Shortlist for Manchester’s Holt Town regeneration scheme revealed

Holt Town is an inner-city district of Manchester originally established in the late 18th century as a mill with housing for its workers. The area, which is now served by the Manchester Metrolink light rail system, has previously suffered from a lack of regeneration due to a range of issues including land contamination and physical constraints linked to a former gasworks.

‘We look forward to seeing the different approaches of the shortlisted team and we welcome fresh ideas and the commitment to see the transformation of this community, including new homes and opportunities to create new employment.’

Bev Craig, councillor and leader of Manchester City Council, said: ‘Holt Town has been for many years the missing piece of the jigsaw between the city centre and the major investment in east Manchester. As such, we have big ambitions for this neighbourhood and we are looking for a team who can match our vision.

Key wider aims of the regeneration include opening up ‘safe and attractive’ access routes along Holt’s canals, improving connections to green spaces and boosting biodiversity while also ‘celebrating the distinctive industrial heritage of the locale’.


The multidisciplinary team selected for the estimated £475,000 contract will draw up a ‘forward-thinking’ long-term investment plan intended to regenerate the 30ha light industrial zone and improve links to Manchester city centre.

The study aims to unlock the potention for new infrastructure, employment opportunities and housing in the district, which lies near to Ancoats, New Islington, Sport City and the Etihad Campus and which currently features a mix of brownfield land and low-density industrial uses.

The search for a team launched in October, shortly after Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Maccreanor Lavington were picked to create an ambitious regeneration vision for the nearby Strangeways district.

The finalists – selected from 17 expressions of interest – are Allies and Morrison, Gensler, Macreanor Lavington, Planit-IE, Prior and Partners, and Studio Egret West.

Each team will now prepare their submissions to the council by the end of January 2024.