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Mayfield, Manchester

One of the most significant
heritage-led regeneration
projects in the UK

When the call came from Sir Howard Bernstein asking U+I to bid for the opportunity to transform a tranche of Manchester’s city centre, Richard hesitated. Could they retain the railway vaults rather than demolish them as per the brief? Was this a level playing field? After all, U+I was the rank outsider.

In the minutes that followed, Sir Howard explained that he and his partners were looking for fresh thinking, innovation, passion, and something special for the city he then led, as CEO of the City Council.

Richard’s next call was to David West at Studio Egret West, the architectural practice that Cathedral Group, then U+I, had delivered formative regeneration projects. A creative team was assembled and went to work.

The rest, as they say, is history.

An incredible vision for Manchester was conceived, challenging the brief, focussed on socio-economic impact, and delivering the first public park in Manchester City Centre in 100 years.

Covering 24 acres and almost 3 million square feet of buildings with a gross development value of over £2 billion, Mayfield is now on track and on site to deliver a profound transformation. And with it, over £7 billion in net social economic impact. With all of this, Manchester will enjoy something new, with the reveal of something old and will be an even better city, forever.

The largest public-private partnership venture to date working with Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and LCR U+I, sees the delivery or 2,000 new homes, restaurants, cafes, shops and hotels alongside the new park.

A significant public art programme will provide a cultural epicentre to the development and 2.3 million square feet of commercial office space – equivalent to 4,000 football fields – will ensure the 9-5 scene is bustling.

Talk about a breath of fresh air.

Mayfield has played host to a series of temporary pop-ups already, and is currently home to, among other things, Escape to Freight Island – Manchester’s most exciting outdoor food and drink venue.

The first phase of the scheme was granted planning consent at the end of 2019 and the first phase or works – the new Mayfield Park – has been delivered in a £23m joint-funding agreement with MHCLG (now called DLUHC).

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