New plans would bring purpose built 'first of its kind' LGBTQ+ housing development to Manchester

The development would be built on the site of a former hospital in Manchester
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This is how the ‘first of its kind’ purpose-built LGBTQ+ extra care housing development could look. New proposals show plans to build 120 apartments for over-55s from the LGBTQ+ community on the site of a former Spire Hospital. The hospital, on Russell Road in Whalley Range, was demolished in 2019 and has been empty ever since.

Now, Great Places Housing Group has unveiled its plans for the project, which will include two apartment blocks. One will be a ‘four to five storey’ brick building including 80 one-and-two-bedroom flats, and another will have 40 apartments, also of one-and-two-bedrooms.

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The smaller block will have 40 flats available to first-time buyers and eligible customers on a shared ownership basis. However, the larger building is designed for over-55s, with properties available for social rent. It will also have shared facilities, lounges and treatment rooms, and landscaped gardens.

To live in this building, residents will need to be aged 55 years or over, and the majority of residents will be members of the LGBTQ+ community from Manchester. Great Places, which has worked alongside Russell Road Community Steering Group, Manchester City Council, and LGBT Foundation to develop the plans, says ‘the aim is to provide an open and inclusive, physical and psychological place of safety for the older LGBTQ+ community’.

“Russell Road will provide high-quality, affordable, and inclusive homes for older people who identify as LGBT+ or allies, as well as shared ownership opportunities for local residents,” added Helen Spencer, executive director of growth at Great Places. “We believe this scheme will not only meet the specific needs and aspirations of the LGBT+ community, but also enhance the diversity and vibrancy of Whalley Range as a neighbourhood.”

Designs for the development in Manchester (Photo: Great Places) Designs for the development in Manchester (Photo: Great Places)
Designs for the development in Manchester (Photo: Great Places)

Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing, said the scheme will be a ‘landmark development for Manchester’s LGBTQ+ community ‘. He added: “Now it’s the time to present the proposals to the wider community – and I’d urge as many people as possible to take a look and give us their thoughts. This feedback really does help ensure developments like this complement and enhance our neighbourhoods.”

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