Work starts on £40 million east Manchester retail development

Work starts on £40 million east Manchester retail development

Work starts on £40 million east Manchester retail development

Nov 2009

A ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start on site of the first phase of the development of the new Openshaw district centre, which will be anchored by an 80,000 sq ft Morrisons store, took place today.  Luke Murphy and Kate Weir, both aged 10 years, from St Clement’s RC Primary School in Openshaw joined other VIPs including representatives from the City Council, New East Manchester, Dransfield Properties and Morrisons to cut the first sod of turf.

The £40 million retail development on an 11.9 acre site off Ashton Old Road also includes a range of smaller shops, 670 car parking spaces, office accommodation, improvements to the public realm and a piece of public art.  

Yorkshire-based developers Dransfield Properties Ltd are undertaking the construction of the 250,000 sq ft District Centre off Ashton Old Road in partnership with urban regeneration company New East Manchester.  PDR Construction is undertaking this first phase of the construction work.

Commenting on the development, Sir Ian Gibson, Chairman of Morrisons, who himself grew up in Openshaw said: "This retail development marks a great opportunity for us to bring our fresh food offering to Openshaw, in line with our national to nationwide strategy for new stores. We operate at the heart of many communities and we're pleased to be a central part of the significant regeneration of this area that the district centre will bring."

Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Jim Battle, said: ”Building this new superstore marks the start of a new era for Openshaw.  The new district centre will breathe new life into this important part of east Manchester, eventually creating 750 new jobs and creating the opportunity for further facilities in the future including a new leisure centre.  This is an excellent example of the public and private sector working together to bring forward investment that will significantly improve the lives of local people.”  

Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of New East Manchester, said: “We are very pleased to have Sir Ian here to mark this important milestone for Openshaw. When all the phases are complete this development will form a much needed new commercial heart to the area.  Openshaw is already benefiting from improved amenities and developments including a fantastic new health centre, the Sporting Edge and the New Roundhouse community facilities, new homes in the Toxteth Street area and a new Greggs bakery that has safeguarded 250 jobs.  All this is helping make Openshaw a more attractive, family-focused neighbourhood which will benefit existing residents and encourage more people to choose to move to the area.”

Retail Property Developer for Dransfield Properties, Andrew Malley, said: “The provision of a new district shopping centre to form the focus of community activity and help restore pride in Openshaw is a vision we shared with New East Manchester and Manchester City Council since the inception of the scheme some 7 years ago.  We fully expect that the development will create a successful and vibrant shopping area and create significant employment but also act as a catalyst to further investment in East Manchester.

“We are delighted that Morrisons will form the focal point of the scheme as anchor tenant and create a successful outlet for the company, its new employees and shoppers alike.  The scheme will put Openshaw back on the map and will generate optimism within the local community.”

For further information on New East Manchester visit and further information on Dransfield Properties click on


For further information contact Roz Hughes at New East Manchester on 0161 223 1155, ext 2167/07967 800395 or Amanda Holmes at Dransfield Properties on 01226 360644/07824 444017.

Notes to editors

New East Manchester Ltd (NEM) is an Urban Regeneration Company - a partnership between Manchester City Council, the national housing and regeneration agency Homes & Communities Agency and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).  It is NEM's role to turn the Regeneration Framework into action, secure the required public and private funding, lead on specific major development projects and co-ordinate regeneration and renewal initiatives in the area.

Sir Ian Gibson CBE, was born in Openshaw, Manchester, and lived at Brittania Street (now long gone), and Ashton Old Road until he was 9 years old.  He attended primary school in Higher Openshaw before moving to Levenshulme until the age of 21.  He has subsequently lived in Germany, Holland, Spain and France.

He attended Manchester University and after graduating joined the Ford Motor Group in Dagenham before being appointed by the Nissan Motor Group in 1984 where he reached the positions of President of Nissan Europe and Senior Vice President of Nissan Group.

Sir Ian joined the Board of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc in September 2007 as Deputy Chairman, leading to his current appointment as Chairman in March 2008 following the retirement of Sir Kenneth Morrison.  He is also currently the Chairman of the Board of Trinity Mirror, to which post he was appointed in May 2006.

His previous appointments include Chairman of BPB plc, the Court of the Bank of England, Deputy Chairman of Asda Group plc, Senior non-executive director of Northern Rock plc and a non-executive director of both GKN plc and Greggs plc.

Dransfield Properties are based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and specialise in retail led urban regeneration projects. The company has won a number of national awards for developments in other parts of the country including the BCSC Gold Award for the regeneration of a run down factory site in Gainsborough Lincolnshire. For further information about the company visit the website at


For further information, contact:-

Public Relations Department, Dransfield Properties Ltd
Tel: 01226 360644

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