La Boca wall Stockport, p Clear as a Bell

The mural will be finished on 13 September. Credit: via Clear as a Bell


BOC-PORT… Five Argentine artists are bringing some Latin American flair to an unloved part of Stockport. The local council has spent funding it was given from Arts Council England to fly the artists to the town to transform a grotty wall on Hopes Carr into a La Boca-style mural. John and Sophie Macaulay are the husband-and-wife team driving the project, and are also the co-founders of Stockport’s GRIT Studios and Art Battle Manchester.

They are determined to tap into the power of people to put the unloved area on the map in the same way that artists in Buenos Aires have revitalised the rough and ready barrio of La Boca. “We’ve got a lot in common with the people of La Boca, even though they’re 7,000 miles away,” John said. La Boca was experiencing decline and saw people leaving en masse, which presented an opportunity. “It was cheap and artists moved in,” John explained.

“They realised that nobody was going to do anything for them, so they decided to do things for themselves, starting by using the decaying buildings and fragmented walls as a canvas for their art. In doing so they created a neighbourhood that is now a ‘must see’ destination.”

Artists Eva Luna Maissa, Patrica Salatino, Melina Lluvia, Omar Gasparini, and Alejandro Fenochio arrived in Stockport on Sunday and have been hard at work ever since. You can head down to see them in action until Wednesday, when the mural will complete. Vamos!

STACK Manchester, STACK, p Citypress

The site will be rebranded as STACK and reopened in 2024. Credit: via Citypress

LORD’S WORK… When it was announced a week ago that Hatch was closing, it left traders at the Oxford Road food and retail venue reeling. They have spent the last week trying and find alternative premises and have done so buoyed by the support they have received from the public. Some took to social media to express their sadness that Hatch would be closing – it will reopen as STACK in late 2024 as under new ownership – with many pledging to head down to fill their faces one last time before the site closes at the end of the month. There is a glimmer of hope that Hatch might yet live on beyond September. Sacha Lord, an outspoken supporter of hospitality and owner of Warehouse Project and Parklife festival, has written to Hatch owners Bruntwood asking them to extend the closing date until the end of the year to give traders a chance to find new homes. Watch this space.

Planning image, Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Credit: Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

A DROP IN THE OCEAN… Local planning authorities across the country are being urged to apply for grants from the government’s Planning Skills Delivery Fund. The £24m pot – which will be distributed over two years – has been set up in a bid to help councils deal with planning backlogs and adapt to forthcoming changes proposed in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. Councils will be able to apply for up to £100,000 from the fund, which feels a little like bringing a dustpan and brush to an earthquake. The deadline for the applications is 11 September. 

Craggs Windmill, Simca Investments, p Google Earth snapshot

The building is Preston city centre’s only windmill. Credit: Google Earth

MILLING AROUND… Fans of the 1960s TV show Camberwick Green may be interested to hear about an opportunity to step into the shoes of one of the town’s most famous residents, Windy Miller. In Preston, Simca Investments, headed up by Simon and Cathy Pickles, has submitted a planning application to convert Craggs Row Windmill in Preston into an Air B’n’B. Under the Pickles’ plans, the grade two-listed building, which has stood vacant for decades and is sadly without its original sails, will be brought back into use as short-stay accommodation over six floors. It is unclear at this stage whether Penny Farthing-appropriate parking facilities will be included in the project. 

Morgan Sindall open mic night banner

PROPERTY’S GOT TALENT… Morgan Sindall’s Open Mic night returns on 1 November, promising stellar musical performances from the contractors, engineers, architects, and planners who make the North West built environment so great. Held at the musical mecca that is the Cavern Club in Liverpool, the event doubles as a fundraiser for  Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Good music, good people, good cause – what more could you want? If we’re lucky, Ramboll’s Rob Shoard may even return with his “Runcorn” anthem – the song of legends. Grab your ticket today.

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Really disappointed that the mural project is working with international artists, there are times this is great but more often than not it’s really patronising to local communities to bring in art and pay people from elsewhere.

By Anonymous

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