The development comprises a mix of commercial and residential uses contained in a high quality collection of contemporary buildings within the Northern Quarter. The buildings are arranged to create significant, functional spaces knitted together by a fine grain of urban design.
Almost all of the upper space at first/second floor and above is residential. This residential core generates activity within the area and provides a permanent population to complement the commercial occupiers.
The ground or lower floors across the site are accessible by the public. Vibrant activity will occur to the south around the revitalised former fish market which will contain a well managed market. The route to Shudehill will contain a mix of shops and bar/restaurants and the new blocks will form a retail courtyard at ground level. This retail activity will spill into Smithfield Square, the major public space.
To the north of the square are the Embroiders Guild Museum and Costume collection. The Smithfield area links fashion, textiles, costume gallery, embroiders guild and textile art together with the existing Craft Centre and is reinforced by high quality public art.
The area will become a neighbour-hood for local people, residents and visitors from the wider city and abroad. It will be an exciting, revitalised part of Manchester.
The scheme will incorporate best practice in terms of environmental sustainability and will provide a demonstration project for the many issues being promoted by URBED through the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood Initiative.