Work on ‘game-changing’ £28m Ancoats Mobility Hub gets underway
Set to complete by the end of next year, the next-generation multi-storey car park will hold space for 406 cars, 150 bicycles, 30 car shares, a parcel delivery hub, café, store, and nearly 15,000 sq ft of public realm.
Manchester City Council is delivering the project, which it hopes will lead towards Ancoats Green becoming a ‘people first’ neighbourhood.
The eight-storey Ancoats Mobility Hub will sit off Poland Street and provide for the community’s parking needs while reducing the space allocated for parking – space that can then be used for community areas and public realm. The hub would also reduce traffic through the neighbourhood.
“The Ancoats Mobility Hub proactively responds to climate, health, and sustainable transport priorities, and we congratulate the council for their continued commitment to creating inclusive and healthy urban neighbourhoods brought to life by their vibrant communities,” said Marty Edelman, executive chairman of Manchester Life.
He added later: “With parking removed from individual developments, Manchester Life and others can proceed with residential developments across the Poland Street area that prioritise space for local businesses, community interaction, and giving residents direct access to shared and sustainable transport choices.”
Main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland is currently on site with the scheme, which will also feature more than 16,100 sq ft of rooftop solar panels.
B+K regional pre-construction director Ben Goldstraw said “After progressing the exciting Ancoats Mobility Hub for many months, Bowmer + Kirkland is delighted to commence construction, continuing our successful partnership with Manchester City Council to deliver an outstanding facility that aligns with our joint values of sustainability and social value.
“Procured through the North West Construction Hub framework, Ancoats Mobility Hub is a true example of collaboration at its best, with many stakeholders working together to provide a game-changing, ‘UK-first’ facility that prioritises low carbon and digital connectivity,” he continued.
The Ancoats Mobility Hub has been designed by architect Buttress and landscape architect Planit-IE.
Buttress director Matthew Burl said: “It’s a very exciting project as the aim of the project is to simultaneously discourage the use of on-street parking and to make room for more public open spaces, cycling and walking routes.
“A key element of this is minimising car parking in the public realm as well as around the residential buildings,” he said. “This increases the possibility for more active frontages, community spaces and commercial opportunities within the built environment.
“By promoting EV charging the Ancoats Mobility Hub will help accelerate the move away from fossil fuel vehicles and improve air quality and protect the environment.“
Kennedy Redford is the project’s parking, civil, and structural engineer, while Harley Haddow is handling MEP and sustainability. WSP is the transport and traffic consultant and Design Fire Consultants is advising on fire safety.
Funds for the £28m project come from Homes England.
Homes England director of infrastructure funding Pauline Schaffer said: “The regeneration of Ancoats is an example of urban transformation and place-making at its best. As the introduction of the innovative Mobility Hub shows, there is real thought into how the neighbourhood works as a place to live now, and how it might need to work in the future, with provision for car share schemes and electronic vehicle charging points.
“Sustainability, great design, and a dedication to partnership working are at the heart of this project, and we’re proud to have supported Manchester City Council to bring this to life.”
The Ancoats Mobility Hub will unlock the delivery of 1,500 homes, according to Manchester City Council. This includes plans for 128 low-carbon homes off Rodney Street, a project being delivered by the city council’s housing development company This City.
Other projects that will benefit from the hub include Great Places’ plans for 68 affordable homes off Downley Drive and 39 affordable homes on the site of the old Ancoats Dispensary. Manchester Life’s 190-apartment Jersey Wharf, 118-flat Eliza Yard, and 256-home Phoenix Ironworks will also utilise the space for part of their parking provisions – in addition to providing disability bays on each development site.
Regarding Ancoats’ future and the mobility hub’s place in it, Manchester City Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said: “Upcoming development will deliver 1,500 new homes and the transformation of the local park in this part of our city centre and the hub ensures that Ancoats will be not just renowned for regeneration, but for its sustainability – creating a low carbon, green neighbourhood that should be a model for future city centre investment.”
Planning consent for the Ancoats Mobility Hub was secured in July 2021 by Deloitte. Developer Manchester Life assisted Manchester City Council with the design and planning process. The planning application’s reference number on the Manchester City Council planning portal is 130627/FO/2021.