Retail and hospitality to fore in plans for former House of Fraser site
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Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council have revealed transformational plans for the former Rackhams building in Altrincham town centre, and are now inviting the community to participate in the next phase of the consultation period.
The joint venture project, which forms part of the future development of the Stamford Quarter, marks Bruntwood Works’ first Pioneer building outside of the city centre and will bring the firm’s blend of workspace, retail and leisure to the heart of Altrincham.
The plans support Trafford Council’s work to support regeneration in Altrincham, having invested heavily in a number of projects, including improving the public realm in the town.
The proposed plans, which are subject to planning permission, include a complete redesign of the ground floor, providing an opportunity for hospitality operators to take space that includes outdoor terraces on Stamford Square. A focus on biophilia, which is known to improve wellbeing and sustainability, has also been introduced through a 340 sq m living wall that provides oxygen and helps reduce noise levels as it wraps around the building.
It will also see the once-loved House of Fraser store transformed into 37,500 sq ft of commercial workspace, with retail and hospitality operators to take 15,000 sq ft space on the ground and lower ground floors creating a unique arrival experience.
A two-storey extension and outdoor terraces on the first floor also feature in the plans, with active travel and fitness supported through new cycle storage and showers.
The transformation forms part of Bruntwood Works’ £50m Pioneer programme – which is designed to create forward-thinking workspaces centred on six key pillars: Biophilia, art, sustainability, wellness, amenity and technology – and has been designed to encourage more people to come into the town centre, helping to support the long term, sustainable growth of the local economy.
As with all Pioneer projects, the blend of workspace, retail and leisure will create a space that actively enhances work life balance and improves the wellbeing of its communities.
The building’s proximity to Altrincham Interchange also provides excellent tram, train and bus links, meaning the new space will deliver a well connected alternative to those businesses who still want easy access to the city centre, while improved lift and ramp access will be introduced to improve accessibility.
Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council are inviting the community to participate in the next phase of the consultation period, and particularly want to hear from local residents and community groups regarding disabled access provision. Drop-in sessions will be taking place at Stamford Square in the Not So Secret Garden on Wednesday, August 18, from 12 noon to 4pm.
Andrea George, town centre and consumer brands director at Bruntwood Works, said: “As a hugely successful destination in its own right, Altrincham already has all the ingredients for an even brighter future. We want to harness this by creating a blend of retail and leisure with premium workspaces that deliver greater opportunities for the community to come together in one central hub.
“The pandemic changed the way we interact with our high street, boosting local town centres and creating exciting opportunities to redevelop former department stores for new uses.
“We’re confident the transformation of the former Rackhams store will be a gamechanger for the town and prove an attractive proposition for those looking for workspace outside of the city centre, whilst providing a new and much needed amenity that complements the existing operators within Stamford Square.”
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said: “Trafford Council is proud of the work it has carried out to help make Altrincham the fabulous and successful centre it is today. We are committed to creating successful and thriving places and having pride in all of our areas across the borough.
“This development would provide a further boost to Altrincham town centre and transform the former Rackhams store into a sustainable and green workspace hub with first class retail and leisure facilities.”
Rackhams is just one of a cluster of buildings in the Stamford Quarter and together Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council plan to transform the area into a mixed-use destination that makes Altrincham an even better place to live, work and play for local families and the wider community.