Major redevelopment plans for the building which houses the Manchester city centre branch of Debenhams have now been revealed.
In the newly-released plans published online, the Rylands Building on Market Street is to become new shopping arcade on the ground floor, while the bulk of the building will be transformed into offices.
Plans also include a proposed new four-storey rooftop extension.
The proposals have been published by the building’s owners AM Alpha – who say the extension is necessary “to make the proposals viable and financially support the required repairs and restoration of the building” – and a formal planning application is to be submitted in September.
AM Alpha purchased the building in 2017.
The Art Deco landmark’s ground floor layout will be returned to its original 1930s configuration, by dividing it up into a number of smaller retail units, and the basement will house shopping, dining and leisure facilities that will all be accessed via a new escalator entrance on Tib Street.
The rest of the Grade II listed building is to be turned into offices, along with the additional four extra floors at the rear which will “bring life back to long underused parts of the building, particularly to the long neglected fifth, sixth and seventh floors”.
Martin Lemke – Managing Director of AM Alpha – said: “Since we bought the building we had the vision to transform this iconic landmark into a vibrant, fully occupied building with a long-term future.
“Now, we have set out our vision in the proposed plans.
“Once plans are approved, we can deliver a unique office environment at a pivotal gateway location between Manchester’s central core, Northern Quarter and Piccadilly which will attract larger independent office occupiers to Manchester’s city centre, promote job creation and support post-COVID economic bounce back.”
Architect Jeffrey Bell added that: “The design approach for The Rylands Building seeks to balance a high degree of restoration of the building to its original appearance and to acknowledge and clearly reveal relevant changes that have affected the building during its life.
“The overall aim is to establish a genuine sense of place with the site’s valuable heritage asset at its heart.”
Debenhams confirmed earlier in April that it would be collapsing into administration.
The struggling retailer announced 2,500 job losses this week, due to damaging effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and these redundancies follow wave of store closures since the beginning of the year, which saw nineteen branches shut in January and the confirmation that a further 28 would follow.
At least 15 of those branches have closed since then.
The Manchester city centre branch has never been named as being at risk of closure, and the retailer stated yesterday that no new store closures were planned.
You can view the published plans in full and participate in the public consultation via the Future Rylands website here.
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.