Etrop Court

Wythenshawe town centre improvements approved

Michael Hunt

Manchester City Council approved plans for improvements to Wythenshawe town centre yesterday including a new bus station at Forum Square and the creation of a new district office for the council at Etrop Court.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "This is a big step forward for the regeneration of Wythenshawe town centre. We are working closely with our partner agencies to make it a better place for local people and to attract investment into the town. The approval of the new bus station location and council office will help us towards our goals."

The council has negotiated with property developer and Wythenshawe town centre owner, St Modwen, to take 50,000 sq ft of office space in its Etrop Court building [as revealed in Place 11.11.2009].

The new offices will be home to its children and adult services and the Wythenshawe regeneration team, and will accommodate up to 500 council staff.

The building on Poundswick Lane will be anchored by two major retail stores operated by Netto and Wilkinson and is part of St. Modwen's ongoing £100m regeneration of the town centre. Prelets with these operators totalling 35,000 sq ft of retail space were announced in March 2009.

It is expected that St Modwen will start building work in 2010 with the building completed in late 2011 and the council plan to move in 2012.

Michelle Taylor, regional director at St Modwen, added: "The deal to bring up to 500 Manchester City Council employees into this development will have an instant and positive impact on Wythenshawe town centre, bringing more activity to the retailers and other surrounding businesses.

"Our commitment to Wythenshawe remains as strong as it was since we took ownership of the town centre and we are determined to build on the positive changes we have already made to the town centre environment. That the city council is demonstrating the exact same commitment to Wythenshawe shows a belief and determination to make the town centre a better place."

The new bus station at Forum Square will help create a transport interchange with the Metrolink, which is being extended to the Airport through Wythenshawe. The Metrolink line and bus station will link together the main employment centres in Wythenshawe.

The current bus station site is earmarked for future redevelopment. It is expected that work will start on the new bus station in 2011 and it will operational by 2012.

In addition Willow Park Housing Trust is building its new head quarters in the town centre for 140 staff and it is expected complete it by the end of 2010.

The approved plans for Wythenshawe town centre are part of the updated Wythenshawe town centre masterplan.

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