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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Manchester

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From factories into flats


Urban regeneration aims to reverse the dilapidation prevalent in so many industrial centres.

The newly refurbished Whaulk Mill
© Urban Splash
From dereliction to 'des res'. Castlefield managed it and now Ancoats is hot on its heels.

First off the mark is Urban Splash's Whaulk Mill. Once a shell, it now houses prestigious office suites. Murrays' Mill complex is also being given a flick with the urban regeneration wand.

It is intended for residential use - as it is not solid enough for heavy commercial applications. The Ancoats Buildings Preservation trust is leading the way with £14 million of funding.

Artists impression of the northeast elevation of the new development
© Ancoats Buildings Preservation Trust
In 1989 some 50 acres of Ancoats were designated a conservation area, which led to the compulsory purchase of many buildings, including the mill complex, in an attempt to force landlords to take care of our heritage.

But where now for the area? Will Ancoats go the way of Castlefields becoming home to the employers of the workers rather than the workers themselves. Or will Ancoats retain its social and architectural roots?

As the development work continues we can only wait and see.

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