In March, we learnt that the Co-op had agreed an outline deal with Southway Housing to acquire the Picture House site. Since then, the CLT has been talking to Southway to make the case for our vision to revitalise the Chorlton High Street by retaining the Picture House building for commercial use with a community stake in its future. Southway is an established social housing provider with many properties in South Manchester and a commitment to its future.
The team at Southway has been exploring our ideas with their board and have now agreed to work with us to see how we can secure the historic building with the sort of development that the CLT and our members have been working on. Although we still have a long way to go, this is very welcome progress. We are now entering into a more detailed phase of work to establish a plan that will see Southway develop affordable housing on the rear of the site and for the CLT to take a lead in retaining the Picture House for a food hall and other commercial uses with a community focus. Whatever plans emerge, we will still be looking to draw on the extremely important pledges that were made at the start of this process by 1,000 interested investors, many of them local to Chorlton.
So, in short, we have made progress but there is still a long way to go. We have established a positive working relationship with Southway for the Picture House and anticipate coming back to you with more information about how you can invest and support our plans in the coming months.
Thanks for your support,
Chair, Chorlton Community Land Trust