Groundworks under way at £195m former Boddingtons Brewery site

CGI of Waterhouse Gardens exterior

Manchester developer, Salboy Group, has started groundworks on its £195m scheme at the former site of the Boddingtons Brewery on the northern edge of central Manchester.

DOMIS, Salboy’s dedicated construction partner, is now on site at the 52,700 sq ft development.

Construction is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2026.

The original 2018 planning application was made by Assael Architecture. The scheme was later revised and modernised by Architect Studio Power.

After the Boddingtons Brewery ceased operations in 2005, proposed schemes for the site became known as Old Brewery Gardens.

CGI of spa pool

Salboy has renamed the scheme Waterhouse Gardens, paying homage to Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905), one of the most successful Victorian architects whose work included Manchester Town Hall and the nearby Strangeways Gaol, many ‘red-brick’ universities, as well as the Natural History Museum in London.

The Waterhouse Gardens scheme will incorporate red brick in its designs, reflecting Waterhouse’s generous use of terracotta and enthusiasm for the Victorian Gothic revival style.

The scheme celebrates its local environment, too. Each of Waterhouse Garden’s five principal buildings will be named after local waterways, and their interior design and landscaping will be inspired by the location’s past as a brewery.

Simon Ismail, co-founder and managing director of Salboy, said: “Right on target, work has commenced on our hugely exciting new scheme on one of Manchester’s largest and last remaining regeneration sites.

“As is always the way with Salboy schemes, we only start the sales process once we are live on site. With boots now on the ground, from September buyers will be able to purchase with confidence in this scheme, which is fully funded and their deposits are protected.”

Salboy acquired the site in December 2022, with the intention to develop a mixed-used scheme across five buildings, including a 20-storey tower, and a landscaped public realm.

Located next to Manchester College’s new city campus and only a short walk from the city’s Northern Quarter, Waterhouse Gardens will provide 556 new city centre homes likely to appeal to students and young people.

The scheme will include 31,000 sq ft of commercial and retail space, as well as exclusive access for residents to their own onsite ‘Clubhouse’ that offers them swimming pools, squash and basketball courts, lounges and games rooms, private dining, cinema room, meeting rooms and work spaces and a private landscaped garden.

Ismail added: “Waterhouse Gardens will be a residential-led mixed-use regeneration project that pays close attention to creating an appealing landscaped environment where young people buy and rent their homes, as well as study, begin or progress their careers and socialise, all within easy reach of Manchester’s vibrant city centre.

CGI of Waterhouse Gardens entrance

“We’ve specifically and painstakingly designed a new local neighbourhood that’ll suit anyone – renters and owners alike – who’s seeking a vibrant, convenient, city central lifestyle where what they need and want is available on site at a consistently high quality and easy access.”

Sales for the fully funded scheme will commence in September.

Graham + Sibbald is advising Salboy on the commercial space within Waterhouse Gardens. Director, Conor Mulloy, said: “The design of the development together with the attention to detail on items such as the landscaping will ensure this brand new neighbourhood will be hugely attractive to both residents and commercial operators alike.

“With over 31,000 sq ft of quality commercial space being created with an abundance of well designed and landscaped external seating areas, particularly along Central Avenue, Waterhouse Gardens will be an exciting opportunity for bars and restaurants seeking space within the city.

“These new operators will not only benefit from the rapidly-growing residential population but also the immediately adjacent AO Arena. In turn they will bring vibrancy and activity to the area which will enhance the neighbourhood and local environment even further.”

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