IHBC’s ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Mocha Parade, Manchester – ‘neglected shopping precinct that time forgot’ to face bulldozer 

Manchester Evening News website 190218Evening News has featured how Mocha Parade, the ‘Manchester shopping mall that time forgot’ – it survived in the face of decades of neglect and the Boxing Day floods of 2015 – is about to change, with the help of the bulldozer.

Manchester Evening News writes:

Built in the early 1970s the shabby precinct lies half a mile from the glitz of Manchester’s top stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Now, after decades of neglect, Mocha Parade in Lower Broughton is to be bulldozed and replaced by new stores – possibly including Lidl – and a health centre. It is currently home to a dwindling number of shops and resembles the desolate urban terrain of inner-city Salford in the late 1980s and 90s.

While all around it has been transformed into new houses and apartments it has remained, tarnishing what planners call the ‘gateway’ to city. A new park and school were built, but the mall has remained untouched. Ten years ago the council pledged there would be a ‘comprehensive re-development’ of Mocha Parade with plans to knock down Broughton swimming baths and open a new recreation centre on the site, ‘anchored by a small supermarket’.

In 2014, Salford council produced a report on the mall. By then only 13 shops were still trading in it, out of 23 units. Then in the Boxing Day floods of 2015 many of the traders lost stock as the precinct lies close to the River Irwell. Mocha Parade has seen the Post Office, chippie, butchers, hairdressers, Kwik Save supermarket, and taxi company shut in recent years. Just eight businesses remain, plus a highly-regarded GP practice. Now at last a deal has been struck to demolish the centre and replace it with brand new facilities.

A Lidl supermarket looks set to be at the centre of the scheme. There will be negotiations with the few remaining tenants who will be given the choice of staying and taking up a new unit or accepting financial compensation. Current traders include a fruit and vegetable store, newsagents, pharmacy, and frozen foods mini-supermarket. Lower Broughton Health Centre, currently situated on Great Clowes Street, will relocate to the new development. There will be six new units in the new development.

Councillor Merry, deputy city mayor, said: ‘We regret the length of time it has taken to achieve this, But we will have a brand new medical centre, new supermarket, and new shops. Mocha Parade has huge potential as a local shopping centre but everyone agrees it needs investment. It is great news that these plans are moving ahead to bring about the much needed transformation. The regeneration will be welcomed by both traders and the local community and I’d like to thank them for their patience while we work hard behind the scenes to make it happen. We’ll announce details as soon as contracts are signed and we are legally able to do so.’

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