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Oxford Road Corridor To Join Up With First Street?

The Hotspur Press building, Cambridge Street, Manchester

Aneel Mussarat's MCR Property and Nils Wagner's Blue Dog Property are consulting on the future of the landmark Hotspur Press building.

The two developers, who are promoting the site through joint venture Elmloch Ltd., say the site at Cambridge and Gloucester streets could bridge the Oxford Road academic and science corridor, and the First Street office, leisure and residential development.

"The site is ... just outside the First Street Strategic Regeneration Framework Area. It forms part of the Oxford Road Corridor which is a major focal point and identified opportunity for achieving accelerated and added growth," a consultation document said.

The cluster of four buildings and an open site are not listed, and are not in a conservation area, but the plan comes as concern about the redevelopment of Manchester's historic fabric grows.

The landmark, parts of which date to 1801, is sure to attract strong heritage interest.

There are concerns the buildings are deteriorating. Earlier this year squatters had to be removed.

“Although the building is not in a conservation area, nor does it have any formal heritage designation, the majority of people, myself included, fully recognise its significance to the city," Elmloch director Nils Wagner said.

“Manchester is steeped in history and a 19th century building of this nature connects us to that past. Our intention is to preserve as much as we can of the existing buildings; however, as outlined in the public consultation, we have to consider their structural integrity and safety as a primary focus."

A planning application is expected before the end of the year. Deloitte and Hodder + Partners are advising.