Gasometers facing the final whistle
GIANT STRUCTURES IN SHADOW OF CITY STADIUM COULD BE DEMOLISHED FOR HOUSING
THE iconic gasometers in east Manchester could be turned into housing, it has been revealed.
The huge iron structures dominate the skyline in the Bradford area of Beswick, immediately behind City’s Etihad Stadium – but they are obsolete and council bosses have previously described them as ‘key constraints’ to regeneration in the area.
That could be about to change after their owners, the National Grid, has earmarked them for future development.
The pair are at one of 40 former gaswork sites across the country the utility firm wants to redevelop.
National Grid wants to enter into a partnership with potential developers rather than simply selling them off. No firm plans have been announced and discussions are at an early stage, the firm says.
It’s not yet clear if the metal structures would be part of the any development or be pulled down to make way for them.
The gasometers at Kings Cross in London were turned into luxury flats with the frames remaining as part of the design. In other areas, including Bolton and Stretford, the structures have been dismantled and torn down. Housing isn’t the only with possibility with bosses saying they will ‘explore all options.’ Any plans would be subject to planning permission.
Ben Gaunt, head of land development for National Grid, said: “Bradford Road is one of around 40 former gasworks sites we own in the north west which we want to regenerate. We want to work with partners, such as local authorities and housing developers, to see how we can best bring these brownfield sites back to life to enhance local communities.
“Last week we started a campaign to publicise the exciting opportunities for regenerating our sites, so we can’t yet say how we might develop the Bradford Road site. We will let people know more as soon as we can.”
Gas holders became a common landmark in major British cities from the Victorian era onwards, providing gas for densely-populated areas. They stored large volumes of gas, with the iron frame surrounding an inner chamber which would lift depending on how much was being stored.
The discovery of gas in the North Sea in the 1960s saw the gas industry in towns go into decline. Gas holders became less useful, with most gas being transported via high pressure pipes.