Manchester-Based OFR Advises On Landmark Warehouse Regeneration Project In City


Fire engineering consultancy, OFR Consultants has been appointed to provide specialist advice on one of Manchester’s coolest new hotel developments, Cotton Yard. The former cotton warehouse is located on the corner of Canal Street and Chorlton Street.

The business which established its Northern Quarter HQ in 2016 and has now grown to a team of over 60 UK-wide, is providing fire strategy support at hotel brand Staying Cool’s latest project. The transformation of the warehouse which was previously home to the Mash & Air restaurant, will see the building become a 41 bed apartment hotel, featuring a mix of studios and suites over four floors as well as providing eight duplex penthouses in a stunning new two-storey rooftop extension. The project is due to complete and welcome guests by September 2020.

OFR, working as part of the wider contracting team for the client, Cringle Corporation has providing essential fire engineering advice on the scheme. Appointed at the early design stage, it has developed the fire strategy report and now with work live on site, is supporting the contractor, Seddon.

Speaking about the fire challenges that a regeneration project such as this presents, OFR director Simon Lay said:

“Given the existing nature of the building there were a number of restrictions with the design, mainly the fact that there was a single escape core. Because of the size and layout of the building, standard guidance would typically recommend that two escape cores are provided.

“However using our team’s knowledge and expertise, the detailed fire engineering analysis demonstrated that the scheme could be made safe by relying solely on the existing escape core. This solution ensured that the design could be maintained, which allowed work to continue to schedule.”

Bespoke Hotels, which also oversees the management of Manchester’s Hotel Gotham has been appointed to manage Cotton Yard.

For more information about OFR, please visit OFR’s website at