Now, as per an announcement by the Premier League, the 40-year-old will be overseeing Fulham vs Burnley on Saturday, December 23, becoming the first woman to ever be appointed as the first official for a first-division game.
Welch also became the first female to referee an FA Cup fixture back in January 2022 and was the first woman to serve as a fourth official Welch was also appointed as the fourth official for Manchester United‘s 1-0 win over Fulham this past November.
Regularly operating in the WSL and having been part of the officiating team for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Welch has been growing a reputation across the beautiful game and it seems as though it was only a matter of time before she was assigned to a Premier League round.
Refereeing colleague Sam Allison is also set to become the first Black official to take charge of a Prem game in over a decade and a half on Boxing Day when Sheffield United take on Luton Town, the last being Uriah Rennie in a game between Liverpool and Spurs back in May 2008.
The lack of diversity, both in gender and race, in refereeing seen throughout English football has remained a pressing issue among many fans and advocates within the sport for years and now this latest announcement comes as a welcome step in the right direction.
Speaking on the decision this Thursday, refereeing veteran and PGMOL chief Howard Webb said the league has been attempting to “fast-tracking talented officials” through their training programme and labelled both of the appointments as “really well deserved”.
While sexism and misogyny in sport and life, in general, are obviously outdated attitudes, it was concerning to see that the two individuals were just 17 years old and that there’s still work to be done in educating people and rooting out those underlying issues.
Nevertheless, having qualified and well-respected officials like Welch and Allison become prominent figures, role models and leading examples in football will do wonders for the future of representation equality throughout the sporting world.
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.