Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester Fort Draft Strategic Regeneration Framework

The report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Neighbourhoods) is now attached.


The Manchester Fort Shopping Park was established as a bulky goods shopping destination in 2004 and had since evolved into one of the largest and most successful retail parks of its kind in the North West. It was a well-known feature of the City’s shopping landscape. The Park occupied a strategic location in North Manchester; adjacent to the intersection of the main radial routes of Cheetham Hill Road and Queens Road and played a significant role in contributing to the economy and social wellbeing of Manchester and complements the City Centre and established district centres of Cheetham Hill, Harpurhey and Newton Heath.


The owners of the Park were now looking to continue their long-term investment and commitment to ensuring that the Park continued to play its part in the continued regeneration, revitalisation and growth of North Manchester. It was noted that the Park was also located adjacent to the Northern Gateway area, which extended northwards from the edge of the City Centre to Queen’s Road, incorporating the neighbourhoods of New Cross, Collyhurst and the Lower Irk Valley. Over the next 10 to 15 years, the Council, working with Far East Consortium (FEC) intended to bring forward up to 15,000 new homes in this location and the Park would play a key part in the local retail offer for new and existing residents in the Northern Gateway.


The vision established in the draft Development Framework sought to make much more of the space currently dominated by the remnants of the bulky goods offer through a comprehensive redesign of this section of the Park.  It was envisaged that the redesign could be achieved through the sub-division or remodelling of the existing bulky goods floorplates facilitating a significant enhancement of the Park’s offer by creating an opportunity to deliver smaller, more flexible units capable of accommodating a variety of new formats, as and when leases came up for renewal or of earlier opportunities arose. It was explained that the vision may not be realisable in the short term, but it was important to set a positive context for the future, to support and encourage investment that sustains and enhances the Park.


Within the Park as a whole, the draft Framework envisaged some broadening of the retail offer, with the potential for a convenience food offer to help diversify and provide greater resilience for the Park, subject to proportionate testing of impact and alternative locations.


It was explained that the Park owners (Nuveen) had already undertaken a period of informal public consultation which provided the local community with an opportunity to view and comment on the draft Development Framework at an early stage of its preparation. This public consultation was publicised through approximately 2,000 information leaflets distributed to the surrounding community, social media posts and posters in community venues. Two public consultation events were held at the Shopping Park in July 2019 to provide local residents and stakeholders with the opportunity to find out more and to comment on the initial draft document. There was also a dedicated project website which hosted the consultation materials and an online feedback form.



It was reported that the intention was to now undertake a more formal consultation exercise with residents, shoppers and wider stakeholders focused on the detailed proposals set out in the Draft Framework. Subject to the approval, the intention was that the draft Framework would be the subject of a public consultation exercise that would take place in Spring 2020 involving landowners, local residents, businesses, developers, statutory and non-statutory bodies and other local stakeholders. Feedback would be gathered to help refine and finalise the Framework. Once the representations had been assessed, a final version of the Framework, incorporating any necessary amendments, would be brought back to a future meeting of the Executive for consideration and approval.




1.         To approve the draft Framework as a basis for a public consultation exercise that will be undertaken with the local community and other stakeholders.


2.         Requests that a further report be brought back to the Executive following this public consultation exercise, setting out the details of the outcomes of this process and any amendments that have been made, in advance of a final version of the Framework being approved.

Supporting documents: