Leading property company, Bruntwood, has submitted plans to Manchester City Council for an exciting new retail and leisure concept that will form part of the wider Circle Square masterplan and transform the area around Manchester Technology Centre and under the Mancunian Way on Oxford Road.
The scheme will occupy the vacant courtyard area adjacent to Manchester Technology Centre that sits underneath the city’s iconic flyover, offering a range of pop-up and semi-permanent retail and leisure fixtures.
Subject to planning approval, the aim is to attract a variety of operators including creators, makers and street food operators, specifically selected to compliment the Circle Square ethos of ‘opposites attract’, creativity and ‘firsts for the city’. The concept will act as a precursor for the retail offering at Circle Square, the £750m new city centre development by Bruntwood and Select Property Group, providing a major boost to the Corridor Manchester community.
With a focus on innovation, the scheme has been designed to attract aspiring entrepreneurs and established traders looking to try something new. Flexible and affordable leases will be offered as well as additional support, from business planning right the way through to delivery. It will provide opportunities for both start-up and established operators looking to try something new, catering for morning trade through to late evening, seven days a week.
The scheme will include a total of 12 units, one of which is earmarked for an independent coffee house operator and another a nano-brewery. It will also include a further four food and beverage outlets, three retail concession stands, and three ‘container-style’ retail units.
Due to launch in early November, it will be curated, operated and managed by the team behind Bruntwood’s award-winning ‘Afflecks’, the iconic Northern Quarter shopping emporium.
Toby Sproll, Head of Retail & Leisure at Bruntwood said: “Creating a sense of place is essential to our vision for Circle Square. We want to attract a mix of makers, operators, innovators and start-ups, providing them with the opportunity to expand their existing offer or even try something a little different.
“Ever-evolving, this scheme will provide a much needed boost to the existing retail and leisure offer on Oxford Road – not only to support the thriving 130,000 strong population of students, workers and residents on Corridor Manchester, but also to make this a destination for people to visit when out and about in the city.
“A five minute walk away along Oxford Road we’re already on-site with the 40,000 sq ft ‘University Green’, which forms part of the University’s £1 billion Campus Masterplan and redevelopment. The 12 units will provide new spaces in which to socialise, dine and shop and complement this exciting offer at Circle Square.”
Tony Martin, General Manager at Afflecks said: "As we celebrate 35 years of successful trading, this is an exciting opportunity for Afflecks to open up further opportunities to independent innovative traders in an exciting area with high footfall. The scheme will allow cross fertilisation and will also act as an incubator to grow and develop businesses that will benefit from the wider development of the Oxford Road corridor and in particular the Circle Square development.”
On completion, the flagship Circle Square development will include over 1m sq ft of commercial office space, 1,281 new homes, 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space for shops, studios, bars and restaurants. A multi-storey car park and two hotels will provide additional amenity to the site.
The buildings will be centred around 250,000 sq ft of public realm home to over a thousand plants and flowers and 180 semi-mature trees, and a green space the size of four football pitches.
Significant development work is already taking place on-site and by early 2020 over 60% of the masterplan will be complete. Select Property Group’s Vita Student development of 604 high-quality student apartments, is on course to complete later this year.