£3.5m Central Bay scheme will provide independent dockside foodie destination

CGI of Central Bay

Central Bay, a new, £3.5m independent waterfront dining and drinking destination, is to be located at Quayside MediaCity.

Named after the original stretch of dock which was once a thriving loading bay during the industrial revolution, Central Bay will offer 25,000 sq ft of food and drink experiences, while sitting at the heart of cultural landmarks such as The Lowry, Imperial War Museum North and Coronation Street’s studios.

And with more than 2,000 sq ft of south-facing outside terrace space, up to 600 visitors to Central Bay will have unrivalled views of some of Manchester’s most iconic landmarks, including the Old Trafford football ground.

The operator behind the 2022 British Street Food Awards ‘Food Hall of the Year, Cutlery Works’, in Sheffield and The GPO in Liverpool, has been brought on board to run and develop the food hall, which will be known as Kargo, while the street vendor elements of Central Bay will be branded Kargo Mkt, aligning with the area’s rich history.

With a mix of design and culinary excellence, Blend Family, in partnership with Quayside MediaCity, will showcase the best in up-and-coming food and drink talent.

Earmarked for a summer 2023 launch, Central Bay will be one of the biggest independent food and drink operations in the North – it will house four independent restaurants, 13 kitchens, pop-up events, indie markets, live music performances and recreation space for children, with more announcements set to be made in the coming months.

The ethos of supporting local independents and artists is a legacy of MediaCity’s successful Box on the Docks initiative, launched during the pandemic to support local traders and creatives.

Stephen Wild, MediaCity managing director, said: “Central Bay is an ambitious and transformational project for Quayside MediaCity which will be a fantastic place for our growing number of residents, workers, students and visitors to enjoy great food, in a tranquil yet vibrant waterside setting.

“It will be truly unique and a celebration of local food, drink and art – which is what we know, from the Salford Vision 2030 research piece, local people want to see and access. Central Bay will add another dimension to MediaCity and Quayside and will bolster its growing reputation as a leading leisure and cultural destination.”

Matt Bigland, founder and CEO of Blend Family, said: “This is an exciting development for us and the passion that the Quayside MediaCity team have for creating new, exciting experiences for everyone who lives, works, and visits the area is infectious. We can’t wait to announce Central Bay and Kargo’s first line-up of incredible food vendors and bring our offering to Salford.”

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