CRP Manchester p.MCC

The buildings would be delivered across two main phases. Credit: via MCC

Revamp of Manchester’s former Central Retail Park moves forward

Up to 1.25m sq ft of offices, including the potential for a civil service hub, are planned at the long-vacant site the city council acquired for £37m in 2017. 

Manchester City Council announced last year it was planning to refresh the strategic regeneration framework for the 10.5-acre former Central Retail Park in response to interest from the Government Property Agency around relocating staff to the site. 

Now, a six-week consultation on the proposals has opened. You can take part and view the updated SRF, drawn up by Avision Young.

As well as offices that could accommodate up to 8,000 jobs and reach up to 16 storeys, the masterplan for the site proposes an area of green space linking Great Ancoats Street to Cotton Fields Park and New Islington Marina. 

“A key driver for the development of the former Central Retail Park is to deliver a new green space at the centre of the site, which results in two distinct office developments at either end, linked by the new park,” the SRF states.


CRP Manchester p.MCC

The Garden would link from Great Ancoats Street through to New Islington Marina. Credit: via consultation documents

The western half of the site would be developed first, followed by the public realm, according to the SRF. Phase two would see the eastern portion of the plot progressed. 

Updating the strategy demonstrates “renewed commitment that the regeneration of the former Central Retail Park will create a high-quality, sustainable office district with attractive public realm at its heart,” according to the city council. 

“We have an exciting opportunity in the former retail site to bring the long-term regeneration story of New Islington to a close, creating a flagship low carbon, green development that has the potential to create thousands of jobs,” said Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council. 

“We want this to be a truly valuable investment to Manchester’s regeneration programme and a credit to the city centre. As such, we would encourage feedback on our proposals and invite as many people as possible to take part in the consultation.” 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Oh look a European style boulevard

By Levelling Up Manager

They need to sort out Great Ancoat st, this road is already gridlocked as it is.

By Anonymous

Disgraceful waste of open space. Put the civil service at Mayfield. This should be a park. Bev Hughes is supposed to be about community.

By Elephant

Looking at the plans it can only improve the city, and create jobs

By Anonymous

What is a European style boulevard?

By Dan

Couldn’t they make one tall western block and have an additional quarter of the site allocated as green space? It still feels like a missed opportunity not having more open space next to the canal which links to the marina. You could even do it for the eastern block but that’s asking too much and the residents opposite would complain.

By Anonymous

Creating jobs from construction through to final use, boosting the economy, utilising and building on brownfield land, some trees and green space for them lot. This is Manchester. Get it built.

By New Wave

Not locating the park (which should be twice the size of the proposed!) adjacent to the canal and linking into the marina is criminal. The council have a once in a lifetime opportunity to act for the future of the city and not just their 2023 budgets. The area is only getting more densely populated, and is desperate for green space for residents and workers. When will they have the opportunity provide something that will benefit the city for hundreds of years. We need more green space and it seems the one and only opportunity for them to provide this is being wasted. What happens in 30 years when the offices are no longer fit for purpose? Yet another regen area. A park will thrive long into the future .

By Anonymous

It’s hard to tell but there is an area of public realm which connects both the existing and proposed green spaces. It is an improvement. But I thought and hoped there would be a bit more green space.

By Anonymous

Everyone, it’s a proposal. Respond to the consultation.

By Steve

It’s not really a green space. No lawns, just hard landscaping with a few plant beds and trees, completely dominated by tall buildings. Very spinningfields-esque.

By Rob

Wasted opportunity, should be a cluster of skyscrapers and a larger green space!


Park should be bigger, with taller buildings to compensate.

By Anonymous

I always thought the Civil service hub would be Mayfield even though the 2500 coming are apparently going to 1st Street. Does this mean the council are planning for more of those civil service jobs moving North?

By Anonymous

Half of what we see in the rendering as Cottonfield Park (which is private) belongs to the school, medical center or is not walkable. They already included the school as green space last time and they are doing it again. The parkland in the new plan is still very sparse.

By Anonymous

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