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Huge new city center ‘neighbourhood’ featuring food halls, gardens and a brewery gets green light

Plans have been approved for a new food hall, brewery, night market, urban garden and beer hall complex in the city centre. ‘The Foundry’, on Store Street and Ducie Street in Piccadilly, is to be created by the people behind the likes of Ramona, The Firehouse, Gorilla and Trof.

The 3,000 capacity venue is on the site of the former Presbar Diecast foundry, dating back to 1870, and is just on the edges of Ancoats and the Northern Quarter. The site has been given ‘temporary’ approval for three years, as the council believes the area will be undergoing significant change and regeneration after this.

As well as a ‘large food and beer hall’, the proposals also feature a bakery, coffee bar, barbers, nail salon, start-up offices for small tech and creative businesses, workshops, studios, meeting spaces, record store, neighborhood gym , stores for small traders, a cycle park and workshop. There will also be green spaces and garden areas running alongside the canal, which will form part of the large beer garden.

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The Foundry will be split into two parts, Diecast and Diecast Studios. Diecast will center on the beer hall and brewery with the night market and more, and the Studios will focus on the ‘neighbourhood gym’, creative studios, tech hub, and electric vehicle charge park.

The Foundry has been devised by Joel Wilkinson, Adelaide Winter and Dan Mullen, formerly of Mission Mars, the company behind the likes of Albert’s Schloss and the Albert Hall, Trof and The Deaf Institute. They hope to employ at least 1,000 people at the site and support local artists and businesses through a variety of different means, as well as being a real living wage employer and providing apprenticeship schemes and professional development programs.

Capital & Centric are the developers undertaking the project who are behind other projects in the city centre, including Kampus. This would be Capital & Centric’s latest site in its Piccadilly East project, with the Leonardo hotel, Phoenix Apartments and Crusader Mill established off Great Ancoats Street. The Foundary would be their latest canal-side development after Ducie Street Warehouse.



Inside The Foundry creative neighborhood earlier this year

The planning approval notice said that the main beer hall space could open until 1am daily but sound will be managed. On only giving temporary approval to the plans, the planning document said: “The site and wider area are expected to undergo significant changes as a result of regeneration being promoted by the City Council and it will be necessary to reconsider the suitability and acceptability of the use of this site following this temporary period.

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Since Mission Mars Joel Wilkinson, Adelaide Winter and Dan Mullen have gone on to co-found A Very Inc, which is behind Ramona and The Firehouse on Swan Street. They had a view of opening as soon as September this year when plans were first submitted two months ago.

speaking to the Manchester Evening News Earlier this year, marketing director at A Very Inc, Andy Windsor, said: “We want it to be a new creative neighborhood and a hub for the creative industries. It’s hopefully going to be a really positive thing for the area, and with an artisan approach.



A picture inside the Foundry development earlier this year
A picture inside the Foundry development earlier this year

“Because of the size of the project, it’s going to give us the ability to make things and produce things on the premises, which is going to be an exciting thing to explore.”

The ‘temporary’ approval for the site is currently set to expire on June 30, 2025. More information about the project can be found at foundry-storestreet.co.uk.

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