With rays of light emerging for the UK’s hospitality industry as a result of the highly successful vaccine roll out programme, the award winning McGoff Group can announce that it has been working behind the scenes on a comprehensive rethink of Market 41 to enable it to be delivered and function in a safe and viable
way in a post pandemic world.
The leisure sector has faced unforeseen challenges with business models turned on their heads and thrown into doubt. With the prospect of having to cope with social distancing and the potential looming threat of more indoor dining closures for the foreseeable future, it has meant that if a project of this nature is to come to fruition, it has to respond with a solution that provides operators and project funders with the confidence it needs to enable stakeholders to buy into the concept.
As such, re-worked plans are now emerging which still anchor the project with a food and beverage-led offering on the ground floor and provide traditional market and pop up trading provision, but in addition and so as to make the project more sustainable and defensible against the prospect of future lockdowns or restrictive trading environments, economic viability and diversification will be evident via the introduction of first floor level office pods and second floor hotel-style accommodation units. The result will be a sustainable community hub, which encourages a multifunctional, leisure and working environment to thrive.
Not only will the additional uses improve the project’s sustainability, but the office pods are an exciting introduction, providing new start-up businesses, many of which are emerging out of a redundancy/unemployment crisis, with a local, flexible and cost effective alternative to either working from a spare room at home or taking on more cumbersome traditional office leases. As we develop more flexible commuting patterns, the office pods will respond to the shift away from full time city centre office working, to offer a more localised suburban solution. It’s hoped that the pods will attract a wide breadth of new talent and provide a creative and sustainable environment for post pandemic businesses to incubate, thrive and evolve. In addition and by incorporating boardroom meeting facilities, outdoor terraces and the natural breakout space of the leisure offering below, social interaction will be fostered and provide a positive environment to maintain mental health and wellbeing.
The addition of the hotel style pods responds to issues of overnight stay accommodation that was heavily restricted during the pandemic as many traditional hotel concepts failed to remain open due to the burden of traditional operating costs. Swift advances in technology with evolution of smart phone app reliance, now has enabled the development of a “hands free” overnight stay concept, which means that bookings and check in/out can take place on a contactless basis. As semi outdoor deck access with key code entry, provides a secure route to the accommodation’s own front door, it also enables ventilated social distancing to be practiced and keeps users safe en-route to their own room. Furthermore, and as the traditional cost base is not there, due to the presence of dining and leisure facilities already being located on the ground floor, this coupled with the fact that staffing complements are more streamlined and effectively shared across the concept, means that a more sustainable business model for overnight stay accommodation is created.
In addition and as the design now provides a decantable roof structure, if lockdown enforces closure to more traditional indoor venues, operators will be afforded every opportunity to remain open (subject to Government guidelines) providing a lifeline to provide much needed take away and delivery services to the local community, while also providing safe and flexible, low contact key worker accommodation for those who have to travel for work purposes or even self-isolate. Accommodation of this kind would also enhance and further complement the offer at Market 41, attracting a discerning client base of weekend-breakers who would appreciate the opportunity to explore the wider local area while staying at an exciting food and beverage-led destination, while providing a huge economic boost to Urmston in general. Months of planning, evaluation and assessment work have gone into the re-design and it is hoped that the new scheme can be submitted for planning in the next couple of weeks.
“The way in which we conduct our day-to-day working lives and spend our leisure time has been re-set for the foreseeable future, forcing us not only to re-think how Market 41 will function in a post-pandemic world but also how best to future proof the concept against unforeseeable operational risk should further restrictions or lockdo wns present themselves. “With an end date for the lockdown in sight, it was time to re-focus our efforts on how best to deliver this exciting new urban food and drink-led destination to ensure it is financially viable, income generative and can function at some level whatever the future holds. “We have explored different ways to enable the project to be delivered in phases so that as the economy gradually recovers and the project builds momentum we can flex by adding additional elements of the proposed offer. Conversely if lockdowns reoccur and the economy contracts, elements of the project can effectively be put into hibernation without having major long term consequences.”
Chris McGoff, Director at the McGoff Group
With so much excitement built up for the project in Urmston, the McGoff Group has given careful thought to how the development can best serve the local community. In addition to job creation and an exciting food and drink offer that will attract footfall to Urmston from the wider local area, Market 41 will benefit the community by offering a modern socially-distanced space for work and social meetings, indoor and outdoor spaces for special occasions and events and unique self-contained pods for those looking to work outside of home without returning to the city centre.“Working practices have changed and city centre commutes are set to be less frequent,” said McGoff, “But people will still want stimulating space with a great F&B offer for meetings, after work drinks and catching up with friends & family. We will actively encourage the local professional services and creative sectors to use this environment for relaxed meetings in the food hall or more formal ones in the designated boardrooms while at the same time availing of the market’s super food offering.”
Market 41 will be a key area of focus for the McGoff Group in 2021 and one that company remains excited about, despite having had to significantly rework the original concept to ensure it can be viably delivered in potentially uncertain post-Covid times. “Refocussing our efforts on reassessing the project to ensure it is future proof has taken some time, but we are now confident that we have a business model that is fit-for-purpose and deliverable and look forward for re-submitting it for planning in the not too distant future,” concluded McGoff.
Located on Railway Road in the centre of Urmston, Market 41 will also boast exemplary environmental and sustainability credentials including vertical farming installation, food composting and nutrient re-cycling and in-house local food delivery by bicycle.
For further information on Market 41 please contact:
For further editorial information on Market 41 or to request an interview with Chris McGoff, please contact Philosophy Public Relations
Victoria Maltby: 07944 150043
Gemma Carey: 07944 150051