Manchester City Council has given its approval to Hatch, a development of pop-up and semi-permanent retail units beneath Oxford Road’s Mancunian Way flyover.

The scheme comes under the Circle Square development, with over a million square feet of office space and 1,281 new homes in a prime Manchester location.

The Hatch development, expected to be open before the end of this year, will provide units at flexible and affordable rents for shops and catering units.

James Tootle from surveyors Bruntwood said:

“Hatch will be the first step in providing a boost to the existing retail and leisure offer on the Oxford Road Corridor and transforming this area into a destination for people to visit.”

A 2017 survey by Direct Line Business revealed that a quarter of Britain’s small business owners prefer to work in coffee shops rather than offices. Surprisingly, around 11% preferred to work in bars. While this may not be practical for full-time working, the Hatch project could provide an answer. Workers with offices in the Circle Square who want a change of working environment could simply walk to their favourite coffee shop in the Hatch development to work remotely.

What workers and business owners want from office space in Manchester is much more than just a desk to work on; they want extra facilities such as fitness centres and food areas. The Hatch development could attract office space tenants to Circle Square by providing easy access to retail units and food outlets.