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Manchester picks big names for city renewal

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Four teams have been invited to work up ideas for a masterplan and urban vision for a huge site in Manchester focusing around the site of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The teams include Richard Rogers Architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox with Erick Van Egeraat, Toronto-based Urban Strategies, and town planner and urban designer David Lock Associates. They must draw up a 10 to 20-year strategy and mixed-use masterplan for four districts stretching from the inner city fringe to the eastern outskirts of Manchester.

The site, well over 50ha, has five estates and red-brick terraces between swathes of dereliction and pockets of commercial areas. The government has identified it as the third worst area of urban deprivation in the country. English Partnerships and Manchester city council are running the project, with £80 million of money from the single regeneration budget and New Deal for Communities. They hope more cash will come from Europe.

Design teams have until 22 November to firm up ideas for the land potential including costs, areas for commercial spaces, numbers of homes and other facilities. A winner, to be chosen before Christmas, will work with local residents and businesses to finalise a masterplan.

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