Alternative design for St Michael’s Site

Alternative design for St Michael’s Site

Manchester Civic Society enthusiastically supports an alternative design scheme launched by SAVE Britain’s Heritage for the St Michael’s site


This proposal RESPECTS Manchester’s historic civic heart.  It would;


  • Retain ALL of the former police station


  • Create new openings on Jackson’s Row to indicate new retail provision


  • Re-open the existing arches of the police station building to provide new access routes to and through the building


  • Transform the inner courtyard into a covered shopping arcade with hotel and residential accommodation above – through sensitive conversion and a single storey roof extension


  • Deliver a new office building opposite the Synagogue on Bootle Street with underground car parking provided – helping to knit together the urban street at a human scale


  • Enliven Jackson’s Row, lined with listed buildings, by turning it into a pedestrianised route to Deansgate


  • Create a new public square, opening from the arcade and shared by the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and the Manchester Reform Synagogue.

See here for more concept drawings and details.

Steve Speakman, Chair of the Manchester Civic Society, said: “Manchester Civic Society supports this initiative which will vitalise the street scenes of Bootle Street and Jackson’s Row by creating a new arcaded pedestrian link between the two, ripe for use by the large population of city centre workers. This concept has the added merit of retaining the whole of the Bootle Street Police Station, a building of historic, architectural and cultural merit.

Historic England did NOT support the proposal for a 40 storey tower on this site because it compromised the setting of so many nearby glorious buildings.  We hope that this far lower rise alternative will find merit with Historic England as it provides an imaginative solution to development of a sensitive site.”


Henrietta Billings, Director of SAVE, said: “This concept clearly demonstrates that a conservation-led design really can preserve the special character of this part of Manchester, while also creating exciting new development that works within the historic context. In every way it represents a ‘gentle’ approach to regeneration which in our view has a better chance of long term sustainability by keeping options open for further similar developments as requirements for retail/office/residential accommodation change over time.”


Marcus Binney, Executive President of SAVE, said: “The detailed bird’s eye view produced by Ian Chalk shows just how much the 40-storey tower is at odds with the urban scale of surrounding city blocks.  Manchester’s civic heart has until now been respected by both new and refurbished buildings creating a consistency and harmony which would be blown away by the new tower.”


Steve Speakman feels so strongly about the damage to Manchester’s historic civic heart that he is seeking a judicial review of the decision to approve this scheme.


He is using CrowdJustice to collect funds to finance this Review.

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