28 January, 2008 – Green light for public space, jobs and homes at Exchange Greengate
Communities Secretary and Salford MP, Hazel Blears, has welcomed the news that national regeneration agency English Partnerships has put in place the final element for a visionary 13- hectare scheme that will provide a new urban quarter linking the cities of Salford and Manchester.
She said: "The partners are unlocking a vital connection between the two cities and helping to extend the economic success of Manchester city centre into Salford."
The announcement of an £8.5 million funding package from English Partnerships gives a green light to the scheme that will create stunning public spaces, 4,000 jobs and 2,500 new homes.
Exchange Greengate will link Salford and Manchester through a new public square, river walkway and connecting bridge.
Expected to attract over £600m of private sector investment, it will be a new, vibrant, mixed-use development, just minutes from Victoria Station and the commercial heart of Manchester, bounded by the River Irwell, Chapel Street, Blackfriars Road and Trinity Way.
The development, which secured planning permission in June 2007, is being led by a partnership between Central Salford URC, Salford City Council, English Partnerships, Network Rail and ASK Developments.
The public space elements of the scheme will see the creation of a new visitor destination characterised by green spaces, attractive watersides, pedestrian-friendly walkways, water features, a public square and a new bridge across the River Irwell.
A key feature will be the recreation of the medieval market place reflecting the historic importance of the site as a centre of trade and commerce. Exceptional design quality and high standards of sustainability will be integral to the approach.
Paul Spooner, Regional Director, English Partnerships said, "Exchange Greengate is a fantastic development. Our funding is critical to unlocking the regeneration potential of the area and in reconnecting Salford and Manchester through a vibrant public space area.
"One of English Partnerships’ key aims is to achieve high-quality, well-designed, sustainable places for people to live, work and enjoy and Greengate certainly hits the mark."
Chief Executive of Central Salford URC, Chris Farrow, outlined the importance of this funding: "The £8.5 million from English Partnerships is critical to the transformation of Central Salford.
"Exchange Greengate is an integral part of the Regional Centre and will become a high quality, thriving destination for visitors, residents and businesses. It will also have wider impacts, opening the doorway to the revival of Chapel Street and the re-birth of the River Irwell as a waterside public corridor linking Manchester to Salford."
Councillor Derek Antrobus, Salford City Council’s lead member for planning, added: "This scheme is vital to the continuing regeneration of Salford. Greengate is an extremely significant part of our vision for the city.
"We’re committed to investing in and improving open spaces in the city, especially green space, and we’re confident that the public realms at Greengate will be an attraction for current and future residents of Salford."
John Hughes, Development Director, Ask Developments said: "Improving the public spaces at Greengate will make a massive difference to the area. Green, open spaces, public art and water features all go towards creating a beautiful and vibrant place to be – an environment that will complement our developments and create a successful and popular destination."
Exchange Greengate will see the transformation of 13 acres of predominantly underused, brownfield land into over 2,500 residential units and over 85,000 sq m of commercial floor space creating around 4,000 new jobs.
Source: Salford City Council press release