Intercontinental Tower, Manchester

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Intercontinental Tower
Artist's render of how the preferred design was to look when constructed
General information
Status Never built
Type Hotel and residential
Location Windmill Street, Manchester
Cost £80 million[1]
Management InterContinental Hotels Group
Antenna spire 200 m (660 ft) max
Roof 160 m (520 ft) est.
Technical details
Floor count 30 to 48 stories est.
Design and construction
Architect Stephenson Bell
Developer Benmore[2]
Other information
Number of rooms 250
The Intercontinental Tower would have formed a coherent cluster with the Beetham Tower.

The Intercontinental Tower, Manchester is a cancelled landmark skyscraper for construction in Manchester City Centre, England. The proposed high rise would have been a five-star luxury hotel run by InterContinental Hotels Group, and developed by Northern Irish development firm, Benmore.

The skyscraper was proposed in a press release by developer Benmore in May 2009 and discussed with Manchester City Council in summer 2009. In 2010, the tower was part of the city council's preliminary plans to regenerate the surrounding civic quarter, and opposition to building a skyscraper in the heart of its historic district has been minimal.[clarification needed]

The tower would feature a helipad and two decorative spires, much like the Willis Tower in Chicago, which would take its pinnacle height to approximately 200 metres (660 ft), 30 m taller than Manchester's tallest skyscraper, the Beetham Tower. The plans for the 48-storey tower were drawn up before the recession but were abandoned when the financial market crashed. Planning negotiations have resumed and architect Roger Stephenson has designed a 25-storey tower to contain 270 hotel rooms and a presidential suite at the top. The theatre façade will be retained to become the entrance to the hotel foyer. The structure will be created behind the theatre's façade.


The skyscraper was proposed in May 2008 as the Theatre Royal Tower[3] and the initial design was modified to its current state. Its height was increased from approximately 118 metres to 200 m.

Developers Benmore, who have invested in Manchester, revealed in a press release that they were in "advanced negotiations to bring an internationally renowned hotel chain to the City - the first of that brand in the North West".[4] InterContinental Hotels Group were linked to the development.[5] A factor in the proposal is it would be within the security cordon for Manchester Central Conference Centre which is a popular destination for business and political conferences.[6]

The tower would be close enough to the Beetham Tower to form a coherent cluster. Also planned is a helipad on top of the skyscraper which would be the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.[7]

In October 2009, the general manager of Manchester's Radisson Edwardian Hotel believed the city had reached a 'tipping point' and would not see any major hotel investment for three years.[8] Manchester City Council held a public consultation on the plans in February 2010. The Radisson Edwardian had "no objection to the re-instatement of the theatre here [Library Theatre] but object strongly to the proposal to redevelop the site for a ‘tall’ building which they define as any building exceeding 15 storeys."[9] The council acknowledged that "a new quality hotel" was being planned but claimed the "The principle of a taller building on this site was established when planning permission was granted for a 17 storey office building on 2 June 2005. The impact on the historic environment (and in every other sense) of a scheme of this height was considered to be acceptable at that time. Therefore, officers do not consider that development at the Theatre Royal site should not exceed 15 storeys." Under the proposal the skyscraper would be built to the rear of the Manchester Theatre Royal, which would be restored and its future preserved.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Benmore signs InterContinental Hotels at Theatre Royal". 17 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Intercontinental Tower at Benmore Developments
  3. ^ "Theatre Royal Tower, Manchester - Building #5574". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  4. ^ Benmore Group Benmore Continues to Invest in Manchester - Press Release
  5. ^ "Intercontinental Hotels Group eye Manchester : September 2009 : News : Architecture in profile the building environment in Scotland - Urban Realm". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Ottewell, David (12 August 2009). "Labour party conference will return to Manchester". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. 
  7. ^ "Intercontinental And Benmore Set For Skyscraper - Article #2294". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Hotel market to catch its breath after growth spurt -". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Manchester City Council Report for Resolution". Manchester City Council Executive. 10 February 2010. p. 5. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Burdett, Jill (17 September 2009). "30-storey tower plan for Theatre Royal". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. 

Coordinates: 53°28′39″N 2°14′48″W / 53.4774°N 2.2466°W / 53.4774; -2.2466