Here’s a small selection of what people have said about us.
  • Generous donations of mattresses and bedding from Greater Manchester businesses mark the latest step in the city-region’s coordinated and sustained efforts to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

    The past week has seen a joined-up approach swing into action as those most in need faced freezing temperatures and life-threatening weather conditions.

    New facilities opened across the city-region as temperatures hit freezing with an unprecedented number of referrals to shelters and other accommodation, while the new Homelessness Business Network began to co-ordinate the private sector’s response.

    Now mattress manufacturer Leesa Sleep Europe has offered 25 new memory foam single size mattresses free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis, and are willing to deliver to sites across the city-region at their own expense.

    Meanwhile property developers Capital & Centric responded to calls for donations by giving 30 sleeping mats and 30 sleeping bags to organisations delivering emergency provision.

    Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham welcomed the donations, saying it demonstrates how everyone can come together to do their part to end homelessness and rough sleeping.

    Andy added: “It is important to pay tribute to all those people who worked tirelessly last week and made a vital difference. It has been a uniquely tough and demanding seven days and I am proud of Greater Manchester’s coordinated and concerted effort to pull together to help those most in need.

    “Tackling the humanitarian crisis that is our homelessness and rough sleeping epidemic needs to involve the public, private and third sectors. Last month I announced a new Homelessness Business Network, launched to give the private sector an enhanced role in tackling the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping, as well as making it easier for businesses to get involved.

    “Generous and forward-thinking donations such as Leesa’s and Capital & Centric’s will make a real, instant impact and it is gratifying to see this kind of involvement from such organisations.”

    Tim Heatley, chair of the newly-established Homelessness Business Network and co-owner of Manchester-based property developer Capital & Centric, said: “It is acts of generosity like this that the Business Network will encourage.

    “The mattresses are a great start and will pave the way for our work with the wider business community to encourage some really creative responses.”

    Greater Manchester’s Homelessness Action Network recently published a radical plan to end rough sleeping by 2020.This also forms the foundation of a new 10-year vision to tackle all forms of homelessness.

    The Network was set up by Andy following his election last May and is a partnership of charities, businesses, local authorities, the public sector, people with experience of homelessness, the faith sector and other Greater Manchester organisations.

    As the Beast From the East and Storm Emma made life doubly difficult for Greater Manchester’s homeless and rough sleeping populations, accommodation was opened in locations as diverse as fire stations in Tameside and central Manchester, churches across the city-region and Oldham’s EIC UKIM Mosque, with donations from other mosques funding transportation to the site.

    And the Mayor is able to confirm a grant of £5,000 from the Homelessness Fund to the outreach charity Coffee4Craig, which coordinates volunteers supplying food and toiletries to those living on the street. The amount is matched by £5,000 to The Wellspring Stockport, which in its history has supported over 1,500 rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation.

    On Tuesday, March 6, Greater Manchester became a Vanguard City,recognised by The Institute of Global Homelessness alongside Adelaide in Australia and Edmonton in Canada as a city working to eradicate or reduce rough sleeping by 2020. Some 10 additional cities across six continents are expected announce their participation in the coming months.

    In December the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, an important part of Greater Manchester’s efforts to end rough sleeping, announced a running total of £135,000.

    To make a donation or find out more about the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, visit:

    Organisations are encouraged to apply for Leesa mattresses as soon as possible by using the following email address and entering ‘Homeless Cold Weather Mattress’ into the subject line:

  • Liverpool City Council is close to spending £1.8m on the purchase of the 11.5-acre MTL plot next to the former Littlewoods HQ on Edge Lane, completing the site assembly for the Liverpool Film Studios project.

    The council’s cabinet next week will be asked to sign-off the purchase of the land, previously owned by Homes England and once the home of bus and coach group MTL. The project will be delivered by developer Capital & Centric, which has planning permission for the first part of the scheme at Littlewoods and plans to start work in the summer.

    The Film Studios will be made up of office and support space in the 180,000 sq ft art deco Littlewoods building, for which C&C and the council agreed a 250-year lease in April last year. That deal included a six-acre plot fronting the building, which will house the first element of new-build – 40,000 sq ft of studio space and 5,000 sq ft ancillary.

    C&C told Place North West that interest is already so high that the MTL site is required to expand the scheme further, with more studio, workshop and office space, as well as parking.

    The firm’s director John Moffatt said: “The level of interest from potential tenants has been incredible, considering that we’ve not really marketed it yet, and we’re close to making some announcements. The council are really supportive of the project and have been proactive in securing the expansion site for future phases. We hope to be on site in the summer and have studios up and running before the end of 2019.” C&C last year delivered the 20,000 sq ft Bunker workspace project next to Littlewoods.

    Liverpool is the UK’s most filmed city outside of London and the Liverpool Film Office recorded its busiest year in 2017 with 289 film and TV projects shot in the city, with 1,359 filming days providing an economic impact of £11.1m, the council said.

    Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s digital and film industry has reached a tipping point where a major film studio would complete our world class offer and supercharge our plans to create one of Europe’s leading creative centres.

    “We have unbelievably talented writers, actors, directors, technical crews and programmers, our Film Office and locations are second to none, and now with the Liverpool Film Studios we will soon have the very best in green screen filming and editing suites.

    “This is a growing multi-million pound industry with the potential to deliver hundreds of highly skilled jobs and the purchase of the MTL site ensures the future growth of these studios and is a major statement of intent to cement our reputation as the Hollywood of the North.”

    Moffatt concluded: “We’re well on our way to delivering a world-class filming destination for the UK, with one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings at its heart.

    “This is an important milestone in securing the land for our work at Littlewoods, where we’ll mix heritage and new build development to form a creative hub for the North. Demand for the space has blown us away and we can’t wait to announce our first residents in the coming months.”

  • As buzzwords go, ‘liveability’ is having its moment.

    At intellectual level it’s about a city’s culture, vital infrastructure and its people’s values. For me, it’s what makes somewhere an awesome place to live.

    The onus is on property developers not to create soulless apartment blocks designed by spreadsheet - great for function, terrible for soul.

    The key is creating neighbourhoods where every design decision is geared towards the people who’ll make a life there. We’re doing this with KAMPUS, our joint project with Henry Boot Developments.

    The 2.3-acre former Manchester Met University site at the end of Canal Street has it all: 60s brutalist architecture, Grade II listed Victorian warehouses, cobbled streets and canal-side views. That’s before we’ve started building new homes.

    It’ll be green, set around a secret garden. It’ll be buzzing, with bohemian bars and shops. And it’ll be beautiful, with identity and style.

    Communal spaces will be in the highest, most valuable spaces, opposed to in low-value, window-less cells in the basement. This will be a space to be used for things that aren’t supposed to make money, a village hall or a pop up art gallery perhaps?

    Liveability is about mixing basics with brilliance – that’s not always easy to do. The basics are ensuring people have immediate access to transport, feel safe and have amenities. The brilliance is encouraging patrons to be expressive and stamp their own identity on the neighbourhood.

    As we get closer to opening KAMPUS, we’ll be doing more to create this marriage. For now though, we’ve got about a million bricks to lay.

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