Manchester’s iconic Cornerhouse building is ‘important’ to the city and must be saved, claims the woman behind the e-petition that now has more than 1,000 signatures against any proposed demolition.
As MM revealed last week, Polly Bentham, from Manchester, started the petition after it emerged the building is already being earmarked for re-development once the Cornerhouse have moved to their new HOME arts complex in First Street.
Major improvements to Oxford Road station have opened up a regeneration opportunity for a 500,000sq ft site, which could see the Cornerhouse building be demolished to make way for the new development.
“The campaign to save the Cornerhouse buildings was started because, in our opinion, they are valuable to Manchester in lots of ways,” Ms Bentham said in a statement.
“As buildings and spaces with character, for their local heritage and history, as a meeting place, bringing visitors to that part of town, as a hub for arts and culture – the comments on the petition explain it really well.
“We know that in the creation of HOME, existing cultural uses are moving from the Cornerhouse buildings in spring next year.”
The council confirmed to MM that they are working with Network Rail to bring in developers to move the project forward, though no specific proposals will be brought forward until developers submit them.
Any suggestions that a decision has been taken to either retain the building as part of the development or demolish it was refuted.
“The council stated on Friday that no decisions have been taken on the buildings’ future,” she said. “Our understanding is that a developer is yet to be selected for the project.
“If this is all true, we have to speak up strongly now whilst there is still chance to influence the development design.”
Ms Bentham has now called for the council to provide more details on the re-development.
“Has the scheme bidding process started?” she said.
“If not, are they willing to take the positive decision now that they will only consider developers whose plans don’t involve demolition of the Cornerhouse buildings?
“What is the timescale for the planning application and what public consultation is planned? We need more information.”
The petition has seen a strong response so far, notching up more than a 1,000 signatures, after hitting 500 in just 24 hours.
Ms Bentham added: “We want to demonstrate to the council that there are a large number of people across Greater Manchester and further afield who want the buildings to be retained and re-used, not demolished.”
To sign the petition, click here.
Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.