Manchester City Council has announced the regeneration plans to transform Wythenshawe Town Centre. The council has recently completed the acquisition of the town centre from St. Modwen’s and early plans for how the centre could be redeveloped have been drawn up ready for consultation.
The plans include the redevelopment of the current town centre and deliver a new focal point for the community, celebrating Wythenshawe’s roots as a garden city in a new civic square, new planting, trees and a large boulevard-style public realm. On top of that, thousands of new homes will be built on the Council-owned brownfield land next to the Town Centre, many of which will be affordable.
The official proposals for the regeneration of Wythenshawe Town Centre include a culture hub with artist studios, performance space and a community cinema in the former Co-op department store, a food hall with 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, as well as a 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.
A large new focal point will also represent the new heart of the town centre, 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. Sustainability is indeed a priority for the regeneration. Sustainable retrofit of existing building will help improve energy performance and reduce carbon emissions plus the installation of solar PV cells on rooftop spaces.
“Consultation is incredibly important at the beginning of a major regeneration programme like this. Feedback and input from local people about how their local town centre works for them is invaluable. We have big ambitions to improve the area for this community, but this only works if the result is welcomed by the very people that use it daily,” said Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Housing and Development.
“Wythenshawe town centre has a huge amount of potential and this investment will help improve the offer for residents and attract people to the centre as well, while also creating new jobs and new homes for the community. We have a real opportunity to create a town centre that benefits generations to come, so I would urge as many people to take part and take time to visit the drop-in. We really want to hear from you.”
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