Castlefield viaduct

Fancy a nibble on some tulips? Credit: Place North West


TASTY TULIPS… National Trust’s ‘sky park’ is reopening to the public on 18 February to showcase two new community gardens from social enterprise Sow the City and Hulme Community Garden Centre. Sow and the City’s sensory garden aims to give visitors a space to sit, relax, and appreciate what nature has to offer – complete with gorgeous plants, immersive audio, and a refreshing pond. Hulme’s multi-layered garden is completely edible, offering a canopy of fruit, vegetables and herbs, from the humble strawberry to tulips – yes, edible tulips! 

HOTSEAT… This week saw Rachel Maclean become the sixth housing minister in the space of a year. With the country floundering in the midst of a housing crisis, industry leaders have called for stability. One developer that THING spoke to described the situation as “nuts”, while Bill Davidson, director at P4 Planning, summed up the situation in a nutshell: “With the average tenure of a housing minister in the last decade being only 8 months, it’s no wonder the UK’s housing crisis is deepening.” However, events in Sicily several years ago may inspire some hope that things could improve in spite of the chaos. In the 2015/16 Serie A season, Palermo worked its way through nine managers but, rather amazingly, the club managed to avoid relegation. 

Crane survey

Edelman was speaking at the launch of Deloitte’s Crane survey. Credit: Place North West

MARTY’S MESSAGE… Marty Edelman, director at City Football Group, said we should be grateful for the way Manchester’s planning system works. Speaking at Deloitte’s crane survey launch on Tuesday, he talked about the stark differences in working in development in the North West of England compared with the East coast of the USA. Edelman, who is a director of both Manchester City FC and New York FC, has been trying to build a new stadium in the Big Apple for eight years. He puts the sluggish process down to the city’s reactive planning system. “We are projecting that after 14-and-a-half years, we will have a stadium,” he said. This painful experience jars with the process that has seen City Football Group deliver drastic change in East Manchester since taking ownership of the football club in 2008. “Place creation takes time, there are no quick fixes. But in Manchester, the day you start talking to the planners and a concept is approved the process is dramatically shorter because you are working as a partnership. That doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.” 

Royal Daffodil ship in Liverpool Credit Smiley.toerist CC BY SA 4.0

Credit: Smiley.toerist CC BY-SA 4.0

BLOOMING BOATS… Former Brookside actor Philip Olivier has resubmitted plans to revamp the Royal Daffodil, a former Mersey crossing ferry moored at Canning Dock. OIivier’s company Liverpool City Ships lodged plans in 2020 to convert the boat into “the region’s premier floating food and drink destination”. A lot has happened in the intervening years but Olivier’s vision has not wavered. The latest proposals for the venue remain largely unchanged from the pre-pandemic version. A seafood restaurant, mini-heritage museum and 13-bedroom boutique hotel all feature within the proposals. Not bad for a 10,000 sq ft boat. 

ITALIAN SHUFFLE… A little over a year since it closed its doors, the former Piccolino restaurant in Alderley Edge is soon to be on its second reincarnation. Luciano by TV chef Gino D’Acampo took over the London Road eatery last year, but the chain has now been snapped up by San Carlo. A big name in the Italian food scene, San Carlo will open its doors in April. 

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