University Challenging?

It seems that Trafford Council have their sites on Stretford for student housing with the Essoldo building front and centre as part of the new masterplan. It will be interesting to see how that would happen. The following text is taken directly from the updated Stretford Masterplan which you can read in full here. Views below are those of the author of the masterplan.


“The Grade II listed Essoldo Cinema has been vacant since 1995. The Council has  proactively engaged with the owner of the building over several years in order to bring the building back into active use. Whilst a number of proposals have been explored with the owner, to date these have not come to fruition and the building remains vacant.

Essoldo plan

There is a specific opportunity to bring the former Essoldo back into active use as part of the UA92 student campus. New development of low scale buildings could be provided sensitively around the Essoldo building to provide a mixture of student residential types within single sided buildings, mews and townhouses. The former Essoldo building itself will provide opportunities for the provision of student amenities and other uses accessible to the whole community, including the potential for a relocated and significantly enhanced library facility.

The provision of new development will protect and enhance the original entrances to the Essoldo and effectively screen the buildings blank elevations. There is potential to create a shared surface at the north side of the Essoldo with front doors from low rise town house student accommodation to activate this area. A new pedestrian link would be provided through to the canal opening up access to this important asset.

The effective reuse of the former Essoldo and development of the adjoining land and buildings will bring a long term vacant landmark building back into active use, secure the future of this listed building and help to strengthen the linkage between the Stretford Metrolink stop and the Town Centre whilst improving access to the Bridgewater Canal and taking full advantage of the proximity to this waterside setting.

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3 responses to “University Challenging?

  1. This could be a very good or very bad thing for the area. Will you be attending the public consultation on the 10th October? I’d love to see them make the most of it’s cinema past and definitely not too student centric. I also can’t quite understand how they can now CPO this place when they wouldn’t do it for the public beforehand. It seems we aren’t paying what Mr Neville is. Overall I’m looking forward to seeing how the plans could help revitalise the area, but I think a lot of people are going to have to write letters and go out of their way to fight for what they want as a community. Otherwise we could very easily end up with a soulless bunch of high rises and less of a community than we started with.

    Oh, and a HUGE no to the high rise developments. No more than 5-6 storeys high please. Let’s not dwarf the architecture and open the floodgates like they have in central Manchester.

  2. And I’d be interested in your opinion on what you’d like to see the Essaldo turned into, within the realms of this development.

  3. Stretford and Urmston is where I grew up. I wouldn’t trust the council to stick to the plans. I now live in Blackpool and we have an old cinema called The Regent that has been refurbished. It has showings of old films and it seems to get booked up. Its a shame our history is being messed with or torn down.

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