Study confirms strong development levels throughout region

Eden (Credit Simon Buckley)

New statistics shows that 25 new development projects began in Manchester and Salford city centres in the past 12 months.

The crane survey, by professional services company Deloitte, measures the amount of development projects taking place across both Manchester and Salford and their impact.

The 25 new projects includes 17 new residential developments – the highest since 2018 – while 2,734 homes were delivered to the market.

The results in the report are consistent with the area’s position as an attractive proposition for investors, developers, businesses and residents alike. Salford is now recognised across the sector as a driving force in the region with a commitment to sustainable growth and regeneration at the heart of its approach.

Outside London, the region continues to lead the way in construction activity, helping to make positive impacts and economic growth across the two cities.

On the residential front, Salford city centre, has seen the largest share of development, with 13,578 homes now having been completed since 2014. Looking to the future, the number of new residential projects starting in this area of the market show no signs of slowing down.

Residential developments currently onsite include Greenhaus, 96 Passivehaus-acrredited affordable apartments as part of The English Cities Fund £1bn Salford Central masterplan.

This growth in new homes in Salford is in tandem with a population increase of 15.4%. Population growth in both Salford and Manchester is higher than the proportional increase for England (6.6%) again highlighting the region as an attractive proposition for people to settle and make a home, whether this is following from studying in the area or relocating to take up a position in one of the many new businesses now making a base in the region.

In the office sector, 702,000 sq ft of new floorspace was delivered to market in 2022, this is despite the trend seeing more people continuing to work from home. Construction levels are growing and take up of this new space is encouraging.

High quality spaces provided by the likes of 100 Embankment and New Bailey in Salford are in demand and attracting new tenants to the city.

Only last month 100 Embankment was named ‘Manchester and Salford’s best performing office’ for 2022 with recent lettings taking the building to circa 75% full with more than 120,000 sq ft let.

Across the two cities, five new office projects will create 1.1m sq ft of space, with a total of 1.7m sq ft currently under construction, including Eden, 115,000 sq ft office accommodation, one of the most environmentally-friendly offices in the UK.

TLT law firm has signed a 15-year lease to take the top two floors. The building will run on 100% renewable electricity and has been designed using the UK Green Building Council’s 2035-2050 standards.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “The results of this survey reveal our strategy for growth and regeneration in action. We are committed to developing sustainable growth in the city and this will continue in the future as we react to the growing needs of residents and businesses.

“Next, we look to MIPIM as we to further share the Salford story and enact our bold approach and new shared visions for two of our key town centres, Eccles and Swinton. This will see redevelopment extend beyond the recognised areas of the city centre and Media City and deliver economic growth shared out across the city.”

Salford City Council chief executive, Tom Stannard, said: “These results are pleasing to see, but to those in the city and everyone focused on delivering growth for the city, they will not be a surprise. We have a plan for the city and are putting it into place.

“The positivity highlighted in this report have come over time and a commitment to a joint approach we have developed across Salford. We continue to work closely with city partners and developers to hopefully bring more growth and success in this area.”

Joanne Roney, City Council chief executive, said: “As a city, we’re incredibly proud of our strong cultural ties, providing a diverse and vibrant destination for people from around the world.

“The last few years have only worked to solidify this, with work under way on major cultural attractions including Factory International, Co-op Live and the completion of the Mayfield park ensuring Manchester remains one of the UK’s most exciting destinations for tourists and residents alike.”

John Cooper, partner at Deloitte, said: “New builds still dominate the market, making up 89% of office space currently under construction and new schemes are increasingly pushing the boundaries in terms of environmental credentials as they look to future proof against market trends and what is a rapidly evolving area of the office market. Refurbishments currently make up 11% as owners look to minimise embodied carbon and future proof their estates.

“With many companies now choosing hybrid working models, it’s encouraging to see such a strong pipeline of office space development driven by a desire for more flexible office space utillisation, enhanced environmental credentials and overall quality of employee experience.

“In addition, as new EPC minimum requirements hit commercial offices in 2025 and again in 2027 as well as 2030, the ESG credentials of existing office spaces is likely to only further increase, particularly as owners are compelled to retrofit and decarbonise their existing estate.”