Relationships with the private sector

This account covers the relationships forged by the leadership of the Labour administration with the private sector that enabled significant projects such as the Trafford Centre and Bridgewater Hall to be built. The unwelcome imposition of the Central Manchester Development Corporation by the Conservative government, nevertheless brought government money into the city and actually there was a partnership working to achieve key projects that the Council aspired to and had been working towards. The City Challenge programme, another government funded scheme, enabled the problem area of the Hulme crescents to be redeveloped into low level housing. There were clashes when the principles of the design guide for Hulme were to be applied across the city, which ended in the resignation of the Chief Planning Officer.
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Manchester: A City with Ambition
Paving the Way for the Trafford Centre Development
Central Manchester Development Corporation
The Great Bridgewater Initiative
The Demise of Tommy Duck’s
Soundproofing and the Radical Bridgewater Design
Great Northern (Warehouse) Initiative
Hulme and the City Challenge Programme
Applying the Hulme Design Code Across the City
The Chief Planning Officer Resigned
On Reflection


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Editor’s Comments

The sub-headings have been added and the title of the chapter has been changed. Additional information has been added about Tommy Duck’s pub being demolished. I’ve read something in Ted Kitchen’s book about how he felt about Graham Stringer going to the press and not being able as an officer to defend himself or even reply, but I can’t find it so need to come back to add it when I do. The Appendices ordering has been changed to reflect the order they are referred to in the text.


[1] I don’t know whether he invented this phrase or picked it up from one of his developer contacts.

[2] Already referenced in chapter 11: ‘Detonation: Rebirth of a City’ by Ray King, Published by Clear Publications Limited, 2006

[3] See chapter 26

[4] Editors note: All ‘according to Ray King’ quotes are from his book given in the Bibliography.

[5] The CMDC Board was a very powerful and influential body of (mostly) men. It was chaired by Dr James Grigor (seconded from Ciba-Geigy) and its Chief Executive was John Glester (a senior civil servant from GONW). Glester kept assuring the government that the Councillors were not loonies. Bob Scott was also a member of the board and was no doubt influential in persuading the Board to put in money to support the 1996 Olympic bid (see chapter 25).

[6] Editor’s note: A different version of events is in various places online including (viewed 13/12/2015) that the owning brewery, Greenalls, were keen to sell but “local drinkers had persuaded the city council to put a temporary preservation order on the building, which had to be regularly renewed. By a sad quirk of fate one of the orders lapsed on a Sunday. Since all the council offices were closed for the weekend the order couldn’t be renewed until Monday morning, and thus it was that in the early hours of a Sunday morning in February 1993, Tommy Ducks was reduced to a pile of rubble.” If that account is correct, it would be referring to a Building Preservation Notice (BPN): A notice served under Section 3 of the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 that affords temporary protection to a building as if it were a listed building whilst it is considered for listing as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

[7] The public sector contribution being £12.1 million from ERDF and a Regional Challenge bid; £10.728 million from English Partnerships; £120,000 from CMDC, and £7.02 million from the Council (including £4 million capital receipts from the Free Trade Hall and £2.895 million for road works from a 2 year bid against the Highways programme).

[8] John Nicholson (Chair of Housing) attended 3; Ken Strath (Deputy Chair of Housing until May 1985) attended 2; Sam Darby (Deputy Chair of Housing from May 1985) attended 9; Basil Curley and Kath Robinson only attended the 1st meeting; Pete Keenlyside (as local Cllr) attended 10.

[9] In 1991 Hulme was one of the four wards in the city with the highest levels of unemployment and almost 50% of the tenants had been in their current tenancies for less than two years.

[10] In June 1994 he finally relented and agreed to my being a member, but most of the decisions had already been made by then and I had very little opportunity to make an impact.

[11] The legally required document for development in the city that was drafted in 1990, subjected to full city-wide consultation and formally agreed in February 1992.

[12] Kath says: how could they have been otherwise?

[13] ‘referring back’ was a device for retracting minutes, although they remain on the record.

[14] During the period of the City Challenge programme, monitoring and evaluation was carried out by the European Institute of Economic Affairs (EIEF) at Liverpool John Moores University. The reports by EIEF were supplemented by a report ‘Hulme, Ten Years On’ by the Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional futures at Salford University (SURF) in 2002. The lead person involved in both reports was Professor Alan Harding who had moved from Liverpool to Salford between 1997 and 2002 (see Appendix 24E).

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Further Reading

King, Ray; ‘Detonation: Rebirth of a City’, Clear Publications Limited; United Kingdom, 1 May 2006 (on Amazon)

Kitchen, Ted*; ‘People, Politics, Policies and Plans: The city planning process in contemporary Britain’, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd, United Kingdon, 1997 (on Google Books)

The Demolition of Tommy Duck’s pub is also mentioned in “A Tale of Two Cities” by Roy Dutton (Extract on Google Books)

Information about the history of the Bridgewater Hall on their website.

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