Three year proposal includes temporary space for markets, performances and pop-up food outlets

LOOKS like Manchester’s long-empty Mayfield Station could come back into use much sooner than expected, with plans submitted to the council to temporarily open up part of the site opposite Piccadilly Station for work space and events – which could include markets, performances and pop-up food outlets.

The Mayfield Development Partnership* has applied to construct a temporary four-storey scaffold and timber structure, including portable shipping containers, to the south of the former station off Baring Street (pictured above).

The submitted proposals for the structure include three key elements: a sheltered market space and garden ‘for the people’, a sun terrace/events space, and raised work space. While the proposed mix of uses for the temporary site include food and drink events, performances, exhibitions, pop-up retail and co-working studios.

The partnership say the intention is to raise the profile of Mayfield over the next three years and kick-start the £850m ten-year regeneration of the 24-acre site; which could potentially provide 1300 new homes, 75,000 sq m of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, a new city park and over 7,500 new jobs.

170302 Mayfield Project2
Sketch of how the new market space may look
170302 Mayfield Project3
East and west elevation of new temporary structure
170302 Mayfield Project
U+I's theme park-esque vision for Mayfield

Opened in 1910 by the London and North Western Railway, Mayfield was constructed to relieve overcrowding at Piccadilly, however the station was closed to passengers from 1960. The site was converted into a Royal Mail depot in 1970 but closed again from 1986.

In 2009 the area was being billed as the 'Whitehall of the North' with the promise of 5,000 civil service jobs as government devolved from London. That never materialised and two years later the framework was expanded to include residential, hotels, restaurants, bars and offices to help attract private investment.

Plans to use Mayfield as a music and arts venue in 2013 as a backstop during the recession almost succeeded (Manchester International Festival staged a series of events here in 2013 and 2015) until the owners pulled the plug.

In 2014 the revised mixed-use framework was adopted by the City, and in January 2015 the Mayfield Partnership* was formed.

In December 2016 developers U+I were formally appointed development partners.

170302 Mayfield Project4

* The Mayfield Development Partnership is a joint venture between developers U+I and Manchester City Council, London and Continental Railways (LCR) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) - who collectively own the majority of the freehold and leasehold of the 24 acre site.