Shipyard Allied London p.planning doc

The venue takes inspiration from Kyiv Food Market and Mackie mayor in Manchester. Credit: via planning documents

Operator picked for Manchester food market

Sessions will run the 30,000 sq ft Shipyard venue within Allied London’s St John’s development, the company’s first venture in the North. 

Plans for the Manchester venue, located within the disused Albert Shed warehouse on the River Irwell, were submitted to the city council earlier this year. 

Now, Sessions, which operates similar venues in London and Brighton, has applied for a licence to operate the venue, which once attracted the interest of Boxpark.  

“It is always our desire at Sessions to find the most exciting talent and concepts and anchor them in dynamic physical environments,” said Dan Warne, founder and chief executive of Sessions, said. 

“The Shipyard represents an expansion into a new region, via a scheme that represents a cultural heartbeat for the community. We hope to incubate some of the top talent from the area and give them national and international reach via our network, while introducing some of the most interesting concepts from around the world to the people of Manchester.” 

The scheme will see the site on the corner of New Quay Street and Water Street converted into a riverside dining destination and is due to launch next year.

Designed by 3D Reid, the plan is to repurpose the former warehouse into “an eclectic and curated destination that compliments the wider St John’s masterplan by encouraging a mix of artisan vendors and rolling smaller stalls”, according to the architect’s design and access statement.  

Precedents for the project cited by the architect include Kyiv Food Market, located within a former arsenal, Time Out Market in Lisbon, and Mackie Mayor in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. 

“St John’s is based on three pillars; Enterprise, Culture and Living,” said Mike Ingall, managing director of Allied London. 

“We have already established tech and media incubators and Sessions at Shipyard will be a unique proposition focussed on food and entertainment.” 

Sessions’ business is based on the Enterprise of Food, and will be a great asset and opportunity for Manchester’s independent food operators to create and grow within a UK network.” 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Albion Market.

By Elephant

Bad time to open in the city centre

By Fred Again

Great. New destinations being created all around the city.

By Dave

Tony Wilson had vision and new ideas.Sadly creative vision is entirely absent in Manchester these days and so yet another boring and dull food market.This is what happens when you get a bunch of out of touch middle aged suits running the city

By Anonymous

What would you suggest for the space @anonymous?

By ray von

Excellent use for this derelict building.

By Anonymous

Glad it isn’t a Boxpark at least. Freight Island has shown the road to food hall success is full of potholes.

By Anonymous

Exactly, it’s a shame the kids of today didn’t see Manchester is it’s heyday in the 80’s


How is restoring a run down shipyard and converting it into a food market overlooking a river showing Manchester’s lack of creative vision?

By Try thinking before posting

Sadly Anonymous 2.26 your lack of knowledge about who runs the city shows anyone all they need to know about your comment. Visit sometime you’ll see dynamism and creativity you won’t see anywhere else in the North.

By Anonymous

I think the issue with the “food market” thing is that its a bit of a bandwagon that developers thinks they can jump on. The assumption probably being that Alty Market and Mackie Meyer can be replicated because its a design formula that anyone can follow…just joining the dots. It really isn’t; Alty Market and Market House are distinctive because they are curated by people who actually know what they’re doing.
OK…both are copies of Time Out but they work because its in the the operators DNA…
Most of the competitors are jumped up versions of the Trafford Centre food court.
Customers can see right through this.

By anonymous

I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of the next generation of young property and construction professionals when I say this is a welcome addition to Manchester city centre. Looking forward to this, the food halls in this city offer an atmosphere and buzz like no other. 80’s might have been fun but news alert; it’s 2023.

By Big Dub

80’s in Manchester we’re not the heyday, except for drink addled punter’s staggering out of the Hacienda now looking back through rose tinted spectacles to a glorious past that never was. You want to know the heyday? I lived through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s onwards in Manchester and I can assure you that external influences aside, the heyday is now. There is no going back, embrace it or it will roll right over you. Manchester does not stand still.

By Tony Baloni

I think the food hall days are done it’s just a tired overused idea now all Manchester has is foodhalls and coffee shops needs more creativity. We’ve seen a food hall in Sale close so the saturation is at an all time high

By Anonymous

@anonymous pretty sure the Sale foodhall is closing due to rising operating costs, not saturation of the market…

By Levelling Up Manager

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below