Gary Neville unveils plans to build skyscrapers in Manchester
Former England star Gary Neville has unveiled his multimillion-pound plans to build two new skyscrapers in central Manchester housing a 5-star hotel and luxury apartments.
The 'St Michael's' project, to include one 31-storey tower block and one with 21 storeys, will involve the demolition of several existing older buildings in the city centre around Jackson's Row.
The former Manchester United captain said: "Our vision is to deliver the biggest statement in architecture and development that Manchester has seen in modern times."
Neville, 41, said the project, which includes a new synagogue and three new public spaces, would bring back life to a "key, underused area of the city" and create over 1,300 jobs.
The scheme is being planned by the St Michael's Partnership, an international consortium including Singapore's Rowsley Ltd, Beijing Construction and Engineering Group International and Jackson's Row Developments Limited, formed by Neville, fellow United star Ryan Giggs and businessman Brendan Flood.
The project hit the news last winter when Neville allowed around 30 homeless men to squat in one of the old buildings on the site, the Grade II listed former stock exchange building.
Some conservationists have expressed concerns about the fate of some of the city's historic buildings as part of the development.
Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville unveil their multimillion-pound plans to build two new skyscrapers in central Manchester
The plans are of "great concern" to government heritage agency Historic England, which said the scale and form would "cause a high level of harm".
A statement from the agency said: "Historic England has worked closely with Manchester City Council and the developer, providing advice on the emerging scheme.
"The discussions have been constructive and we understand that an application for planning permission is soon to be submitted.
"The proposed plans as they currently stand remain of great concern to us and we think that the scale and form of the plans would cause a high level of harm to both the conservation area and the setting of the nationally important civic buildings of the Town Hall and Library.
"We acknowledge, and are excited by, the potential of the site but feel that there are alternative ways to provide the benefits of the scheme which would not harm the special heritage of Manchester. We will continue to work with the team and council as the scheme develops."