Manchester’s abandoned railway arches set to be transformed into vibrant destination for shops, bars, and restaurants as part of £4m redevelopment scheme

Plans to turn a row of abandoned railway arches in Manchester city centre into shops, bars, restaurants and cafés have been revealed.

The 10 arches on Corporation Street which are currently empty are due to be redeveloped.

The £4m scheme is part of a national project by The Arch Company to bring 1,000 empty or derelict spaces across England and Wales back into use by 2030.

The developer now owns 253 spaces in Manchester and Salford, making this the largest concentration of railway arches outside of London.

Here’s how they could look!

New plans submitted to Manchester council last week reveal how the arches in Corporation Street could be transformed into a destination for food and drink, leisure and retail businesses to move into.

The planning application also reveals what the arches – which have been derelict for a decade – look like now.

Historically, the arches were predominantly used for industrial purposes. However, as the city changed, these types of businesses moved elsewhere.

Documents submitted with the planning application describe the arches as appearing ‘dirty’ due to graffiti and the effects of pollution and water damage.

The Arch Company says its investment in them – which is part of the £200m Project 1000 scheme – will help these ‘prominently located units to realise their potential and create a vibrant environment for the people of the city’.

Portfolio asset manager Rob Roddy said: “Corporation Street is a fantastic location for leisure and retail businesses to make their own – we see incredible potential in these railway arches.

As part of our development plan, Project 1000, we’re committed to investing in 1,000 spaces by 2030 and hope these arches in Manchester will form part of these plans.”

The Arch Company already has schemes already under way in Manchester including the redevelopment of arches on Temperance Street and Bennett Street.

The developer became responsible for 253 spaces across Manchester and Salford in 2019, after purchasing 5,200 spaces in total from Network Rail.

It says that this is the biggest concentration of railway arches outside of London. At the point of sale, 1,400 spaces were left vacant, and required significant investment and development before they could be occupied.

The Pop-up Bikes shop, which is in the middle of the row of arches on Corporation Street, will remain occupied throughout the redevelopment, according to the company.

The arches beyond Arch 11 are not part of this project and are not affected by this development, the planning documents say.


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