Manchester city centre hotel set to be demolished for huge new student skyscraper with public art

The proposal for the Medlock Street site also includes 36,000 sq m of Grade A office space as well as a new piece of artwork which is nine storeys in height.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A Manchester city centre hotel is set to be demolished to make way for a 38-storey skyscraper of student accommodation and a 13-storey office building.

The Premier Inn at Deansgate Locks would be replaced by purpose-built student flats which would accommodate 1,014 rooms under the new plans. The proposal for the Medlock Street site also includes 36,000 sq m of Grade A office space as well as a new piece of artwork which is nine storeys in height.

According to planning documents, a competition will be held to choose an artist to design the new artwork on the side of the student accommodation. Hotelier Whitbread and developer Dominvs Group submitted the planning application to Manchester council with a decision expected in the new year.

The land is located within the First Street area for which the local authority has laid out regeneration plans and is set to include a pocket park and rain garden. The plans would see the closure of the existing five-storey Premier Inn hotel.

But Whitbread senior development manager Richard Pearson said the company has recently invested in other Premier Inns in the city centre. He said: “Manchester is one of the most popular locations for Premier Inn customers in the UK and we want to ensure our hotels in the city provide a consistently high standard of accommodation for our guests.

“We have recently invested in new rooms in Manchester city centre, including the new 157-bedroom Premier Inn on Princess Street as part of the Circle Square development, just a short walk away from the site at Medlock Street.

Medlock Street plans. Credit: Whitbread / Dominvs GroupMedlock Street plans. Credit: Whitbread / Dominvs Group
Medlock Street plans. Credit: Whitbread / Dominvs Group

“Working with Dominvs we now have the opportunity to realise the true potential of the Medlock Street site by creating high-quality workspace and student accommodation at an important gateway to the city centre.

“As well as generating funds to reinvest in our network, the development will meet the demand for high quality office accommodation in the city and deliver much needed student accommodation within Manchester city centre.

“The team has worked extremely hard to produce this proposal having engaged with the public and we are proud to be a part of the regeneration and continued growth of Manchester.”

The scheme is expected to support 475 jobs and give a £198m economic boost during construction, and when finished, it would have room for 2,200 office jobs and contribute £1.6m in business rates a year, according to the developer.

The student rooms would be ‘high specification’ and ‘professionally-managed’, the developer said, and meet an urgent need for this type of accommodation.

It comes after students at universities in Manchester were offered housing outside of the city due to a shortage of beds amid an increase in admissions.

Jay Ahluwalia, principal director at Dominvs Group, said: “We’ve worked in partnership with Whitbread to create a mixed-use scheme that will provide an attractive, sustainable and well-connected hub for work, study and living in a huge boost to Manchester’s Southern Gateway.

“While contributing to the continued regeneration of the First Street area through new community amenities and green spaces, One Medlock will provide much-needed student housing in a city where over 50,000 students lack access to purpose-built accommodation.

Medlock Street plans. Credit: Whitbread / Dominvs GroupMedlock Street plans. Credit: Whitbread / Dominvs Group
Medlock Street plans. Credit: Whitbread / Dominvs Group

“Dominvs Group’s portfolio ranges from hotels to residential and office spaces, and we are constantly expanding our £2.4bn pipeline by working with universities, local councils and other local stakeholders to meet the most pressing demands of those communities.

“After careful consultation with the wider community, we are pleased to submit this application to Manchester City Council to serve the needs of the community in the First Street area and the wider city at large.”