Cotton Square, Manchester

Exceptional new residential development in Ancoats, Manchester
First Steps (Ancoats) Ltd
23 Properties
December 2018
Buttress Architects
Clients Specification


Cotton Square is a new and exciting development of 23 apartments and townhouses in the heart of Ancoats. The scheme offers a unique opportunity to own a distinctive design led home, fusing cool industrial design with light airy spaces and roof terraces.

Residents will enter through a grand, soaring atrium, incorporating industrial elements of steel and concrete. Careful consideration has been given to attention to detail of internal fittings and finish to create a design led industrial chic look and feel.

The energy efficient dwellings feature cutting-edge ‘smart home’ technology, enabling residents to custom control heating, appliances and lighting with most properties benefiting from outdoor living balconies or roof terraces with planted areas.

As part of the development, the former Edinburgh Castle pub, which has been derelict for over 15 years, will be restored to its former glory as well as introducing a secret Victorian-inspired street for residents.

Key Challenges

EWC took over this development from a previous contractor who had gone into administration and we are working together with the client to deliver a feasible, high-quality scheme. This has involving numerous design changes and a tight programme, working to the clients desired completion date of December 2018.

The project itself sits in a conservation area in an extremely tight site, bound by four active busy streets in Ancoats with the scheme filling the red line boundary. There are several operational businesses neighbouring the site and a large amount of construction work being carried out in the near vicinity. To overcome the various constraints we have produced complex logistics plans and interacted with the stakeholders to coordinate our works to minimise disruption and ensure businesses continue to operate as normal.

We have also liaised with other contractors around delivery times and site access to avoid any congestion to the area and have secured restricted useage of adjacent land for material storage and laydown areas.

The coordination of the works has involved daily liaison with the highways agent and various permits and legal obligations, all of which have been complied with accordingly.

Construction work includes demolition, refurbishment and new build with varying types of build including part steel and part timber. While there are many challenges on this development EWC are overcoming each of these to provide a truly exceptional scheme.

Added Value

EWC have added value to the scheme through collaboration with the client to provide an outstanding development after the previous contractor went into administration. Through our partnering approach, we have guided and assisted the client offering advice, solutions and answers to issues to ensure they are 100% satisfied with the development.

Through our EWC apprentice scheme, we have employed an apprentice on site and school visits have been arranged for our project team to discuss routes into the construction industry and discuss their roles in the company.

The site team have interacted with local residents and donated poly tunnel, moved goods with the site forklift for a neighbour, assisted a pizza restaurant with a pizza oven delivery and provided surplus timber for wood-burning stoves.

The Eric Wright Trust has also made a considerable donation on behalf of the site towards the Manchester “Bee” bomb fund.

Client Feedback

“I am proud to be launching Cotton Square, one of our finest developments to date, in Manchester’s very own urban village of Ancoats. We have celebrated Cotton Square’s heritage, with many of the original industrial features retained and fused this with contemporary urban design. We will be restoring the former Edinburgh Castle pub back to its former glory, as well as introducing a secret Victorian-inspired street for residents. The best of the 18th century will meet the best of the 21st, with energy efficient design and smart home technology. This is no run of the mill development!

The Cotton Square development is a boutique mixed use scheme, which plays an integral role within the wider regeneration of Ancoats Urban Village, helping create a vibrant new community of residents within the area.

As with all of our developments, we have focused a great deal of time in ensuring that the overall design and specification of the Cotton Square dwellings are of the highest quality, using creative and innovative thinking, and built with our future residents in mind. We have seen unprecedented levels of demand for urban living in Manchester, reflected by our strong ratio of off-plan sales all to owner occupiers.”
Harinder Dhaliwal
FIRST-STEP founder and Cotton Square Development Director

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