Manchester City Council's response to recent speculation about the future of the soon-to-be vacated Cornerhouse building.
The documents which are on the Young Engineers website are not 'plans' for the Cornerhouse and are many months, years even, old. They were produced on behalf of Northern Rail and Manchester City Council as part of indicative work looking at a range of potential future development options for the site and have been provided as part of a suite of information for potential developers. A preferred developer is not being selected until late 2016 and no decisions are being taken until then.
No decisions have been taken about the future of the Cornerhouse buildings once HOME - the organisation formed by the merger of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company - moves from the buildings to their new venue at First Street in Spring 2015.
Network Rail and Manchester City Council have begun a process to appoint a developer to assist in the potential delivery of a major, new regeneration scheme for the site, which includes the Cornerhouse buildings, and which could complement the improvements to the railway being delivered through the Northern Hub.
The brief for the developer will be to design and bring forward a scheme which will:
- Improve the station for the benefit of all users, its environment and connectivity with the nearby city centre neighbourhoods, including First Street
- Act as catalyst for the wider regeneration of this part of the city centre
- Integrate the arches along the eastern end of Whitworth Street West with First Street
- Provide appropriate amenity at the key junction with the Corridor and First Street
The timescale for this process is that the partners are hoping to select a preferred developer by late 2016, with development anticipated to take place over the following five years. Key criteria used for selecting the developer will include how they will take account of the heritage of the surrounding area, including the integration with heritage and character buildings and structures, as well as design quality, sustainability and regeneration benefits.
A report will be taken to the Council’s Executive once a preferred developer has been identified, but prior to their appointment. This will provide the opportunity for Members to feed into the process, and the information will be publicly available in the usual way.
At this stage, there are no specific proposals for the area, and therefore there have been no decisions taken on the Cornerhouse buildings. Following the appointment of the preferred developer, detailed plans will be developed. These will be subject to a full consultation process with local residents and stakeholders as part of the planning process.
The partners are exploring appropriate temporary uses for the Cornerhouse buildings in the interim period.