Consultation begins on former Central Retail Park regeneration proposals

An artist's illustration of what the Central Retail Park will look like.

A six-week consultation is now open (Weds 4 January 2023) asking for feedback from residents and local businesses and other stakeholders about the regeneration plans for the former Central Retail Park.

A report announcing a refreshed Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) for the former retail site was heard by the Council’s Executive in December, updating a previous SRF that was agreed by the Council in 2020.   

There is a renewed commitment that the regeneration of the former Central Retail Park will create a high-quality, sustainable office district with attractive public realm at its heart. It will deliver significant new employment opportunities for the city and the local community.   

The draft Strategic Regeneration Framework sets out a new vision for the development of the site with a focus on:   

New office and workspaces - the site could be home to around 8,000 jobs and contribute to the continued regeneration of the Ancoats neighbourhood and help meet growing demand in this part of the city.

Green spaces – Developing this site will create a new public link through to the adjacent Cotton Field Park and create a green space at the heart of the low-carbon commercial district. The new public realm, which would be open to all, could provide a range of spaces from terraced lawns and informal seating to lush planting.

Retail and leisure spaces – the vision includes spaces for shops and cafés, providing attractive new facilities for local residents, visitors and the new working population on the site.

Connectivity – the vision promotes new and improved links for pedestrians and cyclists in the area, making it easier, safer and more attractive to walk or cycle into the city or towards key transport hubs. The site’s proximity to Manchester’s main transport routes will make it a prime location for future business.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) is exploring options for delivering office solutions in Manchester, to meet the needs of various civil servant departments, which supports the Government's commitment to locate more civil servants outside of London and support levelling up. Therefore, the new framework also responds to potential interest from the GPA to locate government offices on the site. 

You can comment on the draft SRF by completing our consultation questionnaire


Drop-in events  

We will be holding two public drop-in events as part of the consultation. These events are open to all, including local residents, businesses and other stakeholder organisations, with no need to book in advance.

Both these events will be held at Hallé St Peter's (40 Blossom St, Ancoats, M4 6BF) on Tuesday 17 January 2023 and will be open from 12pm – 2:30pm and 5pm – 7pm. 

These events are an opportunity to talk to the team, find out more and have your say.

The consultation is open until Tuesday 14 February 2023.  

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:  

“We have an exciting opportunity in the former retail site to bring the long-term regeneration story of New Islington to a close, creating a flagship low carbon, green development that has the potential to create thousands of jobs.   

“At the heart of our proposals is a green public space that will create a link between Great Ancoats and New Islington Marina for the first time, helping to celebrate Cotton Field Park behind.   

“We want this to be a truly valuable investment to Manchester’s regeneration programme and a credit to the city centre. As such, we would encourage feedback on our proposals and invite as many people as possible to take part in the consultation.” 

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