Historic Manchester site to re-open this spring


Mayfield to become home to a weekly street-food fair

The historic Mayfield site in Manchester city centre will open to the public next month for the first time in more than 30 years – as a unique street-food destination and workspace with a small community garden.

The Mayfield Development Partnership – a joint venture between Manchester City Council, LCR, Transport for Greater Manchester and mixed-use property regeneration specialist U+I – has announced that a small part of the site will open to the public on Friday May 19th.

Land next to the former Mayfield train station building on Baring Street will be transformed by the temporary installation of a series of shipping containers housing street food traders at ground level with offices upper levels.

Anchored by Grub Manchester – the weekly street-food fair – visitors will be treated to an ever-changing roster of six of the city’s and country’s best street-food traders along with craft beers created by Manchester’s Runaway Brewery. The food fair will initially operate every Friday and Saturday from 12 noon through to 10pm and every Sunday from 12 noon to 8pm.

A large ‘staircase’ structure will link the levels and provide covered seating and, over time, a community garden will be created next to the River Medlock.

The design for this early use of the site seeks to connect with its industrial heritage, both the railway and the mills, revealing previously hidden cobble stones and taking inspiration from the cross-braced lattice of the existing yellow girders, giving the impression of a giant loom.

The opening will also mark the start of a project to create a community garden on the site, overseen by the Green Health Alliance, which is made up of Growing in the City/Men’s Shed Project, Hulme Community Garden Centre, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group’s Real Food Wythenshawe, Debdale Eco Centre and The Green Fingers Debdale.

U+I, the development partner to the Mayfield Partnership joint venture, will move its Manchester office from Jordan Street to a shipping container in the sky overlooking the regeneration site.

The Mayfield buildings were last in regular use in 1984 when the Royal Mail operated a parcel depot from the site.

The Partnership’s long-term plan for Mayfield is to create an iconic, £850m mixed-use community over the next 10 years, including commercial, residential and leisure facilities. The 24-acre site, next to Piccadilly Station, has been derelict for over a decade.

The wider Mayfield regeneration vision will potentially provide 1,300 homes, 75,000 sq m of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a new city park, creating over 7,500 office, retail, leisure and construction jobs.

The long-term proposals will seek to enhance many of the site’s historic features including developing and improving the River Medlock, which flows through the site. The intention is to maintain the historic buildings on the site and make the most of the area’s built heritage.

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive of U+I, said: “Mayfield is a truly unique site in the city and for far too long it has turned its back to the people of Manchester. We have opened it up to reintroduce it to Manchester and Manchester to it.

“In Grub, we believe we have found a great partner to begin bringing life, laughter and energy back to Mayfield for the first time in decades. We want people to feel welcome, inspired and a real sense of belonging here – it will be a happy place which celebrates the city’s rich diversity, its past and its future.

“We are deliberately starting small and will provide the conditions for Mayfield to grow in the coming months and years. For now, we are simply looking forward to welcoming people back to Mayfield.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It is good to see the latest chapter of this historic site begin to be written.  The strategic importance of Mayfield to the future growth of the city cannot be underestimated. It’s a critically important part of the inward investment strategy which will deliver many jobs and homes in the coming years.”

David Joy, Chief Executive of LCR, said: “This type of activity is exactly what Mayfield needs to put it back on the map as a key gateway site to Manchester city centre. There are significant long-term benefits to investing in temporary uses of this kind, not least the renewed focus and community presence they provide. We look forward to seeing the transformation.”

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC), added: “We are very pleased to see the first steps being made to bring new life to this historic corner of the city centre. Transport links to the area are excellent and we are sure the food fair will prove to be a big attraction.”

Jason Bailey, of Grub Manchester, said: “I feel privileged to be providing the anchor to such a historic site in the city. We are looking forward to bringing Manchester the very best street and artisan food and breathing new life into an area of the city which has been neglected for far too long.”

U+I was formally appointed as the development partner for Mayfield in December 2016 while the temporary use for the site was granted planning consent in April 2017.

The new community and workspace facilities have been designed by architect Studio Egret West, master planners to the project.

To keep up to date with Mayfield please visit and sign up to the regular newsletter or follow the newly created social media channels on twitter: @mayfieldMCR, Instagram: @mayfieldmanchester and on facebook:


For further information please contact Jon Brown, Chris Barry or Steve Sanders at Influential on 0161 804 1400 or on 07464 547297 (CB) or 07827 892673 (SS).

About U+I

U+I is a specialist regeneration developer and investor.

With a £6bn portfolio of complex, mixed-use, community-focused regeneration projects including a £200m investment portfolio, we are unlocking urban sites bristling with potential in the London, Manchester and Dublin city regions. We exist to create long-term socioeconomic benefit for the communities in which we work, delivering sustainable returns to our shareholders. 

About The Mayfield Partnership

The Mayfield Development Partnership is committed to delivering the regeneration of Manchester’s historic Mayfield site. It comprises LCR, wholly-owned by the Department for Transport; Manchester City Council; Transport for Greater Manchester and regeneration and property development company U+I.

About the Mayfield site

Mayfield is a 24-acre site next to Manchester Piccadilly station. The partnership’s vision is for Mayfield to become a distinctive new urban quarter, delivering 1,300 homes, 75,000 sq m of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a new city park over the next decade.