Former Rackhams House of Fraser building set for ambitious revamp

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 21st January 2022

A landmark building in Altrincham which was once home to House of Fraser is set to undergo a huge refurbishment.

The former Rackhams building will be renamed and overhauled to become a blend of workspace, retail and leisure.

It’s part of Trafford Council and Bruntwood Works‘ ongoing improvements to the Stamford Quarter.

Plans for the new Foundation building were approved by the council’s planning committee in a meeting on Thursday.

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The old department store shut down in 2018 but will now be converted and extended to provide 50,000 sq ft of commercial workspace, and 25,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Once the work is completed, the building will be the first regional Pioneer building, part of a £100m programme.


It’s hoped that Foundation will encourage more people to visit the heart of Altrincham town centre, supporting the long-term growth of the local economy.

Plans for the Foundation building. Credit: Supplied

The plans that have now been approved include space for a cafe, restaurant and retail on the ground floor, spilling out into Stamford Square.

Elsewhere, there will be a gym and wellness area and extensive storage for bikes, hoping to encourage a cycling commute.


A 340 sq m living wall in the atrium, and an external green wall, with feed into Bruntwood’s biophilia vision, connection people and nature while reducing noise levels.

The building will also have its insulation and airtightness improved to make it more sustainable.

The former Rackhams and House of Fraser building. Credit: Google Maps

A new two-storey extension is set to be added on to the old Rackhams building, with new terraces and a solar panel system on the roof.

The vision is for Stamford Square to become a focal point for Altrincham’s existing high street.

Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said: “Trafford Council has carried out a huge amount of work in Altrincham and we are very proud of what we have achieved.

Plans for Stamford Square. Credit: Bruntwood Works

“The Council has been at the forefront of the regeneration of the town centre in recent years including our work on the successful Market Quarter, public realm works and Altrincham Business Improvement District.

“The Rackhams building is close to the hearts of people who live in Altrincham and following close consultation with residents we will redevelop it to meet the needs of a modern town centre with a mix of workspace, retail and leisure.

“This project will help Altrincham become an even more successful town centre and I for one will be delighted to see it take shape.”

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Andrea George, town centre and consumer brands director at Bruntwood Works, said: “Altrincham is already a town centre success story, bucking the story of decline that has defined so many of its peers around the country.


“The pandemic’s lasting impact on where people want to spend more time to work, shop and play locally means there is an opportunity to deepen and strengthen its offering. That’s what Foundation will do.

“It will give Altrincham all the ingredients that the high streets of tomorrow need. By blending premium workspaces, retail and leisure, we’re providing a new and much-needed amenity that complements the existing operators within Stamford Quarter and the wider town centre.

“We can’t wait to see Foundation take shape and underpin this new chapter for Altrincham.”

Featured image: Supplied