Stretford Public Hall Ballroom Transformation Project

Buttress, Manchester, 2021



All photographs Gavin Stewart     Download Original

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Buttress was appointed by The Friends of Stretford Public Hall to transform the hall’s Victorian ballroom into a flexible and inclusive multi-functional event space for community use.

Stretford Public Hall is a Grade II-listed building on a main arterial road into Manchester city centre. Years of ad-hoc alterations by previous occupants had created various restrictions which were limiting the ballroom’s operating and commercial potential.

To open up the space, non-historic intrusive partitions have been removed and original openings and apertures reinstated throughout. Wherever possible, the ballroom’s historic features have been restored and celebrated. A new decorative scheme has been adopted which provides a contemporary take on a traditional Victorian colour scheme. This creates a dynamic yet approachable space that welcomes the diverse local community. A new lighting scheme has also been introduced which adds improved flexibility for a range of community uses.

Key to the project was the creation of a commercial offer that would generate income that could be reinvested into the building and community activities. To support this, two concealable servery areas have been created at each end of the hall. Each also contains a moveable servery unit that can be put away when not in use, reducing the physical and aesthetic impact on the space, while providing a desired commercial facility.

The team were also keen to ensure that the design celebrated the diversity within the wider community. All toilet facilities are gender-neutral with non-binary signage and personal intimate care facilities integrated where necessary. Tendering contractors were also asked to submit a statement explaining their commitments to inclusivity. This allowed the project team to ensure all aspects of the project fully supported their commitment to equality, and not just the design proposals.

Annual CO2 data was not provided


  • Begun: Jun 2020
  • Completed: Feb 2021
  • Floor area: 376m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £297,000
  • Funding: Architectural Heritage Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Co-operative Community Shares Booster Fund, community f
  • Tender date: Mar 2020
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester, M32 0LG, United Kingdom

Professional Team