Neville and Giggs's Manchester development "threatens historical buildings"

20 January 2017 by
Neville and Giggs's Manchester development "threatens historical buildings"

Former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs's proposed £200m St Michael's development in Manchester has propelled a synagogue and police station onto a top 10 list of threatened buildings and artworks.

The ‘Buildings at Risk List 2017' by the C20 Society, which campaigns for 20th century architecture, said the Manchester Reform Synagogue and Bootle Street Police Station are "under threat" from the development plans. It describes Bootle Street Police Station as a "distinguished neo-classical building" and argues the Manchester Reform Synagogue is of "particular historic interest" as the first new post-war building to be constructed in the city after WWII.

The 700,000 sq ft project consists of two new skyscrapers, intended to transform the city's "largely disused" Jackson Row area. A five-star, 200-bedroom hotel is planned for the 31-storey ‘north building'.

The proposals include plans to incorporating the synagogue and "a number of the original interior fittings" into the lower levels of the north building, however describe the police station as "difficult to convert to alternative use". A spokesperson for the development confirmed submission for planning permission is imminent.

The scheme is being planned by St Michael's Partnership, a consortium including Jackson's Row Developments, formed by Neville, Giggs and businessman Brendan Flood; Singapore's Rowsley, and Beijing Construction and Engineering Group International, in partnership with Make architects.

Catherine Croft, director of the C20 Society, said: "We don't want buildings to survive as decaying monuments, rather we want to see them brought back into use so they can make a positive impact on the environment. We do not need to demolish great architecture to allow room for innovation and economic growth. These are buildings which should enrich our lives and those of future generations."

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