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Co-op launches design competition

An ambitious plan by the Co-operative Group to redevelop a 8ha site in the heart of Manchester to house its head office and new cutting-edge public spaces has been opened up to bids from design teams.

The competition aims to find a group that are able to deliver a plan for the public spaces to the ‘highest possible environmental construction standards’.

The redevelopment, which has been backed by Manchester City Council, will incorporate nine buildings near Victoria Station occupied by the retailing and banking company.

It includes historic buildings, industrial history and large areas of open land and the open spaces will form ‘a key part of the plans to transform and regenerate the whole area around Corporation Street and Miller Street.’

The areas of particular prominence include a new square in front of the Co-op’s new head office and another square surrounded by a group of listed buildings between Dantzic Street and Corporation Street.

“We want the area to enjoy an international reputation for having raised the bar for environmentally sustainable commercial development and this competition offers the winning team a fantastic opportunity to create exceptional public realm,” said Co-operative Estates managing director Lynda Shillaw.

“The regeneration of the site will begin with a new purpose-built head office for the Co-operative Group which will be completed in summer 2012 to highest possible environmental construction standards.”

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