Here’s a small selection of what people have said about us.
  • A Grade II-listed mill complex behind Piccadilly Station that has housed more than 100 artists studios for 15 years is set to be overhauled following its sale to a Manchester developer.

    The Crusader Works, currently home to Rogue Studios, has been bought from a private family by Capital & Centric for an ‘undisclosed sum’ and will cost around £25m to restore and renovate.

    Director Tim Heatley confirmed Capital & Centric have no firm plans for the site as yet, having acquired it in just four weeks, but says Rogue Studios and the other private businesses currently occupying the mills will be moving out.

    Capital & Centric, which is based in Sun House on Little Peter Street, are also the developers behind the £175m Kampus project on Aytoun Street in the city centre, and the ongoing Foundry business park project in Ordsall , Salford.

    They spotted the 200,000 sq ft site several months ago - which includes buildings on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street - while looking to the possibility of putting in a bid on the London Road Fire Station site.

    A Rogue spokesman initially expressed the group’s “shock” at the sale, but Mr Heatley says Capital & Centric have now entered into sincere dialogue with the artists to help them relocate to a new, permanent home.

    Mr Heatley exclusively told the M.E.N.: “Rogue has been there for 10 years or more, and has become a very important and viable community. They were nervous the developers would just decimate all that.

    “But they’ve had a look at the work we do, and work we have done with other artists, and as a result I think they’re a bit more relaxed.

    “We’re looking as a team at where we can help Rogue move to so we can make sure they have a sustainable home. This is an opportunity for us and for Rogue to protect that important legacy.

    “Before it was a studios, the mill was a garment works, and before that it was where they made machinery for the cotton industry. It’s just an evolution, and we’re a part of that evolution, and now the custodian of the building for the next few years.”

    Mr Heatley said that preserving the studios would protect the “eco-system” of the city, because art and culture are what attracts people to want to live and work in Manchester.

    Rogue Studios currently occupies about 30,000 square feet of the mill across three floors. Large parts of complex, which was built in 1830 by Joseph Chessborough Dyer (co-founder of the Manchester Guardian and the Bank of Manchester), are currently out of use or derelict. It has been in private hands since the 1970s.

    Mr Heatley added: “The building is falling down, and for me as a Manchester lad that’s heartbreaking to see.

    “We want to preserve as much of the character of these buildings and this city as possible, so it’s a privilege to be able to do that with the Crusader Works.”

  • The creation of a 12-acre production complex by developer Capital & Centric and the Homes & Communities Agency next to the Littlewoods Building on Edge Lane has been approved by Liverpool City Council.

    A report on Littlewoods Studios Liverpool was considered by the council’s Cabinet last Friday. The facility will contain a new home for Liverpool Theatre School, currently based in Aigburth. There will also be space for the city’s creative community, designed as an overflow of the successful Baltic Triangle district near the city centre.

    The production facility will contain 30,000 sq ft sound stages in a building with up to 50 ft ceiling heights.

    The Littlewoods Building and adjacent land is currently owned by the HCA, which would sell its interest to the city council.

    The former Littlewoods Pools Building has been vacant since 2003. Capital & Centric recently completed the £4m conversion of the Bunker Building on the wider site, a 20,000 sq ft speculative office space, aimed at digital and creative companies. The company will continue to work onsite and take direct ownership of the site with a 250-year lease from the council.

    Work on the £25m project is expected to start immediately.

  • Liverpool can forge a reputation as the UK’s ‘start-up city’.

    That’s the belief of a London-based business incubator which was head-hunted by a Manchester developer to spearhead its £6m Liverpool city centre scheme.

    Launch22 was founded in Shoreditch, but was persuaded by Capital & Centric to become the first tenant in its Tempest building on Tithebarn Street, providing 35,000 sq ft of “quirky” office space aimed at entrepreneurs.

    Liverpool-born Matthew Kennedy is Launch22’s office manager and is determined to help as many start-ups as possible.

    Their offer includes co-working space for 60 individuals, as well as desk clusters for teams taking their next evolutionary step.

    A 1,500 sq ft event space is available free for fledgling firms to make use of, as well as an impressive rooftop garden space.

    Terms range from £120 a month for 12-hour full-time access to office space and mentors every day, a £60 part-time package, and a scholarship scheme aimed at anyone from a disadvantaged background.

    The venture is backed by national charity Catch22 and is its first outside London. Matthew said: “Liverpool was considered the perfect place to put our model in to.

    “Just like Manchester has branded itself as the ‘media city’, Liverpool can be the ‘start-up city’.

    “It has a low cost of start-up, and a high quality of land, the perfect place for businesses to grow.

    “We have a global brand in Liverpool, and over recent years we have developed a Liverpolitan way of life. We have quality at a relatively low cost and in terms of quality of life outside London, this is the perfect place.

    “Manchester presents itself at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse - but we can be a part of that.”

    He said the city also has many positives on so many levels: “Liverpool has learned from its failures in the past, and that is vital for entrepreneurs as well. There’s a lot of things going for Liverpool right now politically, in terms of a pro-business mayor, and the initiatives that are popping up.

    “It has drive and passion that are the characteristics an entrepreneur needs to succeed.”

    He added: “A lot of places are tech-focused, but we’re not. We are looking to help anyone set up a business.

    “Come to our events and learn how best to use social media or ask stupid questions, or questions you might have thought were stupid.”

    Launch22 officially opens on August 3, and is offering its services free for the month.

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