BADLY TIMED FIRE ALARM… The Made in Manchester Awards at the Hilton Deansgate took an unexpected turn last night when the whole building had to be evacuated as guests were being served their main course.
With fire alarms wailing, guests and residents clad themselves in foil pashminas against bitter winds. The Deansgate pub next door suddenly enjoyed an influx of shivering, well-dressed punters. The Hilton provided no explanation for the evacuation other than ‘safety reasons’, but speculation is that a loose window in Beetham Tower, which has caused Deansgate from the Hilton to Peter Street to be closed off today, was the culprit – although getting all 400 guests and the Tower’s residents to stand beneath the windows when one of them is hanging off doesn’t seem at all logical. After more than 30 minutes outside, guests were allowed back and the show went on, albeit with a slightly dishevelled and dazed audience.
FAUX PAS… Lapses of concentration are a hazard of pulling an all-nighter up against a tight deadline.
Maybe that’s what caused Bennetts Associates to flip the brand name of Bruntwood and Select’s Oxford Road project back-to-front to become ‘Square Circle’ when they wrote the council’s Corridor Manchester: North Campus Strategic Regeneration Framework. And on the page opposite Circle Square was still down as plain old ‘Former BBC site’. Hey, the land was only sold by BBC to Realty six years ago and rebranded Circle Square by Bruntwood in 2015 after it was sold on by Realty. These things take time to sink in.
ARTS AWARD… A touring transport-themed arts festival on water? Yes please. Arts Council England and Canals & River Trust are putting £2.3m into their ongoing programme this year, with roughly £100,000 each for a host of arts groups nationwide. In this region, Fleetwood Festival of Transport – SpareParts: On the Move is a pilot programme which will connect three transport festivals in Fleetwood, Crewe and Sandbach. They’ll work together to produce and deliver an programme of outdoor arts which local audiences can enjoy and take part in. The project aims to continue this partnership approach and develop a touring network of transport festivals.
COLLOQUIAL BRAND… Wainhomes has gone all Besses O’ Th’ Barn with its latest development in Standish. A Cat I’ Th’ Window address anybody? Does anyone speak like that anymore in Standish? More importantly, will houses come with cats in the window, as promised?
Click any image to launch gallery
NEW VIEW… To 101 Embankment Salford for the launch of the stunning office building finished by Ask, Tristan and Carillion. New development is often at its best when it offers views that have never been seen before, creating a place where no-one has ever stood. The top floor offers such a privileged scene across Victoria station, One Angel Square, Printworks, Arndale, Corn Exchange, Manchester Cathedral and around to Chapel Street and Abito. Apparently, by day you can see both City and United’s football grounds at each end of the horizon. We are reassured Pep Guardiola’s penthouse apartment in the CitySuites block, nearing completion next door, faces in the appropriate direction. Office fit-out firm TSK is now on site for occupier Swinton Insurance at 101 Embankment and pretty soon those views will be out of reach unless you are staff or sub-tenants, if they let that top floor space back into the market as rumoured.
SAXY BOY… It’s a shame we won’t be seeing Charlie Parker’s face back around the top table in Manchester any time soon, missing out on the Manchester and Greater Manchester chief exec vacancies, if rumours that he went for both are to be believed. Your editor, in a previous life, was writing for a national trade magazine on all things North West property when he interviewed Parker in a grand wood-panelled office at Liverpool City Council, where Parker was regeneration director. The chiselled interviewee, who went on to take the top job at Oldham and is currently running the show at Westminster Council, didn’t look up from his pile of large lever arch files on the coffee table in front of him as he prepped for the next meeting due after his media encounter, flicking between agendas and spreadsheets whilst answering all the questions with total recall of the facts and figures and without a pause to think about the answer. Impressive skills, if you like that sort of thing.