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Studio Egret West lands prime Manchester regen job

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Studio Egret West and developer U+I have been chosen to lead the £850 million regeneration of the key Mayfield site next to Piccadilly Station in Manchester

Orignally conceived as the Whitehall of the North West under government-backed plans drawn up by Bennetts Associates seven years ago, the quarter re-emerged as a huge private sector-driven scheme in early 2015 after a major land pooling agreement between Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and London and Continental Railways (LCR).

The three landowners, working under the Mayfield Partnership banner, began the search for a development partner to deliver a ‘new high-quality urban neighbourhood and city gateway’ on the 9.7ha site last June. 

The U+I team saw off Urban & Civic [with AHMM] and a consortium made up of Carillion, Ask and Patrizia [with Fletcher Priest] to scoop the project south of Piccadilly station, which is also the proposed new terminal for HS2.

Studio Egret West’s plans include 1,300 homes, 75,000m² of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, shops and a new city park on the site which was once home to the Mayfield railway station and has been mainly derelict for more than a decade.

According to the team, the project will ‘reshape and extend the city towards Manchester Piccadilly […] and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider Piccadilly area.’

The developer says the proposals will ‘enhance many of [the site’s] historic features’ while ‘maintaining some of the iconic buildings that still stand and making the most of the railway heritage of the area’.

Among them is the Cor-ten steel-clad electricity substation in Travis Street by Walker Simpson Architects (2009) which, the AJ understands, will be retained.

The Mayfield Partnership will now enter into a joint-venture with U+I to take the scheme forward, with an ambition to submit an outline planning application to the council in the spring of 2017.

Ideas put forward for the early phase of the development include a community farm, a raised park and cultural spaces.

Matthew Weiner, chief executive, U+I said: ’We have the skills and the creative vision to deliver a project of which Manchester can be proud and which will further support the city’s position on the world stage as a centre of enterprise, tourism, culture and socio-economic growth.

‘We’re passionate about Manchester, and we are passionate about transforming a place with a proud industrial heritage into a 21st century hub, realising its potential while respecting its past.’

Bennetts Associates, which helped the Mayfield Partnership with the development partner selection process, drew up a new urban strategy for the area in 2013 (the Mayfield Strategic Regeneration Framework) .

The practice’s Julian Lipscombe said he was ’hopeful Bennetts would have a role going forward’ as the scheme progressed.

A spokesperson for U+I added: ’As this is such a large project…..there will also be opportunities to bring in others for individual phases and buildings.’

Mayfield as it looks today (September 2016)

Mayfield as it looks today (September 2016)

Source: Luke Hayes

Mayfield as it looks today (September 2016)


John Walker of Manchester-based Walker Simpson Architects
’The positive design appears to have worked hard to retain the urban grain established by the original Mayfield Station. As we are a partner in Manchester’s City of Trees, it’s good to see the scale of green space alongside the river and the raised pedestrian thread connecting to Piccadilly Station - an echo of the former Royal Mail conveyor bridge between the stations.

’We are delighted to see the retention of the Star and Garter pub and our Travis Street sub-station, winner of a Manchester Society of Architects award. This scheme also looked to complement the industrial context with a contemporary take on the modern city.’

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