NAME GAME… ECF has named its uber-green office development Eden. It does have a giant living wall so fair play. THING has had exclusive insight into the names that didn’t make it. What do you think of these: Plant, Vie, The Tendril, Botany House, and the one that would have caused the most controversy…Wonderwall.

GRAND DESIGNS… As previously reported by Place North West, Hopwood DePree XIV, an actor-turned-producer from LA, is leading the campaign to restore the Hopwood Hall in Rochdale. DePree has an option on the building as he is a descendent of the Hopwood family. The hall is in a fairly dilapidated state at present, so renovating it isn’t going to be cheap. Historic England grants will help, but DePree has found other ways of funding the project, including writing a book about it. What would one call a book about renovating a run-down family estate? Downton Shabby of course. 

Wirral Council Logo, P.Robin Wilde

Credit: Robin Wilde

LOGO LOCO… If you have an hour and a half spare this weekend you could do much worse than check this out. Robin Wilde has ranked all 399 of the local council logos in the UK from worst to best. Wirral is the North West’s highest achiever, coming in fourth, but the region also filled the bottom two places in the list – step forward Allerdale and Bury. In case you were wondering, Manchester finished mid-table in 148th while Liverpool came in a more than respectable 46th. The best logo, as ranked by Wilde, is Bedford Council’s, which features an intimidating fortress-eagle hybrid. “The mighty Bedford is not going to let your bins go uncollected or your planning application go unprocessed,” Wilde said. 

GREY BOX PARK… Manchester City Council has approved plans to convert Castlefield viaduct into an urban park. It’s a cool-looking project, led by the National Trust, and an imaginative response to the city centre’s perceived lack of green space. However, the army of residents annoyed about the plague of large grey boxes currently (and temporarily, we are assured) cluttering central Manchester’s pavements have taken a cynical view on the viaduct. Here (above) is how Strategic Land Group’s Paul Smith reckons the finished project could look. 

Pumping Station, Sefton, P.Sefton Council

Credit: via Sefton Council

PUMP IT UP… Sefton is to sell the former Pumping Station in Kings Gardens in Southport. The buyer is yet to be revealed but the council hopes that disposing of the asset could pave the way for its redevelopment into a restaurant. The building, which has seen better days, is located on the edge of the grade two-listed Kings Gardens and is currently used for storage. It was marketed for sale by Fitton Estates with an asking price of £100,000. News of movement on the project has been a long time coming – the council deemed the Pumping Station surplus to requirements back in 2014.

WELLER… Steve Rotheram delivered a pre-recorded welcome address at the North West Regional Construction Awards last Friday. He would have loved to have been there in person, he said, but the city region mayor was otherwise engaged. A Paul Weller gig across town proved too good to miss. Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson did make it to the award ceremony, though. She clearly isn’t a fan of the Modfather, either that or she sold her ticket to Andy Burnham.

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