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The ‘pioneering’ mobility hub promising to make Ancoats a ‘people first’ neighbourhood

Work has started to build the UK’s first ‘mobility hub’ – a multi-storey car park offering electric vehicle chargers, car share clubs and cycle hire

People over cars

The scheme promises to help Ancoats be a place where people are prioritised over cars.

As well as featuring 150 secure bike parking spaces, the new hub would offer changing facilities for cyclists.

Bikes would also be available to hire from the eight-storey structure which is being built on a cleared site off Poland Street.

Of the 406 car parking spaces which would be available for residents and visitors, 102 would be fitted with electric vehicle charging points with the potential to increase this number in the future. There will also be up to 30 spaces for car share club schemes which reduce the need to own a vehicle.

The cleared site in Ancoats

Fewer cars on the street

The hope is that the hub will mean fewer cars are parked on streets in the area and less parking will be needed at future development sites.

There will also be a parcel delivery point serving surrounding residential buildings where people can collect their parcels directly or get them delivered by small electric vans and cargo bikes, cutting the number of delivery vehicles in the neighbourhood.

More than 1,500 sqm of solar panels would be installed on the rooftop of the building which would feature a 400 sqm green wall and a 900 sqm planted façade. There will also be space for a new café as well as a commercial unit.

The rejuvenation of Ancoats

It comes as the third phase of re-generation of the neighbourhood located on the edge of Manchester city centre gets underway. The £33m plan includes work to rejuvenate Ancoats Green, making the park a ‘focal point’ for the area.

The investment, which is mostly being funded by public body Homes England, is expected to ‘unlock’ 1,500 new homes in Ancoats – including the first new council housing to be built under the ‘This City’ brand at Rodney Street. Around 30 parking spaces at the new mobility hub would be provided for residents of the 128 new low carbon homes approved at this site last year.

Residents of new housing set to be built by Manchester Life – which is partly owned by Man City’s owners – and housing association Great Places will also use the new hub for parking. The hub is expected to be built by the end of 2024.

1,500 new homes for Ancoats

Council leader Bev Craig said: “The redevelopment of Ancoats over the last two decades is an exemplar in urban renewal. And rightly so – the neighbourhood is internationally renowned and has been named one of the best places to live globally.

“This next phase of regeneration gives us an opportunity to think differently about how our residents occupy and interact with the space they live in. The Mobility Hub is a key part of this – helping to put the pedestrian, active travel and green public space as the focus of the neighbourhood, rather than the car.

“Upcoming development will deliver 1,500 new homes and the transformation of the local park in this part of our city centre and the Hub ensures that Ancoats will be not just renowned for regeneration, but for its sustainability – creating a low carbon, green neighbourhood that should be a model for future city centre investment.”

Inclusive and healthy neighbourhoods

Marty Edelman, Manchester Life’s Executive Chairman, said: “The Ancoats Mobility Hub proactively responds to climate, health, and sustainable transport priorities, and we congratulate the Council for their continued commitment to creating inclusive and healthy urban neighbourhoods brought to life by their vibrant communities. Manchester City Council leads the kind of urban planning initiatives that make Manchester unique among cities worldwide, and we are proud to have worked with the Council to develop the Hub concept.

“With parking removed from individual developments, Manchester Life and others can proceed with residential developments across the Poland Street area that prioritise space for local businesses, community interaction, and giving residents direct access to shared and sustainable transport choices.”

Ancoats a model of urban transformation

Pauline Schaffer, Director of Infrastructure Funding at Homes England, said: “The regeneration of Ancoats is an example of urban transformation and place-making at its best. As the introduction of the innovative Mobility Hub shows, there is real thought into how the neighbourhood works as a place to live now, and how it might need to work in the future, with provision for car share schemes and electronic vehicle charging points.

“Sustainability, great design, and a dedication to partnership working are at the heart of this project, and we’re proud to have supported Manchester City Council to bring this to life.”

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