First phase of east Manchester’s Lime Square Development Opens for Business!
A new 80,000sq ft Morrisons store which is the first phase of the £40 million Lime Square development in Openshaw, east Manchester has opened this week.
Sir Ken Morrison and Sir Ian Gibson, of Morrisons, officially opened the new store at 9am on Monday morning watched by members of the Morrisons board and a crowd of waiting shoppers.
The new store has been taken on a 35 year leasehold deal with the Barnsley based developers Dransfield Properties. It is the first new opening in the country with an in-store Peacocks outlet – the fashion retailer has taken 6,000 sq ft following a deal announced between the two companies earlier this year.
The new store has created 320 new jobs with 144 going to local unemployed people who have been trained by Morrisons.
After the store opening Sir Ian Gibson, who was born and spent his early school years in Openshaw, was invited to officially dedicate the new steam hammer sculpture commissioned for the development.
Called Dead Blow the £175,000 piece of public art, which stands 29 ft high, has been funded by Dransfield Properties and was created by the award winning sculptor Robert Erskine – it is designed to be part of the main pedestrian walkway on to the centre.
Work is due to start on the next phase of Lime Square in February next year. There is already significant interest from retailers in the further 76,550 sq ft of new space being created on the 11.9 acre site which has 670 new car parking spaces.
Managing Director of Dransfield Properties, Mark Dransfield, said: “Delivering this scheme has been a true partnership with Manchester City Council and New East Manchester.
“It is fantastic to see the Morrisons open and the car park full of shoppers, there is a real buzz in the area about the development and we are looking forward to starting work on the next phase in the Spring. We have already had a great deal of interest from retailers keen to have a presence in this part of Manchester.
“It is quite remarkable that we only took possession of the site 12 months ago and in that time the area has been transformed and delivered 320 new jobs at the Morrisons store.”
Lime Square is part of one of the country’s biggest regeneration programmes - New East Manchester and Manchester City Council helped to deliver the scheme through Compulsory Purchase Orders; the original site comprised 40 different land interests.
Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester said: "It's great to see the first phase of the district centre complete. Openshaw has already benefited from major investment in housing, health and community facilities and we will continue to work towards delivering further improvements for this part of east Manchester, creating a better place for people to live."
Picture shows left to right:
Nick Wright from Dalby Developments, Andrew Malley from Dransfield Properties, Gillian Boyle of New East Manchester, Sir Ken Morrison, Mark Gunther of Morrisons and Mark Dransfield.
Lime Square: Plans for the new scheme in Openshaw on an 11.9 acre were unveiled in a public consultation in 2005. The scheme is being delivered in phases with the overall project expected to deliver up to 750 new jobs in the area.
The first phase is the new 80,000 Morrison’s store which opened on November 15th. Work has been completed on schedule by contractors PDR. The next phase of work will start Spring 20100.
This second phase will deliver new modern office space as well as 76,550 sq ft of additional retail space and a new health and fitness centre.
The scheme has been brought forward by Barnsley based Dransfield Properties Ltd working in partnership with Manchester City Council and New East Manchester.
The new sculpture is called Dead Blow and has been created to reflect the industrial history of the area; it stands 29 ft high and 35 ft wide and was completed at the nearby Thos Storey factory. Ashton Old Road had to be closed for three hours while it was craned into position a week before the new Morrison’s store opened.
For further information, contact:-
Public Relations Department, Dransfield Properties Ltd
Tel: 01226 360644