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City centre site set for redevelopment

City centre site set for redevelopment

Up to 2,500 new homes could be built on one of the last few sites earmarked for redevelopment in central Manchester - but it could mean a reduction in size for a small park.

Vimto Park lies next to several Manchester University buildings on the south side of the city centre, between the former BBC Oxford Road site that is being transformed in the Circle Square mixed-use development, and the Mayfield site near Piccadilly station, which is also set to be transformed.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the development could see the old Sackville Street building transformed into a hotel, with several tall buildings being added. 

The plan has been drawn up between town hall bosses and the University of Manchester. The higher education institution expanded in 2004 when it merged with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), which owned the buildings around the Vimto Park site. 

While the park will be reduced in size by a new building on its eastern edge, it will not vanish entirely, and the famous Vimto sculpture from which it takes its name will remain. Any displaced trees will be relocated. 

As well as hundreds of new hotel rooms, the site will see the construction of new apartments aimed at people in their 20s and 30s. There will also be more patches of greenery, 132,000 sq ft of office space,buildings for cultural and community use, bars and shops.

The site also lies close to several planned developments just across Whitworth Street, including the Kampus development near Canal Street. This plans to use the former Aytoun Building once owned by Manchester Metropolitan University and turn it into apartments, with a  rooftop 'village' of Dutch style villages above it. 

Other outstanding projects will be the eventual redevelopment of the London Road fire station, which lay idle for many years after Britannia Hotels bought it in the 1980s but never sought to bring it back into use.


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