PRESS RELEASE: SAVE publishes new report on Greater Manchester’s vulnerable heritage

Spotlight falls on sensational buildings in Rochdale, Oldham and central Manchester

7th September 2023

SAVE Britain’s Heritage launches an urgent new report on Saturday (9th September) making the case for greater care for the threatened heritage of Greater Manchester.

The 60-page report, Boom Not Bust: How Greater Manchester can build the future without destroying its past, is a celebration of the region’s fine historic buildings – and an urgent call to arms to protect vulnerable buildings from the twin threats of redevelopment or neglect.

The report focuses on Manchester city centre, Oldham and Rochdale to make a wider point about what is at stake in the region.

It highlights some of the recent losses, including the razing of St John’s Church Werneth in Oldham, and Manchester’s thriving Jackson’s Row Synagogue, which made way for a £400m scheme currently being built by footballer-turned-developer Gary Neville.

It also shows how historic buildings can be a catalyst for sustainable regeneration and civic pride.

Written by architecture and heritage specialists Eamonn Canniffe and Mike Ashworth, it contains illustrated gazetteers, chapters on the towns’ history and appraisals of both the threats and the good work already underway.

SAVE makes recommendations for particular buildings to be considered for listing or other protection, and where necessary calls for beefed-up policy, a careful re-stitching of ruptured urban fabric – and more funding.

Boom not Bust comes at a pivotal moment for Greater Manchester, with the publication of two regional masterplans – Places for Everyone and Atom Valley – not to mention the climate crisis. We make the case that existing buildings have an important part to play in these issues. And we show that, with imagination and skill, historic buildings can be adapted for sustainable contemporary uses, becoming a focus of civic pride and successful regeneration – without wasting the carbon released by new developments.

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, writes in the report’s foreword: “SAVE wants to champion the rich history of Manchester, Rochdale and Oldham, and support those who are fighting to protect and celebrate their historic buildings and towns. We see this – enabled by a well-resourced and robust planning system – as a fundamental ingredient in the successful growth and economic prosperity of the region.”

Launch event

Join us for the report's launch at the Friends' Meeting House on Mount Street, Manchester on Saturday 9th September at 2pm.

We will be joined by co-authors Eamonn Canniffe and Mike Ashworth for talks and a lively audience discussion.

Tickets are free thanks to the generous support of the Dulverton Trust - but booking is essential.


You can also pre-order a copy of the report to collect at the launch. We are offering it at the special launch event price of £12 (usual price £14.99). These are to be collected on the day and will not be sent out.

You might also be interested in attending our guided walk of Oldham's heritage on 16th September. 

If you cannot attend the events you can pre-order a copy of the report which will be sent to you by post after 9th September.