New Owners : Allied London
It was confirmed on Monday 16th November that the London Road Fire Station has been sold to developer Allied London. breaking a 30 year stalemate. The previous owners Britannia Hotels have used the city centre grade II* listed building as a storage facility for decades and it has been officially “At Risk” since the 1990s. Manchester City Council’s attempt to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order in 2011-2 was unsuccessful. We had worked hard since then to see the building come back into a productive use. The building is a place rich in social history that has really captured the imagination of local people and we are very excited that this is the first huge step towards our goal. This change of ownership was repeatedly described to us as impossible so we are extremely optimistic about the future. Read more on the BBC News website.
On the 5th December we joined our friends at the Bulls Head pub to celebrate this change. There was live music and a light parade around the building. See a short video of the occasion here.
A few days later on the 9th December Allied London invited the public to join them in an event at the old Granada building to share ideas about the future of the building. Listen to Emma talking about this on the Radio just before the event. Michael Ingall CEO of Allied London met with representatives of the Friends of London Road Fire Station prior to a well attended public meeting. Michael explained his vision for the future of the building showing photographs of the interior (unseen for years) and referring to the research and public consultation already carried out by the Friends. He talked about the building becoming an international destination. There were sighs of relief in some quarters to hear that Allied London intend to take a light touch to the refurbishment making the most of the fabric of the building as it is. Michael made clear that Allied London have commercial ambitions for the building but that they are also keen to listen to ideas about how the building could and should be used. He invited anyone who is interested to share their ideas using a scrap book. These were handed out on the day but can be downloaded from www.createlondonroad.com People are always asking if they can go inside or have a tour of the building. We have our fingers crossed that this could just happen sometime in 2016.
Have your say
If you have ideas about what should happen to the building then please visit www.createlondonroad.com to have your say.
While all this has been going on the lovely people at Panda Arts and Redbrick in a Wall have made a short documentary about the building. They are also encouraging you to share your stories about London Road on their website.