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Abandoned railway arches to be transformed into shops, bars and restaurants

Plans to turn a row of abandoned railway arches in Manchester city centre into shops, bars, restaurants and cafés have been green lit by Manchester City Council.
Corporation Street Arches

The 10 arches on Corporation Street which are currently empty are set to be revitalised as the Council today green lit huge plans for the area.

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.

Corporation Street Arches redevelopment

The 10 spaces will be revamped by The Arch Company, which has also recently secured permission from Salford council to improve another 10 arches on Norton Street in the Greengate area of the city.

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!

What will fill the Corporation Street arches?

The plans approved by Manchester council 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 in Manchester

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 and Salford including the redevelopment of arches on Temperance Street and Bennett Street.

“Manchester is famously proud of its industrial heritage, and this project not only maintains and celebrates that history, but rejuvenates it in an exciting and innovative way to bring added social value to the city’s modern landscape and its residents,” said Santosh Patel, from Pick Everard — construction consultants brought into the project.

He added: “Seeing this project to completion will bring a new offering to Manchester, further regenerating its town centre in a way that makes sense within its larger community.

“The new spaces present a great opportunity for independent retail, restaurant, and other leisure businesses to develop in an area that will grow and thrive with them.”

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 remains open

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.

You can find out more about The Arches Company in Manchester on their website by clicking here

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