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artist rendering of archway shops
Image: Stephen George + Partners.artist rendering of archway shops

These derelict historic railway arches in Manchester are getting a serious glow-up

Bougie coffee shops will be arriving imminently

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee

Manchester is running out of space. For the past decade or so, the northern city’s population has been increasing alongside its reputation, and now there’s no more space in the cool areas for early thirty-something professionals to move in and eat their sourdough toasties. But fear not, artisan coffee wielders, the Arch Company has recognised this issue, and plans are in place to rectify it imminently.

The Arch Company is a pretty ‘does what it says on the tin’ sort of organisation. Got empty arches in need of a refresh? They’re your guys. The firm’s upcoming Mancunian project would see a large-scale renovation of ten railway arches on Norton Street in the Green Quarter, just a quick jaunt from Salford and Old Trafford.

Currently lying derelict, the proposed plans aim to transform the entire area by bringing new businesses and a modern atmosphere to the southwest of the city. The update would see loads of new space for restaurants, shops, and cafes, all whilst bearing in mind Manchester’s industrial heritage.

According to Santosh Patel, a construction consultant working on the project: ‘The new spaces present a great opportunity for independent retail, restaurant, and other leisure businesses to develop in an area that will grow and thrive with them.’ Basically, it's a win-win-win.

This project is part of a nationwide effort from the Arch Company, which is called Project 1000. The project is about renovating 1000 arches across England and Wales over the next six years, and has £200 million behind it. The company is probably working below some old forgotten railway near you, with ongoing projects in Wigan, Winchester, Windsor, and even some places that don’t begin with ‘W’.

There’s no confirmed dates for completion of Salford’s arches as of yet, but planning permission has been granted by the council, so watch the space. Hopefully this will mean more space in what is rapidly becoming the UK’s ideal city for anyone who wants a metropolitan life without having to speak to too many southerners day-to-day.

Time Out on Manchester

We at Time Out keep a close eye on what’s going on in and around Manchester for all you news-hungry northerners. Did you see that Soho House is opening a members club in Manchester this year? We did. Maybe you missed this brand new zig-zag library coming to the city. Maybe you’re in the area and looking for a list of the best restaurants the city has to offer. Whatever it is, we’ve got it.

Did you see that 40 British schools have been named the best on the planet?

Plus: these five picturesque areas have been shortlisted to become Scotland’s third national park.

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