Artisan Studio Manchester town hall p.PNW

You can watch stonemasons at work on the town hall project. Credit: Place North West


STONE SCIENCE… Manchester Town Hall has been wrapped up for nearly two years as work to restore the grade one-listed building continues. That project will complete in 2024. In the meantime, you can take a sneak peek at what workers are getting up to behind the sheets of white plastic. A new feature on Albert Square is offering a glimpse into the work of the skilled craftspeople helping to repair and restore Manchester Town Hall. The artisan studio will enable the public to watch and listen as specialists carry out painstaking and intricate work while explaining what they are doing. First up to showcase its skills, from now until the Christmas break, is restoration and conservation expert Stone Edge. The company will be explaining the story of the stone that makes up the building as they carve ornate new pieces to replace worn and damaged stonework from the town hall. Demonstrations take place every Wednesday from 12.30pm-1.30pm, the perfect excuse to get out of the office over lunch. 

Former Caffe Nero Deansgate p.planning docs

Credit: via planning documents

SLOT PLOT… Manchester City Council has a decision to make about an adult gaming centre on Deansgate. It is not as seedy as it sounds. Less leather and chains and more gambling with change. Merkur Slots wants to take over the former Caffe Nero unit on Deansgate but the city council has recommended the change of use application be refused. The application has received no objections, but the city’s planners say “the proposed adulty (sic) gaming centre would not be consistent with national and local planning policy.” That didn’t stop the city council from approving an application for Merkur Slots signage on the unit just two weeks ago, though. The sign is fine but the slots are not, it seems.

Daniel Heffy Nord p.luya

Heffy has worked at two Michelin Star restaurants in Stockholm. Credit: via Luya

UP NORD… A new restaurant is opening on the ground floor of Bruntwood’s Plaza in Liverpool in February. The venue is being delivered by a joint venture between GSG Hospitality and chef Daniel Heffy, who previously worked at not one but two Michelin Star restaurants in Stockholm. So what can diners expect when they head to Nord? Heffy says he will be “focussing on mainly British ingredients and style” while taking influences from his Swedish odyssey. Pickled herring pie and mash, anyone? 

New Chester Market Interior Bar Area CWAC p.CWAC

Credit: via CWAC

WORTH THE WAIT… Chester Northgate was a long time in the making. The city centre site was the subject of numerous failed regeneration attempts but the first week of trading at the complex’s new market hall proves that good things come to those who wait. More than 300,000 people have visited the 39-stall venue in its opening month, which is three times the average number of punters the old market used to welcome at its pre-pandemic peak. And there is more to come. Planet Anime will be opening its new Pokémon and comic collectables stall in the coming weeks. Expect Pika-queues. 

Pure Gym generic p.James McCauley

How the new gym could look. Credit: James McCauley via Sanctuary Counsel.

MADE TO SWEAT ... PureGym has 1.6 million members across more than 500 gyms and has opened 28 new facilities in the UK in the last 12 months. Not bad when you consider how many people predicted the death of the gym in the wake of Covid. There are 20 PureGyms in Greater Manchester alone and that figure is soon to be 21 with the opening of a site in Manchester’s First Street district. While PureGym’s expansion could rightly be termed rapid, the launch of the company’s First Street venue has been anything but. The deal for the gym operator to take 13,000 sq ft at the Number 8 First Street was first announced in 2020. After more than two years, the gym is finally due to open this month. Good things come to those who weight. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below