Category: Community News

Wythenshawe Hall set to re-open six years after devastating fire

Pic: MCC

Historic Wythenshawe Hall will be re-opened to the public next weekend (September 10th) after being restored to its former glory following an arson attack six years ago.

The long-anticipated repairs to the Grade II listed building in Wythenshawe Park, have now been completed.  

The hall was forced to close due to an arson attack in 2016. Manchester City Council has carried out over £6.7 million of extensive refurbishment works and have enhanced security upgrades to the hall, to protect it from further damage and to allow the public to enjoy the magnificent building once again. 

Manchester City Council with partners Conlon Construction, have been working to ensure that the building is brought back to its former glory and so future generations and residents can enjoy the Hall.   

As part of the restoration works, the entire roof of the hall has been replaced. The Main Hall has seen the refurbishment of the ceiling and conservation of the timber panelling, which have been delicately cleaned and repaired to ensure the unique and historic designs were protected.  The timeless stained-glass windows have been replaced and the artistry has been mimicked to best represent the original windows on the building.  

Pic: MCC

The restoration of Wythenshawe Hall won a Civic Trust Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC) Award in 2021. The project was one of just two to receive the AABC Conservation Award at national level, which recognises projects that demonstrate the highest standards of historic building conservation and make an outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment. In addition, RIBA North West Award 2021, RIBA North West Conservation Award 2021 were also won by Buttress Architects for the restoration work on the Hall.  

Now, the Hall is ready to be dressed and restored to its former glory. It will be reopened to the public on  10 September  to celebrate the Friends of Wythenshawe Park’s 10-year anniversary.   

Councillor Lee Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods, said:  “It brings me great pleasure to see that the Hall has reopened and restored to its former glory after the devastating incident in 2016. As custodians of the building the Council have been working over the past few years to protect the Hall and we have also carried out major improvement works to ensure the building is better suited for the future.  

“Despite the gruelling and long repair process, we have been able to preserve many of the building’s original features and characteristics- which is a wonderful achievement. I also want to thank our Construction partners Conlon for all of their hard work in repairing the damage.  

“Wythenshawe Hall is a beautiful building that harbours lots of local history and cultural value and I am pleased we have repaired the damage that was done.” 

For more information on tours conducted by the Friends of Wythenshawe Park visit: https://wythenshawehall.com/www_main/index.html

St Paul’s High School announce new young leaders

Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe announced the appointment of their new Head Boy, Bryme, and Head Girl, Isabelle. The Head Boy and Head Girl play a key role in the school community and the appointments follow a lengthy interviewing and selection process. 

Head boy, Bryme and Head Girl Isabelle

Bryme and Isabelle will act as role models and figureheads at Saint Paul’s. They will represent the school at a wide variety of events and work with a team of carefully selected prefects to help ensure the smooth running of the school. They will assist staff, support younger students, help to maintain our high standards, organise events and represent the school in the community. 

Continue reading “St Paul’s High School announce new young leaders”

Residents told they can return to homes after flood warning is stood down

Residents in Northenden and Didsbury who had been evacuated from their homes can now return, after the Severe Flood Warning for the area was stood down.

Wythenshawe Forum remains open and around 48 people attended the rest centre there overnight

This mean that people who have been evacuated from their home can now return – but emergency services remain on alert as water levels are expected to vary today. Vulnerable people will be helped to return home during the day.   

Water levels had continued to rise overnight as expected, but the Didsbury Basin did not significantly overflow and the worst-case scenario was avoided. 

However, high water levels have flooded some gardens and some roads remain closed.  

The emergency response saw more than 200 hundred Council staff, police officers, Red Cross  and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue officers on the ground who knocked on around 1,700 Didsbury and Northenden doors and supported local residents. 

Vulnerable and self-isolating residents were provided emergency accommodation overnight and care packages were provided to support people.  

People are reminded to remain at home and only travel if absolutely necessary. 

Find information about road closures and other advice on the Council’s website: www.manchester.gov.uk/stormchristoph 

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Thankfully we avoided the level of flooding that we expected overnight. A huge debt of thanks is owed to the Council staff, emergency services and volunteers who were on the ground through the night, knocking on doors and supporting residents who had been asked to evacuate. It really was the best of Manchester in action.  

“Standing down the Severe Flood Warning means that people can now return to their homes, which I know will be a huge relief to residents who left their lives at home last night not knowing what they might go back to.  

“Water levels will continue to be reviewed throughout the day as water levels are expected to vary, so keep an eye information from the Council and emergency services.   “Our thoughts are with those people in Greater Manchester who have been badly affected.” 

Severe flood warning for Northenden as Mersey river level rises

A severe flood warning is in place for Northenden and homes have been evacuated in parts of South Manchester as levels of the River Mersey continue to rise

The GM Strategic Coordination Group for Storm Christoph and the Environment Agency have enacted warnings covering parts of Didsbury, Chorlton and Northenden tonight.   

And Manchester City Council has also set up a COVID-safe emergency rest centre at Wythenshawe Forum in case anyone is told to evacuate because of flooding and has nowhere else to go. 

People who live in the Manchester postcodes M22 4, M20 2, M20 5, M21 7, M21 8, and  M21 9, should check the flood warning service https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings

Residents are advised that only if they live in a property that is within the Severe Flood Warning area – or they are instructed by an emergency service – they should begin to evacuate their property.

This level of flood warning means that evacuations have started due to the potential risk of flooding. There is also a particular focus on supporting vulnerable households. 

The Council is working with colleagues in Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue and Environment Agency to proactively evacuate homes before any flooding has taken place, which is anticipated in the early hours 21 January. This is to ensure people’s safety.  

All flood basins have been opened, but river levels are expected to rise this evening and the decision has been made to evacuate people in a safe and controlled way this evening, rather than waiting to assess the flooding impact overnight.   

When evacuating, remember:

  • Essential Medicines 
  • Insurance Documents 
  • Turn off utilities – electric, gas and water 
  • Take any important or valuable items upstairs 
  • Let friends and family know where you have gone


If someone is asked to leave their home and need to stay with family or friends temporarily due to flooding, they will not be in breach of coronavirus laws, which allow for exceptions including to escape the risk of harm – and no legal action will be taken.  

However, people should still take precautions to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus – remember to wear a face covering, keep your distance from others outside of your household or bubble, and wash hands regularly.   

Manchester City Council has also set up a COVID-safe emergency rest centre at Wythenshawe Forum in case anyone is told to evacuate because of flooding and has nowhere else to go.  

If someone has been asked to self-isolate due to Government guidance around Covid-19 or if you are clinically extremely vulnerable, they will already have been contacted directly and Covid-secure accommodation will be provided.     

Anyone with urgent need for care and support should call the Council’s Contact Centre on 0161 234 5001.  

Keep up to date  

· Sign up for Flood warnings – www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings 

· Report flooding via the Environment Agency incident hotline: 0800 80 7060 3.  

For advice and updates contact the Floodline on: 0345 988 1188 using quick dial code 143116.  
 

Key an eye on the Flood Warning Service – www.flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings  
 

· For more information on what to do in case of a flood  www.manchester.gov.uk/stormchristoph  

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We have been working closely with the police and Environment Agency to keep the levels of the River Mersey under review. The Severe Flood Warning means that we have already begun helping people evacuate safely tonight as we expect the water levels to continue to rise overnight.   

“If you are asked to leave your home we would strongly advise you to do so. Flooding and flood water can be dangerous, so we would ask you to continue to follow advice from the council, Greater Manchester Police and the Environment Agency. But please, only leave your home if you are instructed to.  

“The City Council has set up an emergency rest centre at the Wythenshawe Forum for people who are unable to stay with family or friends. If you can stay with someone, please remember to think Covid. Keep your distance, wear a face covering, wash your hands – and allow fresh air in.” 

Sun power for Wythenshawe Forum in bid to cut emissions

Wythenshawe Forum

Wythenshawe Forum is now powered by solar electricity, with the installation of a new photovoltaic array on the building’s roof completed.  

New carbon-saving features for the popular community hub are set to reduce emissions by 121 tonnes per year, while also saving more than £50,000 in energy costs annually.  

To complement the solar array, 1,386 of the Forum’s light fittings are being upgraded to LED, reducing their energy consumption by 70 per cent, with a new and more efficient lighting control system also installed.

The upgrade is part of a £25m project by Manchester City Council to reduce carbon emissions across the City, which is seeing retrofitting work carried out across its buildings working towards achieving its zero-carbon goal by 2038 at the latest.  

The £10m first phase of the council’s programme, to retrofit its highest emission buildings, is drawing to a close and will achieve an emissions cut of 1,600 tonnes a year.  New solar installations are underway at Moss Side Leisure Centre, Hough End Leisure Centre, East Manchester Leisure Centre, Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre, the Manchester Tennis & Football Centre, Belle Vue Leisure Centre, the Space Project and the Sharp Project.  

Work to enable a £15m second phase of the programme, which will reduce emissions by a further 3,000 tonnes a year, is now progressing.  

Since 2009/10, the Council has already reduced its annual direct carbon emissions by more than 50 per cent.  In March 2020, it agreed a landmark Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25, setting out an ambitious target to halve its emissions again in the space of just five years – from around 32,000 tonnes a year to around 16,000 tonnes a year.  
 
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This project to modernise the energy supply for Wythenshawe Forum is a great example of the work which is happening right across the city to cut carbon emissions from the Council’s buildings as quickly as possible. 

“Wythenshawe Forum’s solar power installation will help to reduce the Council’s direct carbon emissions, as part of our radical proposals to rebuild a greener Manchester in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Having declared a climate emergency, we’re committed to doing everything within our power to rapidly reduce the Council’s carbon emissions, in line with science-based targets which comply with the Paris Agreement.”

Eddie Flanagan, chief executive of Wythenshawe Forum Trust said: “As one of Manchester’s largest public buildings and a busy community hub, it’s essential that we support and contribute to the city’s carbon reduction targets. This has been a complex project, affecting almost all of the Forum and has needed buy-in from all of our stakeholders. We are looking forward to the new equipment and technology coming online this year, which will bring significant reductions in carbon emissions and energy costs.”