City council puts land, not cash, into Granada deal

MANCHESTER City Council is not putting any capital into the deal to buy the ITV Granada site with Allied London, but it is contributing a £2.4m plot it bought just seven months ago from the Spinningfields developer.

Last week Allied London said it had formed a partnership with the council called Manchester Quays Ltd (MQL) to conduct the £26.5m acquisition and subsequent redevelopment of the 13-acre site.

Earlier in the year the two organisations were negotiating on a different land deal, the sale of an old warehouse next to the Marriott Victoria & Albert hotel by the River Irwell on Water Street, which is referred to as Albert’s Shed, although it has nothing to do with the Castlefield restaurant of the same name.

The council has previously said it wanted the site because of its strategic waterfront location connecting Spinningfields with the Granada site.

MQL was incorporated in July and the council said the Albert’s Shed acquisition predated any plan to link up with Allied London on the Granada site.

In a statement Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: “Being part of MQL gives us the influence to be satisfied that we can help deliver a comprehensive scheme which will deliver significant value to the city.”

The area, across Quay Street from Allied London’s Spinningfields scheme, was vacated by ITV earlier this year, but is still the home of Coronation Street which will move to a new set at MediaCity, Salford Quays.

It has outline consent for 1.2m sq ft of offices, 200,000 sq ft of retail, 895 homes and a 575-space car park. Earlier negotiations with Manchester-based Genr8 and IKEA’s property arm, LandProp, fell through.