‘Soulful’ urban market to launch at Mayfield Depot

Escape to Freight Island, created by a group of hospitality professionals, will open on Baring Street in Manchester from July, providing an outdoor market and music venue at the £1.4bn Mayfield regeneration site.

Its creators described the scheme as “an axis of food, drink, music, immersive entertainment, festival takeovers and family-focused happenings”.

Food and drink traders confirmed for the project include:

  • Baratxuri, a Basque restaurant based in Ramsbotton
  • Madre, a Liverpool-based Mexican restaurant
  • Voodoo Ray’s Pizza, which is launching a northern outpost having only previously operated in London
  • Camden Town Brewery in conjunction with local beer makers Pomona Island Brewery
  • Jane Eyre, a cocktail bar based in Ancoats.

Other attractions include retail, a bike park, roller disco, retro arcade games and karaoke.

The first phase of bars and restaurants, known as Platform 15, is due to open in July. The second phase, which would boost the market’s customer capacity to 1,000, is scheduled to launch in August.

The venue will have capacity for 2,500 people once social distancing restrictions are fully lifted, the organisers said.

The co-creators include DJs Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey, who run Manchester bars Volta, Electrik Bar and The Refuge, and Gareth Cooper, director of Festival N°6, a music festival held in North Wales.

Jon Drape, co-founder of event production company Engine No. 4 and Dan Morris, director of Manchester bar Cottonopolis, are also behind the scheme.

Cowdrey said: “Escape to Freight Island isn’t your average food market. It’s…the next evolution in the food market sector that will fill a hole in the life of our city.

“[This] is a game changer and, most importantly to me, Escape to Freight Island has soul.”

Escape To Freight Island Mayfield 2

The scheme was created by a group of hospitality and events professionals

Customers will be able to book tables for events in three-hour slots between midday and midnight, starting next week. They will have their temperature checked and be offered personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser.

Mayfield is a mixed-use development being delivered by Mayfield Partnership, a consortium made up of developer U+I, Manchester City Council, LCR and Transport for Greater Manchester.

James Heather, development director at U+I, said: “Escape to Freight Island is an exciting new chapter in Mayfield’s regeneration story and one which raises the bar further still for our city’s visitor offering.”


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