Social impact developer CAPITAL&CENTRIC – stars of BBC Two’s Manctopia – has agreed a deal with Bolton Council to redevelop the former market precinct in Farnworth town centre.
The plans will see the site transformed into a “vibrant, mixed-use community” based on the developer’s neighbourhood housing concept, and will include over 200 modern homes centred around a new public square for artisan markets, live events and more.
The plans also include a new flexible space for community uses and events, with a village hall feel, which could host vintage fairs, art galleries, and pop-up gin bars.
It will also see a linear park and spaces for café-bars, delis, a mini-cinema, gym and co-working.
Located on King Street in the heart of the town centre, the site is a short walk from the train station with easy access into Bolton and Manchester, and on the doorstep of the refurbished bus-station, making it an ideal location for commuters.
Speaking on the newly-reached deal, Tim Heatley – Co-Founder of CAPITAL&CENTRIC – said: “This is about rebooting and modernising the market town. By creating 200 new homes around the square, we’re bringing life, and spending power, back to the town centre, so it’ll have its own ecosystem.
“We’re looking to attract the region’s best artists, makers and indie operators to set up home here.
“If you jump on a train you can be in Manchester in less than 20 minutes, so we see this rivalling the city centre with the same quality homes but affordable to more people from young professionals to downsizers.
“All surrounded by an incredible public square, plenty of trees and loads of places to hang out.”
Cllr Martyn Cox – Deputy Leader of Bolton Council – added: “It’s great to see such exciting development plans for Farnworth town centre. CAPITAL&CENTRIC have a fantastic track record of not just creating buildings but communities for people to live, work and socialise in, which is what is needed to transform Farnworth town centre and make it more vibrant, attractive for visitors and fit for the future.”
Cllr Paul Sanders – Chair of the Farnworth Steering Group – said: “This is real progress and what we’ve been waiting for. The delivery of the key development proposals in the masterplan is vital for Farnworth and the plans proposed by CAPITAL&CENTRIC are welcomed.
“Our ambition is to rejuvenate the town centre and bring in new community facilities for our residents [and] we are looking forward to sharing the plans with Farnworthians, Kearsleyites and our partners.”
CAPITAL&CENTRIC is planning to launch a public consultation on the plans – which are being designed by architects BDP – in the new year.
This is CAPITAL&CENTRIC’s first project in Bolton, following other town centre schemes in Stockport and Rochdale being announced earlier this year, and the developer is famed for its high quality and bold designs, with a focus on creating a positive social impact.
Farnworth reached the second phase of the UK government’s Future High Streets Fund – a multi-million pound pot of cash set up to make high streets fit for the future – after the council submitted a business case in June 2020, and is waiting to hear whether the £19m bid has been successful.
The additional funds would help in the delivery of a number of key development projects identified in the Farnworth town centre masterplan.
Farnworth is also one of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s Town Centre “challenge” areas.
You can find more information via the CAPITAL&CENTRIC website here.
Marriott to open new 12-storey aparthotel in Manchester
A stylish new aparthotel is opening in Manchester city centre, with new images released of the Residence Inn by Marriott Manchester Piccadilly.
With 155 modern studios and one-bedroom apartments sprawled over 12 floors, it promises to be ‘the first aparthotel of its kind in Northern England’.
The pet-friendly rooms come with perks like well-equipped kitchens, smart TVs, and views of the city skyline.
Set to open in May, the new longer-stay hotel will be located on Laystall Street, between Piccadilly Station, Ancoats, and the Northern Quarter.
The Residence Inn by Marriott will be Marriott International’s first extended stay property in the north of England, but the fifth Residence Inn property in the UK (the others being in London and Scotland).
There’ll be a mix of sleek and spacious studios and one-bedroom suites, 25 of which will offer baths. More than half the rooms will have sofa beds, designed for younger visitors or groups.
The rooms and communal areas will be decorated in warm, neutral tones and come with a fully functional kitchen, including microwaves, single ovens, two-ring hobs, refrigerators and dishwashers, and cookware. They also all have Smart-TVs.
Self-service communal laundry facilities are available on site and open at all times, with other communal areas including lounge areas, outdoor seating areas, and a coffee shop with a grab-and-go section.
When it comes to food, you can start your day with a delicious complimentary breakfast or make use of their bespoke grocery delivery service.
Residence Inn by Marriott will have a 24-hour fitness centre, with high-spec cardio, resistance and free weight areas.
Two retail spaces have been incorporated into the building’s design, which are independently accessible from the hotel and are available to let.
Residence Inn Manchester Piccadilly general manager, Mustapha Henini said: “We are incredibly excited for the opening of Residence Inn in Manchester Piccadilly. This city is inviting, and our new hotel offers the perfect space for those looking for a spacious stay.”
PHH UK Advisor, Morris Katri, said: “The Ancoats and Piccadilly areas have seen significant redevelopment and investment over recent years, with Residence Inn set to add to the offering available further.
“This hotel will enhance the community with its unique long stay offering and beautiful interiors, plus bring more jobs to the area, boosting the centre’s economic growth.”
Heritage railway arches in Manchester city centre to undergo £3.7m transformation by HOME arts centre
A section of the iconic railway arches along Whitworth Street is set to be refurbished into a brand-new development space for up-and-coming local artistsunder HOME.
Having existed as a recognisable part of the city’s rich transport and architectural heritage for as long as we can remember, three of the familiar archways situated on Whitworth Street West are now about to be given a new lease of life which will also help support Manchester’s beloved arts community.
Coming under the HOME theatre and arts umbrella with the work being carried out by the North West arm of Robertson Construction, the transformation is set to start fairly soon and is scheduled to be completed by May 2024.
Sitting between Whitworth Street West and HOME’s main arts building at Tony Wilson Place, which has been a popular cinema, gallery and restaurant since 2015, the new development centre will provide a space and vital resources for artists of all ages, disciplines and stages in their careers. Wonderful stuff.
Costing £3.7m, the goal of the ‘HOME Arches’ project is not only to give the Whitworth Street West Arches some much-needed TLC, but to help nurture, attract and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing them with a high-quality, low-cost rehearsal and training space.
Moreover, being connected to the ever-thriving First Street district will further strengthen it as a well-known and go-to city centre destination for artists and visitors alike.
Funding for the renovation was secured back in 2021 following a £2.3m government grant, with a further £0.9m contribution from Manchester City Council and around £0.5m from HOME themselves, who are helping cover some post-construction costs.
The Arches project is part of a wider £20m redevelopment plan under the national Levelling Up fund, with the bulk of the £17.5m scheme seeing the Upper Campfield and Lower Campfield Market buildings (both Grade II-listed structures) lovingly transformed into a new tech, media and creative industries hub.
Issuing a statement following the announcement, Director and CEO of HOME, Dave Moutrey said they are delighted to provide “meaningful, additional creative space for artists” and allow them to “grow the work that we do with artists in the North West, across theatre, film, visual art and digital works”.
As for the Council itself, leader Bev Craig said: “These arches are part of our heritage which have sat unloved and underused for many years. This scheme is bringing them back to life with a very modern purpose – complementing the thriving cultural economy in our city.
“Culture has a huge role to play in the success of our city and its people – creatively, for health and well-being and economically. This project will enhance this part of the city centre, create new jobs and further strengthen Manchester’s cultural ecosystem.”
We can’t wait to see how the new historic railway arches look under the loving stewardship of HOME and see the impact it makes on local creativity and culture.