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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
High hopes for 'prestigious' flats
Artist's impression of how the high rise block would look in Manchester city centre
The apartments could provide views over far-away Snowdonia
Northern city slickers could soon be looking down on their London counterparts with the building of the UK's tallest apartment block in Manchester.

Designers boast that some apartments would offer views over Snowdonia, Blackpool Tower and Liverpool.

And, at 561ft tall, it would tower over the UK's current highest residential building, London's Barbican, which stands at 420ft.

But living in Manchester's number one address would not come cheap.

The top floor penthouse would sell for 2.5m while a humble studio could set buyers back 100,000.

This is a project of major significance for Manchester's continued development and will help push the city to the top of the European league
Stephen Beetham, developer
It would be the latest high-profile residential development in the city centre, which has swapped warehouses for luxury apartments during a decade of dramatic regeneration.

Liverpool-based developers Beetham want to include a five-star Hilton hotel and offices in the 150m glass tower.

It would stand towards the southern end of Deansgate and would be the tallest building in the city and the second tallest in the UK, after Canada Tower in London's Canary Wharf.

Beetham also hopes to finish building a similar apartments and hotel complex in Liverpool by the end of 2004.

Stephen Beetham, director of the Beetham Organization, said: "This is a project of major significance for Manchester's continued development and will help push the city to the top of the European league."

Award winner

He added that the 47-storey development would create more than 200 jobs and would be "one of the most prestigious in the UK".

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: "We positively welcome the principle of this scheme and the investment to the city which will help to further our regeneration objectives."

The building has been designed by Ian Simpson Architects, which has already won awards for the No 1 Deansgate apartment development in Manchester.

Work is expected to begin in February 2004 if planning permission is granted.

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