The forgotten Manchester railway arches that will 'become new destinations for food, drink and retail’

It follows a similar project being approved in Salford and will include food and drink spots.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Ten derelict railway arches will ‘become new destinations for food, drink, leisure, and retail’ in a forgotten corner of Manchester city centre.

That’s because planning permission has been granted to renovate the arches, on Corporation Street in Red Bank. 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The hope is to transform the area near Angel Meadow into ‘a ‘street’ of arches that will appeal to potential tenants in the current marketplace’, the company said. It has pitched the development as a plan for the arches ‘to become new destinations for food and drink, leisure and retail businesses to occupy’ while also respecting the city’s history.

“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.

How the railway arches on Corporation Street might look. Picture: Pick Everard. How the railway arches on Corporation Street might look. Picture: Pick Everard.
How the railway arches on Corporation Street might look. Picture: Pick Everard.

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.”

However, breathing new life into Victorian-built structures isn’t without its challenges, added Alan Soper, studio director at designers SGP. One issue on Corporation Street was ‘substantial level differences from the front to the rear of many of the units’, and ‘clever design’ was needed for requirements like fire escapes — because the arches back on to the River Irk, so an exit route can only go through the front.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added: “By any standards, arches are not a ‘normal’ building type and each can differ considerably in height, depth and shape; realising the potential of these previously overlooked spaces takes experience and good technical know-how if we are to refurbish them to modern occupancy standards.”

Both the Manchester and the Salford projects form part of Project 1000, The Arch Company’s £200m plan to bring a thousand empty or derelict spaces into use across England and Wales by 2030. 

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.