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Manchester’s historic Mackie Mayor building reopens to public

Food market

The Grade II Listed Mackie Mayor building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter has reopened its doors to the public following decades of dereliction, after being restored to its former glory by Muse Developments.

Muse agreed a deal with Market Operations to lease the historic building and complete its transformation, bringing it back into public use with nine independent kitchens and bars and communal dining for more than 400 people. Market Operations is responsible for the award-winning and highly successful transformation of Altrincham’s historic market and is seeking to replicate the success of Market House, which currently feeds over 8,000 people each week.

The building, which has been faithfully restored with a spectacular fitout, has proved extremely popular in its first weeks, welcoming thousands of visitors.

The Mackie Mayor is the only remaining fully intact building from the former Smithfield market. Opened in 1858, it was originally used as a fresh produce market, but had lain empty since the early 1990’s.

Its opening completes the final phase of Muse’s Smithfield regeneration project, which has seen the transformation of the former markets area over the past 15 years. The wider scheme has been delivered, in partnership with Manchester City Council, over seven phases and has delivered more than 350 apartments, the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express hotels and over 30,000 sq ft of ground floor space accommodating 12 new businesses.

The award-winning first phase included the refurbishment of the former historic fishmarket walls and created a large public courtyard framed by new and old buildings. Its penultimate phase, the striking One Smithfield Square, a ten-storey residential building comprising 77 apartments, was awarded Best Apartment Building at The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2015.

Wes Erlam, development director at Muse, said: “Our Smithfield project has been truly transformational for this part of Manchester city centre, creating new homes, business space, hotel rooms and new public space over the past fifteen years.

“The Mackie Mayor opening really is the final piece of the jigsaw and it’s great to see this impressive building back open to the public accommodating such a fantastic concept, which will no doubt see it busy and bustling with visitors once again. It will encourage further footfall to this pocket of the Northern Quarter, extending the success of this quirky and unique area.”