Tributes to influential Bolton property developer Carol Ainscow
TRIBUTES have been paid to an inspirational property developer from Bolton who died from a brain tumour.
Carol Ainscow, a pioneer who helped transform Manchester’s Canal Street into one of the most vibrant gay districts in Europe, died on Thursday, aged 55.
Her death comes just a month after falling ill while on holiday.
Born in a draper's shop on Birkdale Street, Deane, and the daughter of an Astley Bridge chip shop owner, she went on to become a millionaire property developer.
Disillusioned with a career in teaching, she worked in life insurance sales, accumulating £15,000 which was ploughed into her first property in 1982 — the 25-bedroom Lynwood private residential care home in Seymour Road, Astley Bridge The former St Peter and Paul's Primary School pupil developed a number of bars, cafes and clubs in Manchester, including Manto, one of the first openly-gay bars in Canal Street, in 1990.
Her property company Artisan transformed derelict buildings into flats and she helped inspire the trend for city centre living, also breathing new life into the former Daily Express building in Great Ancoats Street.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Carol was a true entrepreneur and someone who made a significant contribution to the regeneration of the city. Her loss is shocking and saddening."
Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, the property developer who emerged alongside the former Mount St Joseph Grammar School pupil's activities in Manchester, said: "I am so sad to hear of Carol Ainscow's death.
"She was a fellow developer, bar owner, entrepreneur, Red and true pioneer. R.I.P. Carol."
Former journalist Paul Horrocks, a governor of the University of Bolton, wrote on Twitter: “Carol Ainscow was a pioneer in Mcr city centre living and regen led the way with many innovative projects ahead of their time - and friend”.
And Sacha Lord-Marchionne, one of the founders of The Warehouse Project series of club nights, wrote: “RIP Carol Ainscow. @WHP_Mcr would never have happened without her. A true Manchester Legend #RIPCarolAinscow”.
Throughout her career, she also acquired the Shorefield Nursing Home at Dunscar Fold, Bolton, various flat and shop projects in the Russell Street and Tonge Moor Road areas, as well as the former Factory Records headquarters in Manchester, which she transformed into the three-storey Paradise night club.
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