Manchester's Strangeways earmarked for a complete makeover

Riverside Walk

The wave of development Manchester has witnessed over the past few years is about to reach the Strangeways area, which the council has earmarked for a complete makeover.

In July last year, Manchester City Council published a strategic regeneration framework (SRF) for Great Ducie Street – an area known locally as Strangeways due to its proximity to the prison (now called HMP Manchester) – in which it sets out plans for a distinctive mixed-use neighbourhood that fosters a strong sense of community and place.

The site, just outside the inner ring road to the north of the city centre, is bordered to the west by the River Irwell and wraps around, but does not include, the former Boddingtons brewery site (the subject of separate development proposals).

The area covered by the SRF has a history of entrepreneurship dating back to the 19th century, when it was a focal point for textiles businesses, wholesalers and distributors. But over the years, the business base has reduced and the area is now dominated by low-quality buildings, vacant plots and dereliction.

Manchester City Council’s vision is to transform the area into a high-quality, sustainable community that builds on its “legacy of enterprise and employment” by adding 1.7m sq ft of commercial space to the 900,000 sq ft that exists, while delivering new homes in “buildings of scale” with residential accounting for a maximum of half of the overall mix. The overarching aim is to create a genuinely mixed-use neighbourhood that stands out from the city centre core and is distinct from adjoining areas that have already been the focus of regeneration.

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