THING OF THE WEEK
GEO-FAIL …When discussing how best to approach the creation of its Kampus PRS scheme, developers Capital & Centric and HBD decided early on that they wanted the 500-home development to have an unmistakable Scandinavian vibe. To achieve this, they thought it best to appoint a Scandinavian architect, so they hired Mecanoo to draw up designs for the site. The only problem is that Mecanoo is Dutch, not Scandinavian. “We didn’t realise until later that Holland wasn’t in Scandinavia,” Capital & Centric co-founder Adam Higgins told THING. “The worst part is that I have got a geography A-level,” he added. Might have to re-take the exam, Adam…
TIKE…Being the managing director of a housebuilder is probably quite a busy job, but, to his credit, Kingswood Homes’ Paul Jones still finds time to pull pranks on his staff. After site manager Liam Reilly pranged his company car, Jones painstakingly painted a Daimler Smart car in the style of the iconic Little Tikes classic Cozy Coupe and gave it Reilly to use until his was fixed. Now that the company car is back on the road, Jones has decided to auction the Smart car and donate the proceeds to Derian House, which provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 400 children and young people across the North West. At the time of writing, the top bid was £1,500 and there is still time to get involved before the hammer falls on Sunday.
‘ARD LUCK…According to the last census, Ardwick is home to nearly 20,000 people, so why, when Manchester City Council launched a consultation on a framework to guide future development in the area, was there such a pitiful response? According to the council, just six residents were among the 25 respondents who bothered to have their say on the proposals that could affect their area. Such apathy should surely preclude residents of Ardwick from fits of NIMBYism in the future when proposals for a high-density residential development on Union Street – as outlined in black and white in the framework – are lodged.
TREESON…Those who failed to exercise their democratic right in Ardwick don’t need to look far to learn a lesson in how to stand up for what you believe in. This sign (above) popped up on Littleton Road in Salford recently in protest against the removal of a number of trees to make way for a new Lidl supermarket. A consultation on the proposals is underway and the mystery signwriter could have lodged their concerns there, but sometimes only a marker pen, a sheet of A4 and excessive use of exclamation marks will do.
CINEMA…The premier alliterative cinema destination in the North West, Prescot Picture Palace, could be making a comeback 60 years after it closed its doors. Plans are progressing to bring the Edwardian cinema building back to life and the hunt is now on for an operator. The project is part of Prescot’s High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative, which is jointly funded by Knowsley Council and Historic England. The council hopes the restoration of the cinema will kickstart the regeneration of the wider Kemble Street site, which could include food and beverage units and new town centre homes.
STREET…Great Ancoats Street may have to change its name to Average Ancoats Street after the completion of a £9m upgrade that has left very few people impressed. Late last year, cyclists and residents expressed their fury about the project – intended to transform the street into a European-style boulevard – that seemed to have failed in nearly every department. When approached by Place North West at the time, the council insisted the project was not yet finished, suggesting that there may be a miraculous eleventh-hour transformation that would take our collective breath away. Alas, with confirmation that the work has now completed, the drastic glow-up we were hoping for hasn’t materialised. It seems a choice had to be made between trees or cycle lanes but for £9m you would have thought both could be afforded.