The long-awaited, much-anticipated reopening of Manchester’s London Road Fire Station could see an open-air cinema screen erected in its ornate central courtyard, if planning permission is granted by Manchester City Council.
The temporary proposal would see a multi-cultural event space with a screen similar to the former Hardman Square screenings on Spinningfields, in addition to a range of food markets, exhibitions, theatrical performances and other leisure events.
Hundreds of people have already taken the opportunity earlier in May to explore the Grade II*-listed building, answering the invitation to an open day event at which attendees were permitted to take in its previously hidden architectural delights.
Given its prominent location as one of the first views after stepping off your train into Piccadilly, campaigners have long vouched for positive progress to be made in transforming the former fire station for modern public usage. A three-decade standoff between Britannia Hotels and Manchester City Council concluded in November 2015 with the Spinningfields developer Allied London buying the site with the aim to “create a new kind of space for Manchester”.
Now just under 110 years since its opening in 1906, campaigners are “extremely optimistic” about its future and public consultation has already begun. Ideas range from prison break team building scenarios to various themes of gallery and museum, but a summer hosting the silver screen would help to place it firmly back as a destination on Manchester’s cultural map in its 110th year.
Progress of the planning application can be followed here pa.manchester.gov.uk/online-applications
London Road Fire Station
50 London Road