Major plans to transform Wythenshawe town centre are about to get under way as planning permission has been granted (25 March 2010) for building to start at Etrop Court for six retail outlets and a new district office for Manchester City Council.
Manchester City Council has negotiated with St Modwen – the UK’s leading regeneration specialist – which owns and manages Wythenshawe town centre – to take 50,000 sq ft of office space in its Etrop Court development. The new offices will be home to Children and Adult Services and the Wythenshawe Regeneration team and will accommodate up to 500 staff.
The building on Poundswick Lane will be anchored by two major retail stores operated by Wilkinson and Netto and is part of St Modwen’s ongoing £100m regeneration of the town centre.
Prelets with these operators totalling 35,000 sq ft of retail space were announced in March last year.
With enabling works are currently under way, it is expected that construction work will start in June 2010 and that the building will be completed in late 2011. The Council plans to move staff to the new facilities in 2012.
A key part of the changes in store for Wythenshawe include a new bus station at Forum Square, to help to create a transport interchange with the Metrolink, which is being extended to Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe. The Metrolink line and bus station will link the main employment centres in Wythenshawe.
The current bus station site is earmarked for future redevelopment starting next year so that it is operational by 2012.
Richard Cowell, Executive Member for the Environment, with special responsibility for transport policy, said: “The improved transport links and building plans mark a major step in the regeneration of Wythenshawe town centre. Our ultimate aims are to make the area is a better place for local people and to attract investment and business development in the town. We are working closely with partner agencies and together we can reach these targets.”
Michelle Taylor, Regional Director at St Modwen said:”A thriving and bustling town centre which provides jobs and vital local amenities has been the vision of our partnership with the city council since we took ownership.
“This development will help deliver a significant part of that vision as we build further on the foundations we have been preparing over the last few years.”
In addition Willow Park Housing Trust is building its new headquarters in the town centre for 140 staff, which it hopes to finish by the end of this year.
Councillor Eddie McCulley, Chair of Wythenshawe Area Committee, said: “Improving the town centre on a long-term basis will bring major development, social and commercial opportunities to an area which really deserves the investment.”
The approved plans for Wythenshawe town centre are part of the updated Wythenshawe Town Centre Masterplan, which builds on previous developments including the ASDA superstore and the new retail units on Rowlandsway which have been delivered by the partnership between the Council and St Modwen.