Manchester-based property asset advisory firm, Crowd UK, has signed terms on the lease of the 10,000 square foot disused basement below Barton Arcade, Manchester, and will be making it available for use as one of the city’s most “unique” event spaces.

Constructed by Corbett, Raby and Sawyer in 1871, Barton Arcade is one of the oldest surviving Victorian shopping arcades in the country. Its basement, which sits two levels underground beneath Deansgate, spans the entire length and width of the building and had been sitting derelict for years, with the majority of the space bricked up and just a few small rooms used for storage.

On taking possession of the basement, Crowd has overseen a repair and restoration programme that has seen the 19th Century archways unblocked, the original brickwork cleaned and the entire floorplate opened up to create one large interconnecting space.

Crowd, which also manages Barton Arcade on behalf of Mansford LLP, will be making the space available 365 days a year for hire as an event space, starting with local charity Forever Manchester, who will host its annual spooky lock in on October 31.

Mark Burgess, managing director of Crowd UK, says: “Our approach to asset management is all about looking at how to breathe new life in to places and spaces and to try to identify opportunities which have previously been missed. The first time I went down in to the basement at Barton Arcade I was blown away by its potential. It has taken a fair bit of work to restore the basement to its original form and open the entire 10,000 square foot floorplate up, but the result is that we now have a stunning space to work with that is unlike any other in Manchester.

“The Basement is a great example of how, with some foresight and vision, you can transform a neglected and unused space into an amazing venue.  Now not only does Barton Arcade offer a unique and eclectic mix of shops, bars and restaurants, but an unrivalled, architecturally stunning event space too.”

The blank canvas space can be hired for anything from an hour for photoshoots, to a few months as a pop-up venue or filming location.