1. Design for Great Ancoats PRS scheme submitted

    Manchester based Tim Groom Architects revealed its designs for a new £30 million 134 apartment scheme on behalf of Mulbury Homes.  The eight to 14 storey development at 74 – 88 Great Ancoats Street has been designed specifically for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and all the apartments will be available for rent on completion.

    Designed to reflect the historic street pattern, and to be sensitive to the surrounding warehouse buildings of Ancoats and the Northern Quarter, the façade of the building will be brick with glazed detailing to accentuate the reinterpretation of the historic street pattern.

    The 134 apartments will range from studios through to three bedroom apartments.  All the apartments types meet the newly adopted London Design Guide Space Standards making them circa 10% larger than many of the apartments that are currently on offer in the market place.  Sizes range from 400 sq ft for a studio to 900 sq ft for a three bedroom.

    The ground floor includes reception and lobby areas as well as 6000 sq ft of commercial office space.

    The upper level apartments have fantastic views of the city with balconies for all units and extensive communal roof top gardens facing South West.

    Tim Groom, director, Tim Groom Architects said:  “Great Ancoats Street is such an important route into the heart of Manchester and is on the doorstep to the Northern Quarter and New Islington.  We’ve worked hard on the design to help knit back together what has become a disjointed and, in places, run down street scape.

    “The design of the apartments and the buildings reflect the increasing demand in the city centre for larger homes as well as the more traditional studio spaces.  More and more people want to stay in the City having moved here as young professionals and embraced City Centre living.”

    Mulbury Homes and Tim Groom Architects have consulted with Manchester City Council, Heritage England, Places Matter and also held a public consultation on the plans in May.  Deloitte Real Estates is planning consultant and the scheme was submitted for planning approval on Tuesday 23 June 2015.  If planning permission is received, the development could start on site as early as January 2016 and be completed by summer 2017.

    Greg Mulligan, a director of Mulbury Homes, said: “This is an exciting and inspiring scheme that will offer quality city living in the private rented sector. While this is our first PRS scheme, we’re already looking at a good number of city-centre development opportunities in Manchester to complement our portfolio of homes for private sale and our affordable housing developments across the North West.”

    Mulbury Homes specialises in bringing forward quality development opportunities in the affordable housing and extra care sectors, as well as developing urban and city centre open-market housing developments.

    The news received extensive press coverage including Architects Journal, BD, Property Week, Manchester Evening News, Place North West, Insider, Manchester Confidential and the Businessdesk.

  2. PP O’Connor complete demolition works for 2 St Peter’s Square

    Irlam based demolition and bulk earthworks specialists PP O’Connor  has safely and systematically demolished four multi-storey office buildings at St Peter’s Square in the heart of central Manchester.  Century, Bennett, Sussex and Clarendon Houses have been removed to prepare way for the No.2 St Peter’s Square, a new 11 storey building comprising 161,113 sq ft of office space and 5,142 sq ft of ground floor leisure space.

    PP O’Connor was appointed by construction and engineering company Laing O’Rourke who has been hired by Mosley Street Ventures (the developers of No 2 St Peter’s Sqaure), which is headed by Fred and Peter Done.

    Charmaine O’Connor, chief executive, PP O’Connor said:  “The demolition of four buildings in the heart of the city centre is not without its challenges, we’ve worked closely with our client Laing O’Rourke, and MPT (who are building the new Metrolink tram stop at St Peter’s Square directly opposite our site) to minimise the impact and disruption caused by the works.

    “We delivered the project on time and on budget, with all of the materials excavated or removed either being recycled back into in the final building or used elsewhere.  I look forward to seeing the completed No 2 St Peter’s Square in 2017.”

    With a project value to PP O’Connor approximately £600,000 the scope of operation included: the removal of all remaining loose furniture; soft strip of internal features; complex building separation from the remaining development within the block ahead of the hard demolition activities.

    The demolition work also included the removal of ground floor slabs on two of the blocks.  The remaining two buildings have basements and PP O’Connor developed a temporary works solution to retain the existing basement walls during the demolition works and facilitate the piling operations when the construction of the new building begins.

    The work was carried out in the full gaze of the general public, many of whom passed the time watching the work progress as they waited for trams in St Peter’s Square.

    Demolition rubble from the superstructure was taken from site to PP O’Connor’s local recycling facility and crushed to and crushed so that it could be returned to site to create the piling platforms to the new basement area of No. 2 St Peter’s Square.  Metal removed from the site has been recycled.

    With its headquarters in Irlam and regional office in Liverpool, PP O’Connor is a leading demolition, bulk earthworks and civil engineering contractor.  The firm directly employs 170 highly skilled people and provides regular training courses as well as working with five apprentices this year.

    The story received press coverage in Manchester Evening News,  Place North West, Insider and Demolition and Recycling International.

  3. OBI Property recruiting for a marketing manager

    Our clients, OBI Property are looking for a marketing manager to join their Manchester City Centre based team.

    OBI Property was set up in 2010 and is a commercial real estate firm which provides innovative solutions to its landlord and occupier clients and this year received the Niche Agency Team of the Year at the Property Awards, following on from winning the Insider Northwest Office Agency Award in 2014.

    The role is an excellent opportunity, working with the team across all aspects of the business.  For a full job description and how to apply visit the OBI Property website.



  4. James Robertshaw install shade sails at Evelina Children’s Hospital School

    Bolton based manufacturer James Robertshaw has completed the design, production and installation of a series of shade sails for the Evelina Children’s Hospital School, which is part of the Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Trust, Westminster.

    The school is located on the third floor of the building, consisting of a glass atrium housing the children’s hospital, unfortunately during hot summer months the heat and glare from the glazed atrium becomes very uncomfortable for the children and teachers.

    Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust approached James Robertshaw, having seen the firm’s installation of the shade sails they had designed and installed at the Nottingham College of Leadership, in a bid to help find a solution, without comprising the ambience and beauty of the atrium space.  James Robertshaw was successful in its bid and set about designing a bespoke solution for the school.

    James Robertshaw’s solution was to design sail shades made of flame retardant, tensile, specialist screen fabric treated with a permanent anti-bacterial coating, which makes the sails easier to clean and reduce risks of infection.

    The sail shades cover a 225 square metre area and range from a base height of four metres to a maximum height of eight metres.  The sails are tensioned one metre from the glass to allow easy window cleaning access.  James Robertshaw installed the sails over a weekend, so as to not impact on the school and used specialist installation equipment.

    The end result has been welcomed by Guy & St Thomas NHS Trust.  Anne Hamilton, head teacher, Evelina Children’s Hospital School said:  “We are thrilled with the S102: Shade Sails by James Robertshaw and we know the children and teachers are too.  The project was not without its challenges but the team at James Robertshaw worked very closely with us and brought us along each stage of the design process.”

    Tony Garbe, area sales manager, James Robertshaw said:  “It has been an honour to be able to provide an effective and affordable solution to a tricky ten year problem at the Children’s Hospital and it is exactly the kind of project we relish at James Robertshaw.

    “After completing a similar project for the Bank of England in summer 2014, we knew we had the experience and expertise to help find the right solution to assist the school.  We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious client and project.”

    The Evelina Children’s Hospital School has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, it teaches around 1,500 children and young people aged 2-19 each year. Pupils are inpatients, outpatients or siblings of patients at the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

    Patients too unwell to access the atrium school are also taught at their bedsides on the wards, and children who regularly come in for dialysis are taught on the dialysis unit during their treatment.

    James Robertshaw has been manufacturing blinds and awnings for over 150 years.  They have a history of developing innovative ways of integrating the latest technology into their products, tailoring products to meet specific client needs and providing creative solutions to the most complex of jobs.

  5. We’re working for Knocker app

    We’re delighted to be appointed to provide strategic advice to Knocker app – a refreshing new way to search for property to rent or buy.

    Designed and developed in Manchester by Jon Grant and Sam Easterby-Smith, the new app is already proving a success and has certainly captured the imagination of the press with fantastic pieces appearing the Telegraph, City AM and The Next Web.

    As Jon and Sam develop and refine the app, Ashurst Communications will be on hand to provide advice, guidance and hands on public relations support.

    About Knocker app

    Knocker is a quick and easy way for people to find homes for sale and to let.  It locates you, using your phone GPS, then you simply swipe through the property information.  If any of the properties take your fancy, you simply click on them to find out more, share and save the details.

    Knocker draws its information from Zoopla, and is available nationwide.  Unlike other property portals, it does not need you to sign in and answer a lot of questions before you use it.  When we’re looking for somewhere to live, we’ll often go an area, check out sign boards and then visit lots of different agents.  Knocker brings all that information to your phone, while you are in that area.

    To download Knocker click here.