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Decision not to list Manchester Reform Synagogue

A Historic England Spokesperson said:

“We have carefully considered an application to list the Manchester Reform Synagogue and the Minister for Culture, Media & Sport agreed with our advice that it does not have the special historic or architectural interest to merit listing at a national level.

The synagogue does have some interesting features, most notably the hand painted stained glass windows which, unusually for a synagogue, depict full human figures and faces.

It is also clearly of local importance as it is thought to be the first new building constructed in Manchester after the Second World War, symbolising the reinvigoration of the city and the largest Jewish community outside London.

However, the synagogue is not distinctive architecturally and has been subject to fairly extensive alterations over the years meaning it does not meet the high criteria required for listing post-war buildings.

We recognise the local appreciation for the synagogue and have been working actively with the developer and Manchester City Council on development plans which include the proposed demolition of the building.

We think this and the demolition of two other unlisted buildings would harm the character and appearance of the conservation area, so it would have to be very clearly justified."

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