Image Source: Mike Serigrapher
Sophia Taha

Member Article

North West’s empty buildings to be brought ‘back to life’

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg wants to see abandoned buildings brought ‘back to life’ in a renewed effort to tackle the problem where vast areas in Northern cities become empty and unused.

Properties ranging from disused cinemas and post offices to old schools and market halls will be match-made with entrepreneurs and community groups so that local authorities and land-owners find temporary uses for vacant buildings and land.

The so-called ‘meanwhile use’ of buildings is under-used in the North and could provide space for a wide range of local people to set up a business, open a shop or put on an event.

The hope is that this process will transform empty shells into dynamic hubs for business start ups or centres for the arts and creative industries.

The North has nearly twice as many hectares of previously developed vacant land and buildings than the South, with 10,130 hectares in the North compared to just 5,580 hectares in the South.

The Deputy Prime Minister will form a working group immediately comprised of local government, businesses and charities.

They will investigate how more vacant buildings and land across the North can be brought back into temporary use.

The group will explore sites with potential across Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle.

The working group will present their findings to the Deputy Prime Minister in January.

They will outline the barriers and solutions to getting more empty properties back in use.

Areas to be considered in Liverpool and Manchester are:


  • ABC Cinema
  • Lyceum Post Office
  • The Oratory
  • England and Martins Bank
  • Seamans Orphanage
  • Toxteth Reservoir
  • Rope Walks ‘Back’ streets


  • King Street
  • Cross Street
  • Deansgate
  • Piccadilly Place/Moseley Street

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “Leaving useful land in the North to languish is not only bad for business, it can hamper the success of an area in so many ways.

“Which is why I want to see empty buildings brought back to life and back in business.

“We need to understand what stands in the way of some of the most incredible space in the country being used, and make things more flexible so that we can fill these buildings with artists, start-ups and other entrepreneurs to restore the buildings’ purpose and appeal.

“Through my Northern Futures initiative, I’m championing innovative ideas from people in the North to build a stronger economy and fairer society.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sophia Taha .

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