New £20m bid for food hall, cinema & culture hub to transform centre of Wythenshawe

The plans also include a new civic square to host events under the Levelling Up bid.

Plans to transform the centre of Wythenshawe have been put forward to the Government by Manchester City Council.

The council is chasing £20m from the Levelling Up pot to create a new civic square, food hall and culture hub, as well as fund some green projects.

It comes shortly after the council agreed to buy an existing 1970s shopping centre and multi-storey car park from previous owners St Modwen to help with the regeneration of the area.

If their bid is successful, leaders say the scheme would also create hundreds of jobs and accelerate plans for thousands of new homes on nearby brownfield land owned by the council.

An artist impression of the new food hub in Wythenshawe Credit: MCC

The main elements of the bid are:

Culture hub: Artist studios, performance space and a community cinema in a former Co-op store.

Food Hall: A large, flexible events space championing local produce by day and leading a new night-time economy through a food, drink, live music and street food offering by night.

Employment spaces: New flexible employment accommodation ranging from co-working spaces through to a new enterprise centre with a focus on local start-up and small and medium-sized businesses and larger floorplate managed office space.

New civic square and public realm: A large new focal point representing the new heart of the town centre and capable of hosting community events. Improved accessibility and the creation of small naturally- planted ‘sponge parks’ designed to increase biodiversity and help adapt to the impacts of climate change while reducing the risk of flooding.

Decarbonisation: Sustainable retrofit of existing buildings to improve energy performance and reduce carbon emissions plus the installation of solar PV cells on rooftop spaces.

An artist impression of the new culture hub in Wythenshawe Credit: MCC

What has the council said?

Councillor Gavin White, executive member for Housing and Development, said: “This is a highly competitive bid which can act as the springboard for the transformation of Wythenshawe town centre.

“It’s a confident place with huge potential. Securing this funding would accelerate the change we aspire to see and help unlock wider opportunities for the people of Wythenshawe.”

The council says the town centre regeneration will complement both the redevelopment of Wythenshawe Hospital Campus and Manchester Airport’s current investment programme.

It comes as a new Lidl supermarket has been proposed for the former Gala Bingo site and a new monthly Grub street food market has been launched.