THING OF THE WEEK
HIGH TIME…In the Battle of BeWILDerwood, Tatton’s loss was Cholmondeley’s gain. After years fighting environmental campaigners intend on protecting Tatton Park’s ancient woods, and facing bloody financial rows over council loans, the impressive tree house amusement park headed to South Cheshire where it made friends at Cholmondeley Castle. BeWILDerwood, whose operator has a venue in Norfolk that opened in 2007, opened next to the castle on Monday in time for families to get into outdoor activities and spend some Easter holiday pounds.
GREEN CASH… Manchester’s Science & Industry Museum has been awarded a not inconsiderable £4.3m by the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to put zero carbon tech at the heart of its visitor experience. This includes putting to new use a well, built into the lower ground floor of the 1830 Warehouse, while £2.6m will enable the Power Hall, pictured, which is currently undergoing urgent restoration thanks to £6m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to reduce C02 emissions by 60% by 2030 through a range of interventions. Celebrating steam trains in a guilt-free way is something we can all get behind, surely.
BOYZ R US… Shane Lynch, one-fifth of the classic line-up of 1990s pop sensation Boyzone, is redeveloping the former Corks Out wine bar in Knutsford. Lynch has teamed up with business partner, stunt driver Nathan Gerhold, on the project. Reports suggest it will be a drinks-only Irish bar named – rather unadventurously, to THING’S ever-critical eye – D13, after a Dublin postcode. Surely there are boozy puns around Boyzone songs or the Fast & Furious franchise that Gerhold worked on? Answers on a postcard…
WE’RE BACK…The masses returned to city centres this week as UK lockdown restrictions eased, with Manchester and Liverpool reporting an encouraging pick-up in footfall. According to the Liverpool Business Improvement District, total footfall on day one of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening on Monday stood at 194,984 – 44% higher than the 135,584 recorded the Saturday after non-essential retail opened after the first lockdown on 4 July 2020. Not bad going, particularly as Saturdays usually see footfall on average 30-40% higher than a Monday at the best of times, the BID said. Meanwhile in Manchester – while exact comparative figures are not yet available – Market Street saw a 17% uplift in footfall versus the same day on 2019, pre-pandemic, according to figures from the national tracking agency Springboard shared by the Manchester BID. Overall, the city saw a 193% increase in footfall compared to the same time last week, on the busiest day of trading in more than 12 months.
GLOBETROTTING… The team at housebuilder PJ Livesey likes a challenge and is currently getting into the Phileas Fogg spirit, trying to clock up a collective 25,000 miles to go Round the World and raise cash for cancer charity The Christie. Members of the 80-strong group are now on the home straight thanks to some impressive running, cycling, walking and rowing, and have doubled the target raise from £2,500 to £5,000. Joint managing director Georgina Livesey said: “Our colleague Ralph is receiving wonderful care from The Christie after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and we wanted a way to both raise money to help the hospital’s work and research but also to support Ralph and show him we are with him every step of the way.” You can back the team right here.
GRAND TOUR… Just when you thought it was safe to hit the beer gardens, the property charity LandAid needs you to get on your bike. LandAid has launched two virtual fundraising events for the summer. LandAid 10K will take place on Thursday 10 June and Tour De LandAid, for teams of up to six, will run between Saturday 26 June and Sunday 18 July. Last year, £100,000 was raised for youth homelessness charities, LandAid’s cause, by 760 participating property professionals.