The scheme was designed by Glenn Howells Architects. Credit: via planning documents

Student Castle announces 55-storey Manchester tower

The university living specialist has revealed plans for its second tower in the city, to be built on a multi-storey car park site in Hulme Street, neighbouring its first Manchester development.

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the building will feature 850 studio apartments, and will be faced with “contextual Manchester red brick”. A planning application has been lodged.

A planning application has been lodged for the 165m building, which will also include 6,000 sq ft of communal and ancillary spaces for student use and 259 secure cycle storage spaces, along with an 8,000 sq ft co-working space for SMEs. There will also be a common area on the top floor of the Hulme Street building

The existing multi-storey car park will be partially deconstructed and the car park reconfigured to accommodate the development..

Student Castle’s proposed development immediately neighbours the 37-storey building completed by it at 1 Great Marlborough Street, a 525-apartment scheme designed by Hodder + Partners – this was completed in 2013, before being sold to Liberty Living along with four other Student Castle sites in August 2015.

Student Castle View From Hulme St

CGI provided by Student Castle and Glenn Howells

In 2017, Unite Students brought forward plans for a tower in nearby New Wakefield Street, securing a consent in April to add two further floors. At 32 storeys, this will include 603 student beds and is to be delivered on the footprint of two former buildings including the Soundcontrol nightclub.

Deloitte is the planning consultant on Hulme Street, WSP the structural and M&E engineer, with Aecom engaged as project manager.

Student Castle, founded by Edward Cade and Jacqui Hawthorn in 2010, intends to open the scheme towards the end of 2022. The development vehicle is GMS (Parking) Ltd, of which both Cade and Hawthorn are listed as directors.

Cade said: “The building will become a new Manchester landmark and provide spectacular views over the city.

“The building also presents a significant windfall opportunity to redevelop a portion of an existing multi-storey car park adjacent to Manchester Oxford Road Station into a fully managed purpose-built student residence.”

The developer said that the height of the tower has been arrived at following consultation with the Places Matter design panel and Historic England. The proposals have also undergone an extensive local authority, statutory and public design review and consultation process, it said.

Alan McCartney, studio director for Glenn Howells Architects, said: “The design proposes a contemporary interpretation of the contextual red brick buildings present in and around Manchester.”

Ed Britton, assistant director of Deloitte Real Estate, said: “The Hulme Street project will directly meet the need to improve and increase Manchester’s range of student accommodation.

“The SME incubator space will help nurture growing businesses and supports the strategic growth objectives of the city and Oxford Road Corridor.  The scheme demonstrates exceptional design quality and will make a positive contribution to the emerging Oxford Road cluster and Manchester’s skyline.”

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This type of development infuriates me! We have a housing crisis. Yet this development would provide 850 studio apartments for students. I am not interested in how much international students will pay and if that warrants a buoyant market for this type of development. There should be a demand for building affordable housing (scrap that any type of housing) for those who live in the city 365 days a year! Those ‘spectacular views over the city’ aren’t likely to be enjoyed for the most of the year! All this before even starting on the materiality, height, and overall design. Ow and great to see Deloitte picking up another project of this scale, im sure they offered a very competitive rate and this will help them stay afloat. I hope Manchester do better here! The built environment sector is strong enough to say no to development like this!!!

By Truely shocking.

I hope the students welfare is considered here, being away from home and isolated in a big tower can be very hard for some.I don’t know if stacking students so high is a good idea?

By Concerned parent.

How many students and PRS renters do developers and the planning department actually think there will be?

By baffled

This is fantastic, the sky is the limit for Manchester.

By Max

Glenn Howells 1 – Hodders 0

By Student Castle Football

Interesting design. Think it will contrast nicely with Unite’s offering

By Steve

Yet another eye soar – yuk

By Fran

Looks great! Got a little cluster of tall building going on here now.

More student housing development in the City Centre should in theory free up family housing currently being occupied by students in South Manchester.


The view down Oxford Road looks like a car crash

By Rich

UPDATE: New image created by Andrew Desmier for Place North West, showing the scheme in situ alongside Unite’s New Wakefield Street proposal, and the Liberty tower, built for Student Castle and completed in 2013

By Jessica Middleton-Pugh

WOW. Seriously could not have designed an uglier block, even if principal elements of the brief included for creating a block with no hierarchy, limited interest and to be clad in a bland colour.

By Vicar in a Tutu

Not all students want to pay top dollar for a tiny city centre pod. I loved my time sharing a house in South Manchester frequenting the local pubs and shops, we got to know all the people in the neighbourhood, families and all. There is a place for the shared student house in Rusholme and Fallowfield and MCC councils’ policy of forcing every student into the city centre doesn’t suit everyone. Or their pockets

By Student

@Truely (sic) shocking

Why don’t you calm down and think this through. Leaving aside the architectural merits for a moment, this type of development should be supported.

Students will continue to come to the city on the strength of the university offer and that’s a good thing. They have to live somewhere. It is much better to create a tall tower on a small piece of land (in an area where students actually want to live) than it is to a) have students living in market accommodation which could be occupied by rate paying residents and/or b) have lower density purpose-built student accommodation which is a very inefficient use of land considering students don’t pay Council Tax.

By Raj

While the design and cladding could do with a little more consideration, i’m glad to see somthing other than a SimpsonHaugh copy paste job going up.

By pleasantly surprised

How can the city grow if you can’t attract and nurture the young talent? Students will want to come to Manchester if there is world class universities matched with world class and attractive accommodation.

Some people need to sit back and think a little here. Build low cost housing next to and in the middle of the two universities? Because that makes sense. There is plenty of brownfield and derelict sites around Manchester, especially North and East Manchester where low cost housing can be built. Furthermore the cost of the land along with the construction cost would not make it feasible to built low cost housing there, whoever built it would lose large amounts of money, who would take the risk? As i said, there is land in North and East Manchester suitable for low cost housing, which the council are looking at.

By Logical Thinker

A good design with a nod to the Mcr redbrick heritage. Every other major UK city is building loads of top.end student accom, freeing up family homes in the current student ghetto suburbs.
Ignore the nay-sayers and crack on Manc-style to build this.

By SaveLandBuildHigh

I think it looks marvellous. 🙂

By Stuart

MCC has resisted countless student housing applications on Planning grounds. How will this one slip through Core Strategy H12 I wonder???

By Bazard

Logical Thinker thinks that people who work for a living should live in Openshaw and Moston whilst students predominantly from the South East should have a view over the Peak District and be a ten minute walk from Harvey Nicholls.

By Elephant

Elephant thinks 3 bedroom apartments in premium towers (of the calibre expected of London) in the centre of Manchester can be sold to first time buyers and struggling families for sub 100k……

By not logical thinker

I pay a fair bit to live in the city as that what I have chosen to do, it’s unfair then to allow people to live in a similar home to me and pay less.


These are not apartments, they do not have to confirm to any regulation regarding size or light, they do not have cooking facilities. They are in effect long stay hotel rooms. Two entirely different things to lump them in with housing stock.

By Loganberry

Looks better than all my other designs

By Simpson

Just because your Cadd guy can throw something together does not mean you should present it. I”ve participated in prison work with ten time the charm without the historic context of this location. I hope this was just a marketing boondoggle with a complete solution to follow. Cheers.

By Yank Buttin-in

Half expected to see Fred Dibnah sitting on the top of this. My word, the design is so disappointing but tall and boxy seems to be the fashion in this town.

By Sue Denim

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