A historic corner of the Science and Industry Museum is set to be turned into holiday accommodation, with overnight stays starting from next year.
The Grade I-listed Station Agent’s House, which dates from 1808, will be able to sleep eight people thanks to a partnership between the beloved museum and The Landmark Trust.
The beautiful building on the corner of Liverpool Road and Water Street is one of the city’s oldest surviving Georgian houses.
Following a sensitive repair programme, the house will be made available to all through self-catering stays and free public open days.
Over the years, it’s been used as a home, then as a shop, but hasn’t been suitable for museum gallery use because of its size and layout.
The Station Agent’s House is considered one of the UK’s most significant heritage buildings, pre-dating even the Science and Industry Museum‘s Grade I-listed 1830 station, which is the oldest surviving passenger railway station in the world.
This corner of Manchester was home of the world’s first steam-powered, inter-city railways designed to carry both passengers and goods.
The adjacent 1830 Station is currently being repaired ahead of re-opening to the public in future years as part of the museum’s major conservation and redevelopment plans.
The house’s redevelopment is the latest milestone in the museum’s multi-million pound redevelopment, which has included the opening of the beautiful Special Exhibitions Gallery.
Soon, there’ll be a new experience in the 1830 station, a Wonderlab gallery for children, a new entrance route through to Factory International, significant new outdoor landscaping and public realm provision and opportunities for outdoor play.
The Station Agent’s House will be the Landmark Trust’s first property in the region. The charity is seeking to fundraise a final £118,000 to cover the restoration, following early support from donors and previous legacy income.
Sally MacDonald, director of the Science and Industry Museum says: “We are delighted that the Landmark Trust will be bringing their expertise in sensitively restoring incredible heritage buildings to enable Station Agent’s House to be experienced by the public for the first time.”
Anna Keay, director of The Landmark Trust says: “The Landmark Trust is delighted to be working with the Science and Industry Museum at historic Liverpool Road, site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station.
“The Station Agent’s House, around which the pioneering station was created, is an outstanding piece of industrial heritage. The building will be sensitively repaired and made available to all through self-catering stays and free public open days. As a charity, the Landmark Trust is committed to saving and sustaining outstanding heritage, and is thrilled to be playing a role in Manchester.”
Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council says: “We welcome this exciting partnership and the Landmark Trust to Manchester as part of the Science and Industry Museum’s pioneering improvement plans. This scheme will enable people to enjoy an important aspect of our city’s heritage for the first time as part of a thriving and rejuvenated destination.”
Sheona Southern, managing director of Marketing Manchester says: “Manchester’s rich history is woven into the fabric of Station Agent’s House, and we are thrilled to see the Landmark Trust’s redevelopment plans that will preserve its incredible heritage while opening up a new chapter for the building.
“Located in the historic Castlefield neighbourhood, Station Agent’s House will join local residents such as the Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield Viaduct, and Factory International, undoubtedly adding to the city’s already vibrant cultural scene and will also serve as a truly unique addition to the city-region’s growing accommodation offer.”
Calum McGowan, chair, Castlefield Forum says: “We are absolutely thrilled at these proposals, and what great news to see more of the museum’s estate come to life. Part of our mission at the Forum is to ensure that we celebrate and cherish the heritage assets in our neighbourhood so this is another great contribution towards that. The building looks set to be a wonderful place to stay, on iconic site, in an iconic neighbourhood!”
I hate cars. Well, hate is a strong word. I’m very uninterested in cars. As long as they get me from A to B without blowing up, I’m happy.
So when Tesla got in touch to see if I would be interested in trying one out, I was a little apprehensive. Surely it’s just a bit of a gimmick? The tech isn’t quite there yet? It’s just a car, who cares? I was wrong. After about four seconds, I cared.
Arriving at the Tesla showroom on Wellington Road in Stockport was like stepping into the future. Everything was sleek and clean with free coffee from one of those fancy pod machines where they’re all a different colour and you don’t really know what you’re getting but it’s free so who cares?! I did feel slightly out of place with all the fancy cars – how did this lad who grew up in Hazel Grove end up in here?
But the keys (well… a credit card-shaped key, because Tesla LOVES fancy tech) to my shiny blue Tesla Model Y in my hand, I was off to explore the north west and test it out.
The newest Teslas come with so many features, from built-in ‘Camp Mode’ to Netflix, that I thought I may as well just not leave the car for a day – bar bathroom breaks and other essential errands.
With so many features to try, my first stop was Leeds to visit the team at The Hoot for some car-eoke. The drive there was super smooth and I even let the car’s autopilot do most of the work for me. It was scary to begin but once you’re used to it it makes motorway driving a dream. The car-eoke feature is a great opportunity to blast out some ballads and keep everyone entertained.
Then it was back across the M62 to pick up a couple of Manc mates, heading off to Chaiiwala’s new drive-thru in Bolton.
Let me tell you, there is nothing more entertaining then unexpectedly flooring it and seeing your co-workers’ shocked faces as they’re soaked with colourful iced tea. Fuelled with delicious Indian street food, we sat and played around with the settings, finding it hilarious (because we are overgrown children) that you can set everything from the indicators to the horn to make fart noises. Less hilarious when I forgot to undo the settings and turned up to a client meeting with the car farting everywhere…
The Model Y is big enough to sleep in, with mattresses available from Tescamp on Amazon. My husband and I took it to a field in Rochdale to sleep under the stars – which you can see through the Tesla’s expansive sun roof. The Tesla has camping mode, which keeps the car cool and comfortable throughout the night.
With all the driving around and camping overnight, the Tesla needed a charge. Handily, the built in Google Maps could direct me to my closest Tesla supercharger, which can be found at the Trafford Centre. The perfect opportunity to get a bit of shopping in and catch an episode of something on Netflix IN THE CAR while it charged, which only took about 40 minutes.
Car charged, it was time to recharge my own batteries, driving on over to Oldham to try out the incredible cakes at Wonderlust Bistro & Bakery – a true hidden gem that everyone should check out.
Surprisingly, we were still hungry after that and luckily for us the Tesla has an ‘I’m hungry’ button (which I would like to have by my side at all times), so we let the car decide. It chose the delectable Lily’s Vegetarian in Ashton, where we could barely make a dent in the huge menu of Indian dishes.
I ended up having the car for around two weeks and I was genuinely heartbroken to give it back. It drives so well, has so many cool features and you feel special driving it. Everyone looks at you with awe when you’re in it too… even if you then startle with them with a very loud fart noise.
About the car
The Model Y is their fully electric, small crossover SUV
It can drive up to 330 miles on a full charge
It can do 0-60 in as little at 3.5 seconds
Has surround HD cameras – perfect for manoeuvring and showing your blind spots when changing lanes
Build in HD screen with access to Netflix, Disney+ and games
Autopilot for self-driving fun
5 star rating for safety
Huge boot capacity with storage in the bonnet too
Individually collapsible seats in the rear
Pet mode to keep your pets cool and comfortable if they have to be left in the car
Camping mode – so you can take the Tesla anywhere and sleep in it
Off Roading capability with superior traction control
Dual motors independently controlling the torque for the front and rear wheels
Superfast charging – charge up to 150 miles in just 15 mins
Tesla vision – detects nearby cars to help prevent collisions
Expansive glass roof
15 inch touchscreen display
Over air software updates
Fully customisable to each driver – it remembers your seat position and everything!