Press.
Here’s a small selection of what people have said about us.
  • Scores of people queued for hours in pouring rain to get their hands on ‘locals-only’ flats in the city centre.

    A total of 50 off-plan flats were up for grabs at Crusader Mill in Ancoats – reserved exclusively for people who live and work in Manchester.

    Developers Capital and Centric were offering the flats to locals as they wanted to prevent investors siphoning them off.

    The idea of selling ‘locals only’ flats came about last year, when the first 20 apartments in the former Victorian mill were sold.

    There was such a huge demand for the first wave of flats that 50 more were released on Saturday.

    Josh MacGregor, a 27-year-old pilot, was one of the first people to line up in the queue on Chapeltown Street, just before 8am.

    The first time buyer said: “What attracted me to the property was that it’s not open to investors. I heard there’s quite a lot of empty flats in Manchester.

    “There aren’t really many other flats up for sale to be honest and a lot of the newer builds are sold off to foreign investors before they are even built.

    “[The developers] also want to make it a community, which is important. There’s more of a chance of you getting to know your neighbours.”

    Linda Sinclair, a specs art work coordinator, also braved the elements to queue up along with around 50 other house-hunters.

    The 31-year-old is currently renting a flat near Victoria Station and is eager to get on the property ladder.

    She said: “I have been searching for a flat to buy in Manchester for ages. This was recommended by a friend. I got really excited about it.

    It’s in a good area, and the flats are spacious. Working full time, I find flats go really quickly. There should be more flats available for people who will actually live here. It’s very rare.”

    One of the first people to put a deposit down on the flats, which will available in September next year, was Nam Day, an executive assistant.

    The 31-year-old, who recently moved back to Manchester after a stint living in London, had queued up from about 8am to bag a place at the renovated mill, and was beaming from ear to ear after snapping up a a spacious £230,000 one bed flat.

    She said: “I heard someone else was going to go for it so I put down the deposit. It’s a good location and I like the idea of there being a good community.

    Capital and Centric are going to hold a lot of events here, so we can get to know our neighbours. I have just come from London, where you often don’t know who your neighbour is. I also love the history of the mill. I looked at another place before to buy, but it was quite expensive. This one was good value for money, it’s quite big.”

    Tim Heatley, one of the founders of Capital and Centric, said he hoped more developers would get on board with the idea of selling flats just to owner occupiers.

    He said the company advertised the flats by posting flyers through the doors of neighbouring properties. They also put up flashing road signs advertising the open day, and spread the word through social media channels.

    He said: “We want to create a vibrant community, who will spend money in the community. You get a much better sense of ownership and stewardship that way.

    A lot of the developments you see in the city centre are solely for investors. Owner occupiers don’t get a look in. In the 12 months since we held the last open day, we thought more developers would follow our lead, but they haven’t.

    “It’s something we would like to see more of in the city. It shouldn’t be a radical thing that we are building homes for people to live in.”

  • The double-decker used by Tinie Tempah and Mumford & Sons will provide 14 beds all year round to Manchester's homeless.

    A pioneering initiative to transform a double-decker tour bus into temporary accommodation for the homeless is set to be launched in Manchester.

    The vehicle – used by big names in the music industry including Sam Smith, Tinie Tempah, David Guetta and Mumford & Sons – will have a second life as accommodation with 14 beds, two lounges and a kitchen, as well as storage space.

    By providing beds all year round it will offer 5,110 nights’ sleep for the homeless over the first year.

    It is the idea of former youth worker Sid Williams and his wife Tess.

    They have set up Stockport-based charity Embassy, which takes delivery of the bus in Junes, to bridge the gap for Greater Manchester’s homeless while they seek secure permanent accommodation.

    Guests will be referred by partner agencies to the bus, which will be parked securely overnight at Manchester City Mission.

    It will be fully managed and staffed, with the aim to tap into a network of Manchester businesses who could offer full time employment during their stay.

    The bus will be parked at Stagecoach’s depot during the day with the bus company offering this service free of charge.

    The first vehicle will cater specifically for vulnerable men with the hope that more vehicles could be brought into the fleet subject to funding.

    Sid said: "A safe place to sleep and rest is the most basic of needs, but many people who find themselves homeless have been deprived of that. You can’t face the process of finding a permanent home when you are exhausted and living hour to hour.

    "The bus is a quick way to provide safe and comfortable beds, adding to the city’s provision. Once people are there, they’ll be able to make useful connections with agencies, businesses and churches who could change their future, providing support into permanent homes and full-time employment."

    Capital&Centric, a property and regeneration business, has donated half of the money needed to buy the vehicle and is backing the charity in its fundraising drive to cover the £100,000-per-year running costs.

    Tim Heatley, Capital&Centric co-founder and chair of Andy Burnham’s Business Network for the Homeless, said: "We need pragmatic and cost-effective solutions to helping our homeless and rough sleepers. When Sid set out his vision for the Embassy bus project we were sold, we knew we had to get behind it.

    "Businesses have a role to play in seeking out these creative ideas and making them happen. I’ll be encouraging that as part of the Business Network, but I’m leading by example with my own business, putting our hand in our pocket.

    "The bus will become a lifeline for those in the city that need rest, support and a route back into a community that cares."

  • Today it’s a derelict hulk – but these newly-released pictures show what life was once like inside the stunning Littlewoods Building in Edge Lane.

    The building has been empty for years, but owner Capital & Centric is now planning to turn it into a film and TV production centre.

    It was opened in 1938 by Littlewood Pools and once housed thousands of workers checking millions of pools coupons.

    Ahead of its transformation, Capital & Centric is trying to prepare a “people’s history” of the building and those who worked there.

    It’s already compiled some pictures, including these here from the National Football Museum.

    Now developer John Moffat of Capital & Centric is appealing for anyone who worked or visited the site to share their memories of the famous building.

    The building was home to Littlewoods and sister businesses from 1938 until the mid-90s.

    It also played a key role in Britain’s war effort, with the factory producing parts for aircraft including Wellington and Lancaster bombers.

    Mr Moffat says he wants to see people’s stories, photographs and mementos from the building.

    He said: “When people find out we’re the team behind Littlewoods Studios, everyone stops to tell us their own unique memories. The building, quite rightly, holds a special place in a lot of hearts across the city.

    “We’re giving the building a new life, transforming it into a hub for film and TV that will be known around the world. But it’s just as important to us that we recognise its rich heritage as well as looking to a bright future.

    “I hope people take up the challenge to tell us their stories … the quirkier the better. We’re looking to weave these memories into our work to bring the building back into use for generations to come. We’ve already had some great memories shared with us, but we want far more.”

    Capital & Centric is working with Liverpool council to turn the building and the area around it into the “Pinewood of the North”.

    New studios could be built on land next to the old building, while the 1930s landmark itself would house supporting staff, potentially including technicians and set designers.

    * Anyone who wants to get in touch with Capital & Centric should email memories@capitalandcentric.com

    You can also send a letter – no stamp required – to:

    Littlewoods Memories

    FREEPOST - RTXY-USYY-HAXE

    Sevendale House,

    5-7 Dale Street,

    Manchester,

    M1 1JA

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