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Murrays' Mills To Kick-Off Rampant Home Building

The first of 6000 new homes set for Grade II listed former cotton mills

Written by . Published on August 6th 2014.

Murrays' Mills To Kick-Off Rampant Home Building

THE FIRST of the 6,000 new homes promised under the Manchester Life initiative could be built in the iconic Murrays' Mills in Ancoats.

Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley have experience of the big stuff, they designed Manchester University Business School and Manchester School of Art, which has just been shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize.

Confidential hears that architects Feilden Clegg Bradley have been appointed to design the conversion of the Grade II* listed mill complex into apartments and a formal planning application could be in before the end of the year.

A developer would then be sought to deliver the scheme with apartments here likely to be for sale rather than rent.

Two more sites, on Blossom Street and the former Stockbridge Airco site nearby will have new build schemes designed for rent.

Together they would deliver more then 800 new homes, the first phase of the ambitious joint venture between Manchester City Council and Abu Dhabi United Group, owners of Manchester City FC.

Up to £1billion of investment is available over the next decade to build 6,000 new homes from Great Ancoats Street out to the Etihad Stadium.

£1bn City Housing Investment - read about the Manchester Life JV here.

A tour of the millsA tour of the mills

Anyone who attended the performances of Macbeth at Manchester International Festival 2013 when Murray's Mill was used as a holding pen will have witnessed the virtues of the building. Built in 1798, the mills are the world's oldest surviving steam-powered urban cotton factories.

The site comprises two mill buildings of four and five storeys, with a three storey service wing connecting the two, forming a three-sided courtyard. Sadly, the fourth side was lost to fire in 1994.

Murrays' Mills was bought by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) ten years ago, with £10m thankfully invested on repairs to preserve the structure.

Edinburgh based InPartnership had plans to convert it to a hotel and residential. I sneaked a look around then, and the building boasts some wonderful spaces, old offices and quirky features around a canal basin linked to the Rochdale Canal.

It was then acquired by the Home Communities Agency (HCA), which has recently formed a partnership with the Council too, called Manchester Place - explained here. The site has now been acquired by Manchester Life and has the potential to be an amazing one-off scheme of big beautiful apartments with reels of character.

Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley have experience of the big stuff, they designed Manchester University Business School and Manchester School of Art, which has just been shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize.

The practice is also responsible for Accordia, the housing scheme in Cambridge which scooped the Stirling in 2008 where it came up against Manchester's Civil Justice Centre.

More on the Manchester Life initiative here.

Murrays' MillsCanal basin

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

SquirrelitoAugust 6th 2014.

that Canal Basin looks a cracking little spot, is it still connected to the canal itself?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DanAugust 6th 2014.

I have a book about underground Manchester, and this basin was connected via an underground canal.

SquirrelitoAugust 7th 2014.

thanks Dan, I've seen this place twice on the net in two days now having never spotted / heard of it it before. Should be beloved gem. Looks like a movie set. I hope they do something great with it.

DavidAugust 6th 2014.

It's a fantastic building.Unfortunately there is a horrible building in front of it and the equally ugly retail park near by.For all stuff written about the fire station this is a far more important and deserving of attention.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

What are going in about? It faces the canal on one side, equally historic Royal Mills on the other.... Fireproof and doubling mill on the other and the old Air co building on the final side..... I like the rest of your statement though.

DanAugust 6th 2014.

I live right next to this and there aren't any horrid buildings surrounding it :/

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

'Rampant home building'? I wouldn't associate that statement with quality!

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