Manchester City Council

New Lamps for Old

Some might argue that we've just had the pantomime season in Manchester but this post has really nothing to do with Aladdin. It does concern a fascinating meeting of the Council's Design Review Board yesterday - well I thought so anyway - looking at the cost and benefits of the award winning refurbishment and redevelopment work done in the Bowes Street area of Moss Side. There is a bit more number crunching to do on the environmental benefits and costs in relation to the original plan which was to demolish and rebuild, but it looks to be a remarkable story.

On the face of it, it seems that we get a successful regeneration scheme at comparatively low cost to the public sector, empty and unfit homes brought back into use, being bought at very affordable prices, low running costs because of the insulation work, an assumed life expectancy of ninety five years compared to sixty years for new build, and much more space than in the comparable new build. Unfortunately the approach can't be replicated everywhere. Apart from needing a block of old terraced housing that's reasonably structurally sound, we need most of them to be empty and in an ownership where they are prepared to write down the book value of the properties, and even then the scheme is unlikely to pay fully for itself so there will be some need for support from the Homes and Communities Agency. As I said there is a bit more analytical work to be done but there are one or two places in the city where the same approach might work.

Started today with a well-attended breakfast meeting at the University of Salford for the launch of a programme called Single Ticket. This is a partnership between the two City Councils, the University, Manchester College and a number of other partners, initially focussed on Cheetham and Broughton aimed at getting unemployed people trained, work ready, and into jobs in the health and social care sectors. The programme has been developed from successful work done over the last couple of years based around the now defunct Future Jobs Fund, work that had very good outcomes in terms of people getting into and staying in jobs, and a number of others going on to further education and training. If the programme is successful in Cheetham and Broughton we would want to try and roll it out to other areas.

There is no response to “New Lamps for Old”



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

Recent posts