Council reveals vision for ambitious Northern Gateway project

Red Bank Brewery Square

A detailed vision for the Northern Gateway project – a programme of development that will see 15,000 new homes in the next 15-20 years – will be considered by Manchester City Council Executive this Wednesday, July 25.

The draft Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) sets out eight clear core objectives for the regeneration programme and will be a template for development planning over the next decade, driving the ambitions of the Northern Gateway.

The project is a joint venture between Manchester City Council and the Northern Gateway project office of the Far East Consortium (FEC) based in Manchester – and at 155 hectares, one of the largest residential-led regeneration projects in the UK.

A key theme of the Gateway is a unique city river park, bringing life to the Irk River Valley and connecting seven new and emerging neighbourhoods through high quality open green spaces and public squares.

The ambitious green space will stretch from Angel Meadow through to Collyhurst with the intention of attracting a wide range of biodiversity, while celebrating the existing architectural features of the valley, including Manchester’s Victorian railway arches.

The Northern Gateway will extend the residential opportunities north from the city centre creating the cluster of well-designed and distinct sustainable neighbourhoods, opening up a range of new retail and family-friendly leisure destinations in the north of the city.

With much improved connectivity – focusing on green transport, including walking, cycling and public transport – the Northern Gateway has the potential to attract a range of visitors from the city centre and beyond, taking advantage of the green space and leisure amenities, while improving the lifestyle residents.

At its heart, the Northern Gateway is a residential-led development and aims to build a mix of 15,000 new homes over the next 15 years with at least 3,000 affordable homes across a range of tenures.

Residents, landowners and businesses will be invited to look at the plans in detail and share their thoughts and ideas during an eight week consultation period during August and September.

The consultation period will offer face-to-face engagement opportunities as well as the opportunity to view the draft framework.

All feedback received will be used to help shape the final Strategic Regeneration Framework which will be completed later in the year.

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “The draft framework gives us a real feel of how these exciting plans are coming together and will help us inform the tone of specific plans for the Northern Gateway over the next 10 to 15 years.

“We will be listening to, and working with, existing communities.

“It’s important that as one of the largest residential-led developments the UK has ever seen, the Northern Gateway maintains its authentic Manchester roots.

“We will be beginning a major consultation in the coming months to find out what the public think – and we want to know, have we got this right and is there anything we’ve missed?

“The Northern Gateway is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the Irk Valley through the unique city park, and we think deliver a template of how city living can be transformed to improve lifestyles and a collective sense of place.”

Tom Fenton, FEC project director, said: “In conjunction with the city council and the consultant team, we believe we have crafted a vision for the Northern Gateway which we hope both existing and future residents will be supportive of.

“We have invested a lot of time and effort into understanding the area and studying the constraints presented by the area’s industrial legacy and how we can turn those constraints into opportunities within the vision.

“The vision is ambitious, but we believe that it is grounded and entirely capable of being realised and we are excited about beginning to deliver it over the coming months.

“Going out to public consultation marks another important milestone in the evolution of the project and takes us a step closer to be able to deliver much needed housing for Manchester close to the city centre.”