Manchester @ MIPIM partner Trilogy reveals plans for the future of the iconic Great Northern Warehouse.

Plans by Trilogy and Peterson Group for the redevelopment of the Great Northern site in Manchester have now been awarded approval by Manchester City Council.

The proposals, drawn up by architect and fellow Manchester @ MIPIM partner SimpsonHaugh alongside landscape architect Planit-IE, will see the historic six-acre site transformed into a new heritage-led neighbourhood.

With an emphasis on a carefully curated mix of uses, this new heritage-led neighbourhood will create 1.5 million sq ft of office, leisure, retail and residential spaces, alongside high-quality green spaces, with better public access and connections to the wider city centre.

Great Northern
Great Northern

The site is made up of the Great Northern Warehouse, Deansgate Terrace, a 1990s extension known as “the Leisure Box”, Deansgate Mews, and Great Northern Square. When Trilogy and Peterson acquired the site, it had been developed over time in a piecemeal fashion, with several unsympathetic alterations, additions and uses to the listed buildings. Plans approved today will see such additions removed, returning the buildings to their original splendour.

The planning consent means this landmark heritage building in the heart of the city will, for the first time, become available as high-quality office accommodation that truly reflects the changing requirements of visitors, workers and business owners.

A new glazed atrium will be sensitively formed in the centre of the Warehouse to bring natural light into floors, with office space arranged around both this and the character-rich brick walls and vaulted ceilings.

A commitment to sustainable design and energy saving will be demonstrated by upgrading the thermal performance of the warehouse and a targeted BREEAM Excellent standard, which is rare for listed buildings of its kind. Extensive amenities and a range of carefully landscaped outdoor spaces will provide unrivalled wellness provisions for staff.

Deansgate Terrace will be restored and refreshed to provide 30,000 sq ft of flexible commercial space within the upper levels. This space will allow start-ups to sit alongside established businesses in an exciting and vibrant new business community connected via bridge links to the Warehouse and the amenities contained within.

A new pedestrian street, to be named Dean Street, will be created between the Warehouse and Deansgate Terrace. Deansgate Mews will be retained with improved access, affordable space for local independent businesses and continued facilities for community use. This amenity-focused offer focuses on independent businesses and brings something different to the city centre.

The Leisure Box site will be redeveloped into three residential buildings comprising 746 apartments, with a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom homes. Two taller buildings of 27 and 34 storeys will rise above a 2-storey podium building. This new development will retain the foundations and basement floor structures of the existing Leisure Box, substantially reducing the carbon footprint of new construction, and ensuring a reduction and rationalisation of car parking spaces on site.

Great Northern
Great Northern

The new residential buildings are detailed to complement the red brick tones and grid-like façades of the site’s heritage buildings. The homes benefit from access to internal amenity space, outside terraces and green space. On the roof of the podium building, a 2,000 sq m shared private courtyard will provide protected, sheltered spaces for residents to meet, socialise and relax.

Great Northern Square, which sits at the front of the Warehouse, will be transformed into a welcoming green oasis providing biodiverse amenity space for residents, workers, visitors and families to meet, relax and play. This space will be re-landscaped to make it more accessible and welcoming. The square will provide a focus for the new pedestrian routes created through the development and will accommodate informal events and other activations. A sandpit – which has proven to be popular with families since its arrival – will return as a free play facility in the city centre.

An additional new pedestrian route – named Alport Street, in recognition of the Alport Town district historically located on the site – will be introduced to connect Deansgate and Watson Street; improving connection routes through the site and improving links to the neighbouring new Deansgate/Castlefield Metrolink entrance. 45% of the site will be public realm, with the amount of public space on the site increasing from 8,660 sq m to 12,000 sq m. Green space on the site will double to 883 sq m thanks to improvements to Great Northern Square, which will become a biodiverse oasis in the heart of Manchester.

Manchester City Council’s 2017 Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF), updated in 2019, laid out ambitions for this key city centre site to establish it as a ‘cultural, business and residential’ destination through improvements in its pedestrian connections to the rest of the city, the removal of the unsightly 1990s additions of car park ramps and the ‘Leisure Box’ which houses the cinema, car park and gym. The SRF made provisions for residential buildings, of scale and density, to be added to the south of the site.

The project is expected to generate £38.2m in GVA per annum. Work is expected to begin as early as 2024.