Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council have revealed transformational plans for the former Rackhams building in Altrincham town centre, and are now inviting the community to participate in the next phase of the consultation period. The joint venture project, which forms part of the future development of the Stamford Quarter, marks Bruntwood Works’ first Pioneer building outside of the city centre and will bring the firm’s market-leading blend of workspace, retail and leisure to the heart of Altrincham.
The proposed plans include a complete redesign of the ground floor, providing an opportunity for hospitality operators to take space that includes outdoor terraces on Stamford Square. A focus on biophilia, which is known to improve wellbeing and sustainability, has also been introduced through a 340m² living wall that provides oxygen and helps reduce noise levels as it wraps around the building. It will also see the once-loved House of Fraser store transformed into 37,500ft² of commercial workspace, with retail and hospitality operators taking 15,000ft² space on the ground and lower ground floors creating a unique arrival experience. A two-storey extension and outdoor terraces on the first floor also feature in the plans, with active travel and fitness supported through new cycle storage and showers.
The transformation forms part of Bruntwood Works’ €58.9m (£50m) Pioneer programme - which is designed to create forward-thinking workspaces centred on six key pillars: biophilia, art, sustainability, wellness, amenity and technology - and has been designed to encourage more people to come into the town centre, helping to support the long-term, sustainable growth of the local economy.
Andrea George, town centre and consumer brands director at Bruntwood Works, said: “As a hugely successful destination in its own right, Altrincham already has all the ingredients for an even brighter future. We want to harness this by creating a blend of retail and leisure with premium workspaces that deliver greater opportunities for the community to come together in one central hub. The pandemic changed the way we interact with our high street, boosting local town centres and creating exciting opportunities to redevelop former department stores for new uses. We’re confident the transformation of the former Rackhams store will be a gamechanger for the town and prove an attractive proposition for those looking for workspace outside of the city centre, whilst providing a new and much-needed amenity that complements the existing operators within Stamford Square."
Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council, added: “Trafford Council is proud of the work it has carried out to help make Altrincham the fabulous and successful centre it is today. We are committed to creating successful and thriving places and having pride in all of our areas across the borough. This development would provide a further boost to Altrincham town centre and transform the former Rackhams store into a sustainable and green workspace hub with first-class retail and leisure facilities.”