy it in the early hours of the morning? Given that city centre parks are so scant in pre-Mayfield Manchester, it is all the more vital that the handful that do exist are made as accessible as possible. As part of its MeadowSide development, Far East Consortium is doing just that by installing some much-needed lampposts at Angel Meadow. No longer is entry to the park after dark reserved for only the brave and reckless!

The Lights Along Lord Street In Southport

The lights along Lord Street in Southport

MORE LIGHTS…And while we’re on the topic, Southport is also investing in its luminescence. The town’s Business Improvement District wants to create a ‘boulevard of lights’ along Lord Street essentially by bunging 300,000 fairy lights in the 80 trees that line the mile-long street. The organisation claims that if all of the lights were laid on the ground end to end they would stretch across the English Channel. Impressive, but if the plan is to rival Blackpool in the illumination stakes, it’s probably a good idea to keep them in Southport rather than lugging them down to Dover. 

ROADWORKS…Spare a thought for the good people at Ancoats General Store, who, having put up with bollards and cones outside their shop during the controversial revamp of Great Ancoats Street, thought they had seen the back of roadworks for a while. Apparently not. Another batch of bright orange barriers has turned up on Blossom Street next to the shop, potentially causing yet more aggravation for workers and customers alike. Not to fear though – not even gratuitous roadworks can deter hipsters from overpriced cans of craft beer. 

Swifts Carlisle

BIRDS AND BEES…The Swifts golf course and driving range in Carlisle city centre is to become an urban bee and butterfly oasis. The 42-acre site is to be transformed from flat fairways and manicured greens to a sprawling array of meadows, wetlands and woodland teeming with all manner of winged beasties. The Get Cumbria Buzzing project, being delivered by Cumbria Wildlife Trust in partnership with Carlisle City Council, is aimed at boosting the populations of bees and butterflies in the area. Buzzing!

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hope they’re removing the kerbs which define the stupidly narrow cycle lane next to AGS which will absolutely never ever be used