BOATY MCBOATFACE… A bit more on Lawrence Kenwright’s proposed “party boat”, announced last month, as part of the Signature Living head’s plans to run cruises from Liverpool to Ibiza. The boat in question turns out to be the Funchal, which Kenwright has bought for a reported £3.1m and has something of a chequered history. Built in 1961, the ship was nearly sold for scrap in 2012, but was bought and refurbished by Portuscale Cruises in 2013 at a cost of around 10m Euros – although reports in the Swedish press reveal the boat ended up being detained in Gothenburg the same year due to safety issues. Since the collapse of Portuscale a few years back, the boat has been laid up in Lisbon. Let’s hope Kenwright has better luck than its previous owners at any rate. He’s also invited name suggestions via Twitter – have fun.

Mayfield 8.1.19 4128

U+I director James Heather with Mark Fletcher, chief executive of Manchester Pride

PRIDE… Mayfield, the former railway depot at the heart of an upcoming £1bn redevelopment led by U+I, continues to take the “meanwhile use” game up a notch in Manchester, with the latest news being that it will this summer host part of the city’s Pride Festival. Pride’s ticketed live music element, previously known as The Big Weekend, is to be reinvented as Manchester Pride Live and will take place over Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August across two stages. Other parts of Pride’s four-day bonanza include the Manchester Pride Parade, the Gay Village Gathering, Superbia and Youth Pride MCR.

Burnham GMSF Press

BIRTHDAY BONANZA… Monday was the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with an all-morning briefing on the latest draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. Developers, planners and communities alike have been on tenterhooks for the long-awaited, and late, GMSF, so the event was absolutely packed. That’s one way to ensure people come to your party. Many happy returns Andy, next time we’ll bring a cake.

Mowgli 2

DINING OUT… While the food & drink scene may be permanently in a state of flux, with new closures and openings announced across the region every week, there’s some restaurants set to open across Manchester and Liverpool which THING hopes are here to stay. Street food Indians seem to be doing well, with Mowgli announcing it will be open by the end of January at Bruntwood’s University Green, and Bundobust imminently in situ at Liverpool’s Bold Street, not to mention being close on a second Manchester site. El Gato Negro has confirmed it will be taking over the former Panama Hatty’s at Brown Street, so expect high footfall from property types. Liverpool favourite Silk Rd is also openings its fourth venue, on Hope Street. Best loosen those belt buckles a notch.

MAKING AN ENTRANCE… THING is a fan of office art, and a piece being delivered as part of the overhaul of the reception of 3 Hardman Street in Spinningfields has to be one of the most dramatic. Sculptor Lazerian was commissioned by interior designer Sheila Bird Group and building manager Knight Frank to design the 40-ft tree, which straddles the entrance to the offices and certainly offers something for visitors to talk about.


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