Friday, 14 December 2012


Dear Realty Estates,

As a busy bookshop on Oxford Road, we couldn't have been more excited at the prospect of offices, a hotel and student accommodation on the former site of BBC Manchester.

Sure, we miss the Beeb being here, but your development will bring a whole new buzz to a thriving and creative corridor of Manchester.

That is, until our customers spoke.

We ran a poll on this massively popular* blog asking "what should the BBC Oxford Road site be turned into" - and it seems you may need to reconsider your plans. After all, this is the voice of the public. The results were as follows:

1st - A ball pit (22 votes, 26%)
2nd - A huge bookshop (20 votes, 24%)
3rd - A bouncy castle (19 votes, 22%)
4th - A kind of parallel universe vortex or something, I dunno, something Doctor Who-y and that (16 votes, 19%)
Joint 5th - A Tesco Metro / A sculpture of EL James (3 votes each)
There is nothing that sends a shiver down our paperback spines than the thought of a massive bookshop on the old BBC site, with rows and rows of Murakami, Plath and Where's Wally. However, the public want a ball pit.

A massive ball pit.

Decent quality ball pit balls would set you back around £15-£20 for 100. You'd need to scale up that quantity considering the size of the site. Maybe a million balls, which, with bulk discount, would set you back £100,000. Even with the appropriately gaudy plastic walls and slides, it would be way cheaper than your existing plans.

And a ball pit is, as we have shown, what the public wants.

Do it, Realty Estates. Do it for the office workers who wear stripey socks to work because they think they're wacky. Do it for the geography undergrads who wear court jester hats to indie club nights. Do it for the shoppers desperately looking for a distraction from their secret-Santa hell.

To do any different would be an insult to the multi-coloured future we all deserve.

* artistic licence

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