Forming part of Manchester Council’s Culture In The City initiative, two historic city centre market buildings and three arches next to HOME are set to be transformed into new epicentres of modern industry using £17.5m of Levelling Up funding, with work due to begin in the coming months.

Aiming to attract and support media businesses, tech start-ups and a range of creative ventures, Manchester Council and development partner Allied London will repair and convert the Grade II-listed Upper and Lower Campfield Market buildings – the latter formerly the Science and Industry Museum’s beloved Air and Space Hall – into an affordable hub wherein pioneering businesseses can blossom. Drawing on similar successful projects in Paris, Brooklyn and Tillburg, the updated buildings will provide 83,000 square feet of modern workspace, featuring at least 400 hot desks, meeting rooms, event spaces and other facilities, while also generating an estimated 1,600 jobs over a fifteen-year period.

Developed in consultation with creative practitioners, three railway arches next to HOME will become a ‘creative talent development centre’ run by the arts venue in a £2.2m project which will supply Mancunians with affordable co-working areas, rehearsal spaces and a range of artistic programmes for young people.

Manchester Council leader Bev Craig said: “Campfield is an exciting initiative which will see these two heritage buildings help play a dynamic part in Manchester’s future, giving innovative businesses an affordable place to flourish and helping to create the jobs of tomorrow.

“Having a location in the heart of the city centre, as part of a cluster of similar businesses, will create an environment where tech, media and creative entrepreneurs – whether they are starting up or scaling up – can network and share inspiration.

“Manchester has always been a city of innovation and creativity. Campfield will help ensure it continues to be.”

Michael Ingall, Chairman and CEO of Allied London, said: “This project is important, firstly to get two historic buildings back into a sustainable use and, secondly, it’s a project to further develop the tech, media and creative sectors in the heart of Manchester, providing more affordable and supported infrastructure and services whilst establishing interesting public areas in the buildings for the wider community’s benefit.”

The project is due to be completed by Spring 2024.

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Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Mon 9 Jan 2023