The 30-year saga surrounding the future of a landmark former fire station in Manchester looks to be at an end following its sale to developer Allied London
The Grade II*-listed building in London Road, opposite Manchester Piccadilly Station, has lain empty and unused since it was purchased by hotel operator Britannia Hotels in 1993. The hotel group had succeeded in winning planning to convert the Edwardian Baroque building by Woodhouse, Willoughby and Langham into a 227-bedroom hotel, however the scheme was never progressed.
Earlier this week developer Allied London announced it had purchased the 1906 building thanks to a bid reportedly drawn up with the help of architect Levitt Bernstein.
Michael Ingall, Allied London’s chief executive, said: ‘This building presents a unique opportunity to create something truly iconic, particularly at a time when there is so much focus on Manchester as it enhances its international credentials.’
The purchase was also welcomed by campaigners who have fought for the brick and terracotta building to be brought back into use.
Emma Curtin, chair of Friends of London Road Fire Station, told the AJ: ‘I am very positive about this.
‘Everything the developer is saying seems to fit with local aspirations, and they appear to want to work with the existing grain of the building.
‘My only hesitation is we haven’t seen any drawings yet.’
A spokeswoman for Allied London said that the intention would be to ‘create a public building with a mixture of uses’ following consultation with locals.
It is understood that the developer will run a new process to appoint an architect to bring the plan to fruition.