Hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested into Manchester over the past three decades, and the transformation has been genuinely incredible. The term ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is used frequently by those wanting to draw attention away from the capital. However, Manchester is a clear example of the true potential in the northern industrial cities.
A European Gem
Manchester is one of the most popular tourist destinations across Europe. It provides everything we could wish for in a weekend city break. From fabulous restaurants run by chefs from all over the globe, to music venues and nightclubs that attract millions. And, of course, two world-class football teams.
The city exudes luxury, making it extremely attractive to young professionals and lucrative for developers. Moreover, the constant regeneration has brought hundreds of businesses to the city, meaning the job prospects have never been better.
Additionally, Manchester is one of the largest student hubs in Europe. With over 100,000 students currently enrolled across the five high education establishments, the city is a wonderfully diverse place to live.
Current Manchester Regeneration Projects
There are a considerable number of regeneration projects currently going on in the city. Here are some of the best, including NOMA, Withington Village and Spinningfields.
New Islington is one of Manchester’s most successful recent regeneration projects. Back in 2000, the regeneration company Urban Splash won the contract to overhaul the area, and the impact has been astronomical.
New Islington encompasses everything Manchester represents. It includes a range of new homes, comprising of large family properties and smaller apartments. The area also proudly incorporates social housing, encouraging a diverse population. In addition, New Islington is popular with independent cafes and bars, creating a thriving social hub.
The area was once the heart of industry in Manchester. However, following the downturns of the ’60s and ’70s, much of New Islington was left derelict. As a result, the neighbourhood attracted a bad reputation, and the council became increasingly aware that an overhaul was necessary. Urban Splash completely transformed the area, and New Islington was even voted in the top 20 places to live in the entire country, by the Sunday Times.
Parks, bakeries and the stunning marina make this area the dream for many residents. There is a focus on outside spaces and greenery, transporting residents out of the city and into a place they can relax. The development cleverly uses the stunning pre-existing features of the area, including the canals and industrial architecture, to perfectly blend the old and the new.
According to Rightmove, house prices in New Islington average £248,212, compared to the average of £234,204 across Manchester as a whole. Notably, house prices in New Islington have grown 3% since 2018.
NOMA is one of the best-known redevelopment schemes across Manchester. Covering a whopping 20 acres and costing over £800million, the scheme has transformed the heart of the city.
The plans for NOMA were announced in 2011, and work is set to be completed in 2029. Incredibly, NOMA has brought over 5000 jobs into Manchester, with over 550,000 sq ft of office space, including Amazon’s first UK headquarters outside of London. However, NOMA is more than office space. The area boasts 1 million sq ft of premium property and 200,000 sq ft of hotels for the many visitors that the city attracts. Interestingly, the development has a clear focus on bringing green spaces to the city centre, offering over 4 acres of much-needed outdoor space for its residents.
Spinningfields is one of the most successful regeneration schemes across Europe. This area right in the heart of Manchester city centre has been completely transformed and continues to evolve as the years pass. Amazingly, this project started in 1997, when Allied London began purchasing many of the properties in the area, with a view to restoring and uplifting the space.
Since then, the area has grown rapidly and has rightly earned the nickname ‘Canary Wharf of the North’. Despite the regeneration beginning before the millennium, construction continues. Many businesses are eager to move into the space due to its reputation as a world-class business hub. It is estimated that the regeneration work to date totals a whopping £1.5bn.
So far, Spinningfields has welcomed 20 new buildings, consisting of 430,000 sq metres of commercial, residential, and retail space. It has attracted huge names in business such as HSBC and Barclays, and beautiful restaurants such as The Ivy and Australasia. Various courts of law are also nearby, including Manchester Crown Court.
Spinningfields’ impact on the growing population of Manchester is undeniable. It is dominated by office space and thriving businesses, which by 2010 had already created 16,000 jobs. This area provides incredible employment opportunities for the more than 100,000 students enrolled in universities across the city.
Overall, Spinningfields presents an excellent opportunity for those looking to invest in either residential or commercial property.
Salford Quays was formerly an industrial dockland, which, like a lot of the city, declined in the ’70s and eventually became derelict. Salford Council began redevelopment in 1985 by building new roads to create efficient transport links into the area. Additionally, new infrastructure was commissioned, including homes, a cinema and a hotel.
However, the real transformation began in 2007. The Peel Group led the birth of MediaCityUK, and the results have been outstanding. MediaCityUK refers to itself as an ‘international hub for technology, innovation, and creativity’. It is now home to over 250 huge business names, including the BBC, ITV and Kellogg’s.
Aside from the outstanding businesses in the area, MediaCityUK is proud to offer state-of-the-art apartments, with waterfront tower blocks being the favourite amongst many who flock here. The three-bedroom apartments in these newly completed towers are attracting rents of £1750 PCM, showing the demand and potential of the area.
In 2016, MediaCityUK announced they would be injecting another £1bn into the project as part of an incredible 10-year plan. The plan intends to attract even more incredible businesses into the city. The developers are aware that many companies are now choosing to base themselves outside of London, following trends set by the likes of the BBC. However, there is also a clear focus on providing a better quality of life for those who reside in MediaCityUK. For example, 11,000 sq ft of event space is part of the next regeneration phase, to be used for a host of fun activities such as street food markets.
Additionally, 18,300 sq ft of small business space is planned to help attract a range of independents into MediaCityUK. Because of the incredible job prospects in the area, young professionals and those freshly graduated are eager to rent property here. With the constant building of new high-quality apartments, the potential for investors in off-plan property is enormous.
The Gasworks, New Town
Manchester city council recently approved plans to create 1200 homes in the old gasworks, close to the Manchester Victoria train station. The project will focus on excellent quality urban living, with a clear priority around the standard of life for those who live there.
There will be secure, underground parking which is often rare in such a central location. Additionally, a new park will be created to afford the residents some outdoor space, as well as two new pedestrian and cycle paths to create accessible routes. The plan is to begin clearing the land over the next 12 months, with the homes ready for occupation before the end of 2023.
Withington Village Regeneration
Withington Village in the south of Manchester has recently been given the green light for a 20-year overhaul. The plans focus on creating a diverse and active community with car-free streets and new cycle routes.
Withington Village Regeneration Partnership plans to reignite the high street, encouraging local independent businesses into the space and enhancing the community feel.
This scheme is a clear example of suburban regeneration projects with the potential to create solid yields for investors.
Manchester Regeneration Summary
- Manchester is the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. It has great connections and excellent universities, encouraging tens of thousands of people to flock to the city.
- Regeneration schemes that began in the ’90s are still evolving, showing the demand for high-quality construction in Manchester.
- NOMA is the largest regeneration project in the city, generating over 2.5 million sq ft of office space and 1 million sq ft of new homes.
- Regeneration is planned for the suburbs as well as the city centre, with the likes of Withington Village eager to receive a complete redevelopment over the coming two decades