Milestone marked at £32m residential development

The topping out of a £32m impact-led housing scheme in Manchester has been marked.

GMI Construction Group and Cheyne Capital were joined by NHS leaders to mark completion of the highest point of construction at the 12-storey development where 35% of homes will be reserved for key workers at discounted rents.

The Oldham Road apartment building forms a key part of the regeneration of the New Cross neighbourhood, which sits between the two prominent districts of Ancoats and NOMA.

The construction company, which was appointed by Cheyne Capital to deliver the development, led a topping out event attended by senior management and directors from Cheyne Capital and GMI.

Funding for the scheme was provided through Cheyne Capital’s Impact Real Estate strategy which aims to address the UK’s shortage of affordable housing. Under the social impact principles of the financing agreement, 51 of the total 144 apartments will be reserved for local key workers, such as nurses, teachers, and emergency services workers, at discounted rents.

The project provides one of the largest proportion of homes reserved for key workers in Manchester, and as such the event was attended by chairman of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Kathy Cowell, as a special guest. She officially marked the topping out milestone by congratulating the funding and contractor teams.

The development features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a 3,000 sq ft roof terrace and further high quality amenity spaces for work, entertainment, and relaxation. The scheme is accredited with the Home Quality Mark and a top-level Platinum Award with WiredScore, the global standard for in-building connectivity.

In 1991, just 2,500 people lived in Manchester’s city centre. Since then, the rise in population has accelerated with an estimated 65,000 people thought to live in the city by 2019.

These numbers are expected to continue to rise with the city council predicting Manchester’s urban population will hit 100,000 by 2025.

But the demand has led to surging prices, with council data suggesting rents increased by 10% in the year to April 2022, alone.

Rents at the new Oldham Road development will be reduced by up to 25% for key workers.

Jack Greenhalf, development manager at Cheyne Capital, said: “We know what a transformational impact urban regeneration developments such as Oldham Road can have on a place, and the benefits they provide for the communities they serve.

“Our commitment to reserve more than a third of these new homes at meaningful discounts – enabled by our Impact Real Estate strategy – will open up more affordable opportunities for key workers across health, education, and the emergency services to live in the heart of one of the UK’s most dynamic cities.”

Marc Banks, divisional managing director at GMI, said: “This is a major milestone for Oldham Road which moves us closer to completing what is a best-in-class development in the heart of Manchester.”

The Oldham Road development is part of the larger regeneration project being undertaken by GMI in the New Cross area of Manchester, which will see the construction of 378 homes over three major developments.

Oldham Road is due to complete mid-2023.