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Time To Play Regeneration Game Again: Ancoats-New Islington

Jill Burdett smells money moving into east inner Manchester

Published on June 30th 2014.

Time To Play Regeneration Game Again: Ancoats-New Islington

NOW the City Council has the money (click here) they want to consult on how best to spend it to create new communities in Ancoats and New Islington.

'Aesthetically, Ancoats and New Islington’s attributes are highly desirable, being a distinctive area with unique heritage assets that offer a fantastic opportunity to creatively reuse its historic buildings.'

Draft plans, set out back in 2008 have been updated by Deloittes and the revamped Neighbourhood Development Framework is now being aired to get people’s views and ideas and inspiration before it goes before the city council executive later this year.

Download it here – it’s worth a read. 

It points out all the obvious things – how much has been invested in these two areas already/ proximity to the city core/ Metrolink/ the new primary school. It also points out how these are key to support future growth as part of the planned expansion of the city centre north and east of the established area in the next 10 to 15 years.

Get these two wrong and there’s not much hope for Miles Platting and the Irk Valley or even Holt Town.

The ambition seems to make the area, with its canals and 14 listed buildings an East Side Castlefield (although the maintenance of Castlefield is not without its issues). The idea is to make the most of what’s already there and building in new housing and new retail.

Murrays Mill gets special mention with a pledge that its basin should remain open and become a hub for new bars and restaurants with resi above.

Murrays Mills are worth a tour

Murrays Mills are worth a tour

There is positive talk about street patterns and building heights and the need for more retail at street level which is fine around places like Cutting Room Square but further back it would be nice to have front doors onto streets and a sense of place rather than boxes above empty glass spaces.

Look at the aerial plan of the two areas though and its Ancoats Retail Park that forms a big chunk of nothingness and new plans already passed for this site don’t seem in keeping with the Neighbourhood framework. Hopefully oweners Hendersons can be persuaded to re-think and with the huge amounts of investment here there must be more profitable options for them rather than re-vamped sheds.

As the report says: 'Aesthetically, Ancoats and New Islington’s attributes are highly desirable, being a distinctive area with unique heritage assets that offer a fantastic opportunity to creatively reuse its historic buildings.'

Don't mention the Dispensary

Don't mention the Dispensary

The last line will give campaigners to save the decrepit and largely destroyed Ancoats Dispensary a hollow laugh but the wish list includes:

- High quality, mixed residential homes set it a well-managed environment to encourage new neighbourhoods of choice.

-  A licensing regime that will encourage a family-friendly, residential community.

- Pedestrian friendly developments with the encouragement of walkable neighbourhood layouts.

- Appropriate car strategy to minimise on-street disruption and encourage alternative, sustainable forms of transport.

- The framework also looks to take advantage of the locational advantages of Ancoats and New Islington, including the historical merits of the area, leisure opportunities (New Islington Marina, Cotton Fields Eco Park) and educational and cultural facilities – such as the recent refurbishment of

Cllr Jeff Smith, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “Ancoats and New Islington has been a key regeneration objective for the past twenty years. We have made great strides and some fantastic successes were achieved, but like many developments, these areas were hit by the recession.

“With signs of positive progress in both neighbourhoods, it is the right time to re-evaluate the strategy for Ancoats and New Islington and we urge local people to have their say on the future of their area.”

The consultation will remain open from 23 June to 22 July and the updated Ancoats and New Islington development framework will be considered by Manchester City Council’s executive later this year.

Open consultation events will take place on the following dates:

3 July 2.30pm - 7pm at St Michael's Church, George Leigh Street, Ancoats

17 July 2.30pm - 7pm, Vivid Lounge, Great Ancoats Street, New Islington

22 July 8am - 10 am, Unit 2, Royal Mills, Redhill Street, Ancoats.

For more information, please visit here.

You can follow Jill Burdett on Twitter here. 

New Islington - the silent waters by

New Islington - the silent waters by

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DanJune 30th 2014.

I'm glad there's going to be a number of consultations, we live in the neighbourhood and have seen great things happen over the last few months.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

Unfortunately “Community Consultation” in the eyes of MCC is a box-ticking exercise whereby favoured architects and developers implement the same low cost/high short-term profit process which has been failing the city for generations. Green spaces, traffic neutered streets, civic amenities, well-managed neighbourhoods (funded by local council tax revenues) and genuine interconnection between areas (all completed within a swift timeframe) are paramount to community building and sustainability. Unfortunately these have been entirely value-engineered out of every development project in the city in the last 20yrs. Too often we hear the hubris of a new “master plan” from Leese & Bernstein only for economic cycles, strategy failure to ensure prompt completion, an inability to address the blight of absentee landlords and their love of “the new” to leave numerous similarly residential estates unfinished; areas devoid of genuine long-term investors and owner occupiers, with a broad demographic of residents who will defend and develop these potential neighbourhoods rather than needing to be rebuilt in 20yrs because previous generations got it wrong.

AnonymousJune 30th 2014.

New Islington? What's that?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Old IslingtonJuly 1st 2014.

"The name New Islington appeared on the 1840 Ordnance Survey map and there also a street with that name"

AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

Posh name for Ancoats!!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidJuly 1st 2014.

Not really, as it's only part of Ancoats. The new name for the former Cardroom Estate would be more accurate.

Old IslingtonJuly 1st 2014.

As above - "The name New Islington appeared on the 1840 Ordnance Survey map and there also a street with that name". So no, it's not a posh name for Ancoats, it's not made up by the developers, we're not trying to piggy back on London. en.wikipedia.org/…/New_Islington…

AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

It's bloody rough round there.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

Yeah it is. I saw your Mum there. (C'mon, but of fun, harking back to the 90's. Don't delete me!)

Margaret HoustonJuly 1st 2014.

Definitely going to try and get down to one of the consultations, shame they're not more 9-5 working friendly. Is there no talk about what they will do with the dispensary then at all? I saw some kids using the scaffolding as a climbing frame last year. Could have killed 'em! There are also a few buildings closed in Ancoats due to asbestos - can they be sorted out?

Margaret HoustonJuly 1st 2014.

Oh I found it: "Proposals for the Dispensary itself will be subject to the requirements of Planning Policy at national and local levels, as they relate to Grade II Listed Buildings." Priority: "Test proposals for the restoration and re-use of the Dispensary in line with the requirements of national and local planning policy"

AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

I'm surprised those "Castlefield Residents" haven't filed an objection yet

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 2nd 2014.


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