Shovels in the ground on £1.4bn regeneration of city’s Mayfield area
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Work has commenced on the £1.4bn Mayfield regeneration development in the heart of Manchester city centre.
The balanced mixed-use urban neighbourhood, anchored by the city’s first new public park in more than 100 years, is being delivered by the Mayfield Partnership, a public-private venture comprising regeneration specialist U+I, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and developer LCR.
To coincide with work beginning on the first phase of the scheme, which includes the 6.5 acre Mayfield Park, new visualisations of how the scheme will look when completed have been released, including of the rediscovered River Medlock, which currently lies buried beneath the former industrial site, but will be resurrected, replanted, and restored into a healthy, vital river flowing through the centre of the park.
Overall, Mayfield is set to transform a previously derelict part of Manchester’s industrial heritage to deliver 1,500 homes, 1.6m sq ft of market-leading commercial space, 300,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities and 14 acres of new public realm.
Earlier this year, the Government pledged £23m of investment from its Getting Building Fund – one of the largest investments in any single project – to Mayfield Park as part of its strategy to support ‘shovel ready’ schemes that will help to drive economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis.
Mayfield is the first scheme that has received investment to now start on site.
A beautiful and safe urban oasis, designed by Studio Egret West, Mayfield Park will be a transformative and sustainable 24-acre public amenity for the people of the city and Greater Manchester next to Piccadilly Station.
A park charter, created by the Mayfield Partnership in consultation with the local community and industry experts and following extensive research, will be published in Spring 2021.
This will outline the partnership’s ambition for the park and a set of promises to the people of Manchester, ensuring Mayfield Park becomes an exemplar urban public green space that endures as a safe, stimulating and sustainable place for everyone in the city long into the future.
A Friends of Mayfield Park group will also be launched early next year to ensure full community involvement and wide public engagement in the delivery of the park and kick-start activities with local groups and charities as work progresses on site.
Richard Upton, chief development officer at U+I, said: “This is a momentous moment for Mayfield and the people of Manchester – we are now a significant step closer to creating the city’s first new public park in over 100 years, which will be the locus of the new community that will be created in the heart of this great city.
“The park is for the people of Manchester and is without doubt the most important element in the whole neighbourhood, which is why we are delivering it first and we will be working closely with the community to help shape the plans for this urban oasis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on how vital high-quality, accessible green spaces are for our wellbeing, and Mayfield Park will offer a place of solace and inspiration in the centre of Manchester long into the future.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “I’m so pleased to see ground broken on the Mayfield Park development. If we needed a reminder of the importance of accessible green spaces and the benefits they can bring for our mental and physical wellbeing, this year certainly brought one.
“A new public park can give a real lift to this part of Manchester, creating important new community assets and jobs. As part of a much wider vision for the city centre, it can help to boost our economic recovery and transform urban space for the people who live, work, and do business here.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “There are some development projects that have such transformational potential that we await their beginning with great anticipation. Mayfield is most definitely one of them.
“This part of the city centre has been under-used for decades and it’s brilliant that we can now celebrate the first shovels going in the ground on the new city park and a green sanctuary at the heart of our city – followed closely by significant investment in new commercial space and new homes.
“Mayfield is a project of exceptional ambition. And ambition is the very tonic we need as we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic towards economic recovery – in part through high-quality, impactful investment in our city, such as this.”
Adam Wisher, North West regional director at LCR, said: “This milestone underlines what’s possible when the public and private sectors come together to pursue complex, mixed-use regeneration projects.
“The partnership’s shared ambition, expertise and experience is bringing forward a true community asset that will deliver commercial and public value for Manchester. Mayfield is set to be as vibrant and diverse as the city it serves – we can’t wait to see it take shape.”
As well as providing city centre green space, Mayfield Park will also enable the delivery of the first phase of commercial development, which includes 320,000 sq ft of world class commercial space across two spectacular buildings and a multi-storey car park.
Construction of these buildings will commence in 2021.
The Poulton, designed by Bennetts Associates, occupies a prime location on entry to the neighbourhood and provides 75,900 sq ft of modern commercial workspace. A double-height, flexible ground floor will be open to the public throughout the day and evening for uses that could include wellbeing activities, leisure and co-working.
It is complemented by The Republic, designed by Morris + Company, a 13-storey flagship 244,000 sq ft office development.
A 581-space multi-storey car park designed by overall masterplanner, Studio Egret West, will be created at the south of site and will be equipped with electric vehicle charging points.
The park, new commercial spaces and car park, will sit alongside a range of historic buildings, including the landmark former station on Fairfield Street, which are being retained and redeveloped as part of the wider regeneration plans.
The long-term proposals will seek to enhance many of the site’s historic features. The vast depot building has already been transformed into a new cultural venue, Depot Mayfield, which contributed to bringing 330,000 visitors to Mayfield in 2019, after more than 30 years of decline.
The delivery of Mayfield Park will support approximately 150 new construction jobs.
It is envisaged that Mayfield will create opportunities for more than 10,000 office, retail and leisure jobs, in addition to in excess of 630 full time equivalent construction jobs, up to 2,500 supply chain roles and 25 apprenticeships annually.
Over the next decade, the scheme is forecast to deliver more than £7.4bn of GVA to the local economy.