Ancoats and New Islington are two areas that sit on the north eastern fringe of Manchester city centre. As Manchester continues to grow as a living city, we were appointed to work with Manchester City Council and the Homes & Communities Agency to develop place-making and design guidance that would underpin the new development in the two areas.
Both areas were developed as a result of the Industrial Revolution, Ancoats as a tightly grained, mixed use district with a grid street pattern and many large mill complexes; New Islington as a more organic collection of mill workers’ terraced housing, warehouses and workshops.
The two areas suffered decline as the areas’ traditional industries became uncompetitive and the areas were left as pale shadows of their former selves by the late 20th century.
Working with retail development specialist CF Commercial, we established a series of urban design strategies for the area focusing. By focusing on the strategic location for business and retail at ground floor a catalyst is established which helps set-out and reinforce the primary pedestrian routes into and through the area. An adjacent public realm animates the spaces and provides an amenity for the local and adjacent neighbourhood communities.
The study is a place-making and positioning piece that will help shape and define this new and distinctive urban quarter, adding the next layer to Manchester’s record of developing successful place-making strategies.