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.
A former beauty queen, 25, has died suddenly after collapsing at stables owned by Michael Owen
A former beauty queen has died at just 25 years old, after she collapsed at the stables owned by Michael Owen.
Jessica Whalley worked at Manor House Stables and had previously taken part in the Miss Tourism Universe pageant.
Emergency services were called to the equestrian facility in Malpas, Cheshire, on Tuesday morning to reports that the young woman had collapsed.
Tragically, paramedics were unable to revive Jessica, and she died at the scene.
Keir Starmer says Labour will ‘freeze’ council tax this year if elected
Keir Starmer has said he will “freeze” council tax in England this year if Labour triumphs in the upcoming local elections.
The Labour leader says his party will cut tax “for the many, not just for the top 1%.”
With the next local elections coming up on 4 May 2023, and Labour hoping to gain in its number of seats across England and Wales, Sir Keir Starmer appeared in Swindon today to launch his party’s election campaign, and hit out at the Conservative Party for being “nowhere near good enough” over their last 13 years of power.
Starmer notably blasted the Tories for their decision to raise tax-free pension limits in its most recent Budget announcement – which is set to benefit the most well-off in our society – and said Labour would counteract this and represent working people.
It comes after almost three in four local Councils say they are planning to increase the cost by the maximum amount allowed after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised the cap on council tax increases without a referendum from 3% to 5%.
Council leaders claim they have “little choice” but to increase costs as the rising cost of living crisis sadly continues to make its impact felt nationwide.
Speaking at the launch of Labour’s campaign today, Starmer stated “there is a choice on tax” for the public to make in the upcoming local elections.
He added: “A Tory choice – taxes up for working people, tax cuts for the 1% – or a Labour choice, where we cut business rates to save our high streets and where, if there was a Labour government, you could take that council tax rise you just got and rip it up.
“A Labour government would freeze your council tax this year – that’s our choice. A tax cut for the many, not just for the top 1%. So take this message to every doorstep in your community: Labour is the party of lower taxes for working people.
“That’s the difference we can make. That’s the choice in May. A better Britain.”
Starmer said he intends for the pledges he made in Labour’s local election campaign launch to “send a message to the government” after their 13 years in power.
“What they’ve delivered to our country nowhere near good enough,” he said
“We’ve got to get out there and show people the difference Labour can make. Let them see our hunger for change. We have to prove that this suffocating cost of living crisis, the path of decline the Tories have set Britain on, the endless sticking plaster politics, is not inevitable.