Spinningfields shown within Greater Manchester
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||Greater Manchester|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Manchester Central|
Spinningfields is an area of Manchester city centre, in North West England. It was specially developed in the 2000s as a business, retail and residential development of Manchester, and is located between Deansgate and the River Irwell. Developed by Allied London Properties, the £1.5 billion project consists of 20 new buildings, totalling approximately 430,000 sq metres of commercial, residential and retail space. It takes its name from Spinningfield, a narrow street which ran westwards from Deansgate. In 1968 Spinningfield and the area to the south were turned into Spinningfield Square, an open paved area. The Manchester Civil Justice Centre is a landmark building of the scheme and construction commenced on 1 Spinningfields, a 90-metre office building, in early 2015.
The proposal to create a central business district originated in 1997 when Allied London purchased a number of buildings around the John Rylands Library. Allied London executive Mike Ingall was convinced of the site's regeneration potential and Manchester City Council was keen to redevelop the city centre after the 1996 Manchester bombing.
The development, named from a narrow street which ran westwards from Deansgate, is bounded by Bridge Street to the north, Quay Street to the south, Deansgate to the east, and the River Irwell to the west. Financial Times said in 2012 that the development spread over 22 acres (89,000 m2) and contained 3 million sq ft of office space. By 2008 many had been completed and others were under construction or in the planning stages. The structural, civil and geo-environmental engineers were Capita Symonds Structures based in Cheadle Hulme.
Following the demolition of the old Manchester Magistrates' Court in 2006, the vacant space became Hardman Square, a new public realm area created in the centre of Spinningfields. The area was never intended to be a permanent public space, but Allied London later decided not to develop on the land and instead leave it as a green area within Spinningfields.
The financial crisis of 2007–2010 resulted in Allied London almost leaving the development half-completed but the company reached an agreement with the city council who bought the freeholds of 1 and 2 Hardman Square and 2 and 3 Hardman Boulevard which allowed the development to proceed. Deborah Linton of the Manchester Evening News claimed the cost of the freeholds would be in the region of £15 million; and it later emerged that £15.9 million was paid.
Allied London marketed Spinningfields retail area as a "Knightsbridge of the North" after letting 2 Spinningfields Square (renamed 1 The Avenue) to Emporio Armani & Armani Collezioni. The scheme's flagship thoroughfare, The Avenue, was created to attract high-end stores, traditionally based on nearby King Street. The project has come under scrutiny due to its performance, with the Manchester Evening News describing The Avenue as a "ghost town", whilst contrasting its performance with the thriving businesses in the bohemian Northern Quarter elsewhere in the city.
By 2010 Manchester City Council noted in a report that around 16,000 people were employed in Spinningfields and that the area now accounted for over 35% of Manchester's prime office space. A large number of firms in Spinningfields were noted to be financial and professional services companies. Since 2001, twelve buildings had been developed including seven different office blocks and 450 apartments, according to the report.
In July 2010, Allied London scrapped the 'Manchester Hotel' project which would have replaced Manchester House. Instead a retail and office development incorporating a retail arcade linking Bridge Street to The Avenue was created by reconfiguring the building. Tower 12, the building in question, was also refurbished.
In July 2013 it was announced that work is set to begin on 1 Hardman Street, a five-storey office block, with tenant MediaCom to occupy the entire 17,000 sq ft building. Mike Ingall described it as "a watershed for the restart of commercial development at the estate, which has been on hold since the completion of 3 Hardman Street in 2009". In November Allied London submitted plans for a new office block, the Cotton Building. Planning permission was granted for the ten-storey building in January 2014. Allied London began construction after securing a £15m loan towards the building; the North West Evergreen Fund provided £10m and Greater Manchester Combined Authority's Growing Places fund supplied £5m.
Also in January, Allied London submitted plans for the demolition of Quay House and the construction of Number One Spinningfields, a 19-storey high-rise designed by SimpsonHaugh and Partners. The building will provide over 340,000 square feet of office space and will feature a restaurant on the top floor. Ingall stated that "No 1 Spinningfields will be the district's most imposing building to date and one of Manchester's most stand-out office buildings". Allied London agreed a pre-let with PwC for 50,000 sq ft in March 2015, with demolition of Quay House beginning thereafter.
The area is dominated by commercial office developments and has been described as the "Canary Wharf of the North"; the Financial Times has noted, "London has Canary Wharf and Paris has La Défense, Manchester has its own modern financial centre in the form of Spinningfields". Its anchor tenants include Regus, Barclays, Beachcroft, Deloitte, HSBC Bank, Grant Thornton International, Guardian Media Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. Flagship buildings include 1 The Avenue and the Civil Justice Centre.
Across from 1 Hardman Boulevard is 2 Hardman Street, occupied by Deloitte and, after the Manchester Evening News moved out in 2010, DWF. Manchester Evening News vacated the site and relocated offices to Chadderton following the sale of the title from the Guardian Media Group to Trinity Mirror. 3 Hardman Street was constructed on the old Manchester Evening News building. The 16-storey building was designed by Sheppard Robson was completed in 2009 and is the second tallest building in Spinningfields.
Residential buildings take the form of the 16-storey Leftbank Apartments, which overlook the Irwell. Situated in the area is the People's History Museum, a former pump house, and on the other side of the river is Salford Central railway station.
Spinningfields is home to various different law courts. Manchester Crown Court, in Crown Square, is in the area; adjacent is Manchester City Magistrates' Court and Coroner's Court. The Manchester Civil Justice Centre, an 80 metre (262 ft) tall building was completed in 2007. The Civil Justice Centre was the first major court complex built in Britain since George Edmund Street's Royal Courts of Justice in London completed in 1882.
Also completed in 2007 are 3 and 4 Hardman Square designed by Norman Foster. 3 Hardman Square was occupied by Halliwells LLP  until it went into administration in 2010. Number 4 is occupied by HSBC Bank and Grant Thornton.
Leftbank Apartments are close to a cluster of restaurants including Café Rouge, Carluccio's, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Giraffe, Ha! Ha!, Strada, Wagamama and Zizzi. Living Ventures owns four establishments in Spinningfields: Artisan, The Alchemist, Australasia, and Manchester House. Manchester House is a £3 million fine dining establishment which opened in September 2013 and featured on BBC2 documentary Restaurant Wars. Fast food operators represented include: Costa Coffee, Greggs, Philpotts and Pret a Manger. The Spinningfields area was voted by Manchester residents as being the most family-friendly area in Manchester in a 2013 study by hotel chain Premier Inn.
A new street food initiative has been announced for Spring/Summer 2015 named 'The Kitchens', which will host a number of local traders on the Leftbank area of Spinningfields.
Granada Studios acquisition
Following the decision of ITV to relocate from its Granada Studios site adjacent to Spinningfields, in order to move to the nearby MediaCityUK development, the 13.5 acre plot on Quay Street became available for development. After entering into negotiations with sellers ITV, Allied London, alongside Manchester City Council, acquired the land in September 2013 in a £26.5 million deal. The council and Allied London have created a partnership under the name of Manchester Quays Limited, and plan to jointly redevelop the site, renamed St John's Quarter, into a mixed-use area featuring apartments, retail and 1.2 million square feet of office space.
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