BREAK THE INTERNET… English Cities Fund and St Helens Council this week unveiled a long-term regeneration strategy for the town. The proposals were clearly eagerly anticipated, and in the rush to see what was in store for St Helens over the next 20 years, the website hosting the masterplan crashed, unable to cope with the sheer volume of intrigued locals. 

MONOPOLY… A Salford edition of the world-famous board game has launched and it features some of the borough’s most recognisable landmarks. Salford Lads Club, MediaCity and Peel Park all made the cut, but sadly, space on the board is limited and there was no room to accommodate all that Salford has to offer. Perhaps Kersal Wetlands, the community-owned pub The Star, and the city’s tallest building Anaconda Cut will make it on to future editions. 


Blackpool Flowers, P.council Meeting Screengrab

Credit: Blackpool Council meeting screengrab

FLOWER POWER… Following the approval of a potentially game-changing development in Blackpool, the council’s chief of planning was presented with a gift for the hard work she had done on the project. Nikal and Media Invest Entertainment’s £300m Blackpool Central leisure scheme – complete with flying theatre – was waved through unanimously by the council’s planning committee despite concerns from Blackpool Pleasure Beach that the project could pose a “serious threat” to its future. Chair of the committee Cllr David Owen was clearly delighted, urging the developers to get on and deliver the scheme. He was full of praise too for Susan Parker, Blackpool Council’s chief planning officer, and presented her with not one but two bouquets of flowers to congratulate her for a job well done. 

King Street

The cabaret bar is the latest arrival to King Street. Credit: Place North West

CABARET… King Street has been a hive of activity recently. We saw the high street return of fashion label Pretty Green in a unit previously occupied by Jigsaw, while pizza joint Franco Manca is planning to open up its second Manchester restaurant in the former Boots unit. Exciting plans are also afoot for the basement of Franco Manca’s newest outlet. Plans have been submitted to convert the space into Sonata Piano & Cabaret Lounge, another welcome addition to King Street’s increasingly diverse offer.  

Hana, Landmark, P.Place North West

Credit: Place North West

BATTLE OF THE BUILDINGS… Agents gathered at Barings’ Landmark in Manchester for the launch of flexible workspace provider Hana’s second Manchester site. Cocktails and beers in hand, they listened intently as Barings’ managing director Ian Mayhew extolled the virtues of the building currently demanding the highest rents in the city. “It is the best office building in Manchester”, he claimed. Hana and other occupiers HSBC, JLL and Grant Thornton no doubt agree – but what do you, the reader, think of this bold claim? 

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