Rebirth of Mayfield: Manchester

Andrew Potter
The Mayfield transformation breathes new life, energy and ideas into this neglected part of Manchester.

It’s been a long time coming. The historic 24-acre Mayfield site near Manchester Piccadilly station, once home to the Mayfield railway station, has been derelict for many years. In 1960, the Mayfield station was closed to passengers and in 1986 it was permanently closed to all services. Now the regeneration project is finally under way, becoming one of the city’s most prominent commercial developments.

Mayfield’s regeneration, along with the proposed Network Rail Northern Hub scheme and HS2 station is expected to ensure a lasting legacy for Manchester and over time contribute towards the Northern Powerhouse growth agenda.

The Mayfield Development Partnership brings together the London and Continental Railways (LCR, wholly-owned by the Department for Transport), Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and regeneration and property development company U+I. The joint venture Partnership has ambitious plans to create a new £850m mixed-use community, transforming the area into a high quality urban neighbourhood in the heart of the city.

U+I was selected as development partner in 2016, with a successful bid which encapsulated the vision for the site to become a gateway into Manchester city centre. Working alongside architects Studio Egret West, U+I has planned an inclusive approach that engages residents, local businesses and visitors.

Presenting the project to a global audience at MIPIM 2017, the Partnership premiered a specially-commissioned film and poem, Manchester's Sprawling, by Manchester spoken-word artist Argh Kid. The aim was to show that this is no ordinary mixed-use development. Instead the plans focus on high quality place-making, building on Manchester’s past, embracing its culture and heritage. Some of Mayfield’s iconic buildings will remain and the railway heritage of the derelict station will be preserved.

"The more you scratch away at the site's history, the more enthralling it becomes. Our vision is to use this history to shape its future into a bustling and vibrant area which plays a major part in enhancing Manchester. It is going to be an exciting journey."

James Heather, Development Director, U+I

Social and economic integration, connectivity and sense of belonging and ownership are priorities for the scheme. These values will be reflected in the 1,300 homes, 6-acre city park, retail and leisure facilities, over 1.2 million sq ft of office space and 350-bedroom hotel – creating 7,500 office, retail, leisure and construction jobs for the district.

Already Mayfield is developing a sense of place, inspiring curiosity and encouraging visitors, including GRUB Food Fair, Manchester International Festival and the U+I Manchester launch party. The area is opening up to the city once again, with the first new usage established at Baring Street, where GRUB is located and where U+I has situated its Manchester project office.

This will be followed by opening up the railway arches for artisan traders, and the Mayfield depot will create a unique event and exhibition space, with improved routes to/from Manchester Piccadilly station. This first phase will progress through 2017 and early 2018, creating a destination which will activate both ends of the site.

Faithful+Gould is taking a leading role in supporting the Mayfield Development Partnership, having first worked with U+I on the winning bid. We are now developing an inspiring strategic regeneration framework (SRF) which sets out the Mayfield vision.

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