Trafford updates on Grafton intentions 

Having shelved plans to overhaul the Altrincham shopping centre due to Covid, the council has reiterated its redevelopment ambitions and now targets drawing up fresh proposals by summer 2023. 

Trafford Council was close to appointing a joint venture between Bruntwood and Novo Property Group to revamp the 80,000 sq ft Grafton Centre but pulled the plug on the plan when Covid hit. 

The council then appointed CBRE to conduct an appraisal on the impact of the pandemic on the Grafton Centre and advise the council on what its options were. 

That study produced three development options for the site, as outlined in a report to Trafford Council’s executive: 

  • Reconfiguration and part new-build – Delivering alternate uses where possible such as residential and workspace  
  • Major redevelopment – a wholesale redevelopment of the site  
  • Masterplan of the Upper George Street Area – while the council owns the Grafton Centre, there are also pockets of land nearby that could form part of any redevelopment and therefore provide a greater regeneration benefit. 

Trafford aims to appoint a project team in the first quarter of this year to look into the different development options. 

Stakeholder discussions, market research, and consultation will take place between March and August this year. That research will then inform the creation of various proposals that will be presented to the executive in summer 2023. 

In the short term, the council will appoint a centre manager to assist in reletting void units, carrying out repairs, and putting on events to increase footfall. 

It is hoped that finding new tenants could boost revenues at the centre. This year the centre is expected to make a £159,000 loss due to “poor trading, increased maintenance costs, and pressures due to Covid”, the council said. 

Trafford acquired the Grafton Centre, which includes a 91-bedroom hotel run by operator Travelodge, for £10.8m in February 2018.  

Travelodge’s lease on the building runs until 2037. 

In 2019, the council acquired another of the borough’s retail assets, Stretford Mall, which it is redeveloping in a joint venture with Bruntwood. 

Your Comments

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18 months just to draw up some proposals. Aren’t going to be any spades in the ground for some time yet.

By AngryfromManchester

A recent FOI response from Trafford advised the CBRE report was completed a year ago in Jan 2021 why would council wait a year to anounce they are doing nothing for another 18 months – this is pure incompetence!

By Patrick Franks

Options, reports delays – not exactly a dynamic regeneration plan. What happened to Altair …

By B Wilder

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