£200m plans for Soapworks regeneration goes to public consultation

CGI of plans for Soapworks

A £200m scheme to develop Salford’s Soapworks, which would deliver around 450 new homes and more than 12,000 sq of office space, is going out to public consultation.

Development managers, Bankfoot APAM, working with Catella APAM on behalf of site owner, Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF), has launched the initiative, ahead of a planning application being submitted to Salford City Council later in the autumn.

The Soapworks is the site of the former Colgate Palmolive Factory, in Salford. It was acquired by GMPF for £60m in September, 2017, and it immediately announced plans to develop the location further.

The proposals will transform the site from a gated community to a new, vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhood.

Soapworks is a well-established office location, which is currently fully occupied, at the site, located to the east of Exchange Quay on the banks of the River Irwell.

In a premium location, close to Salford Quays with excellent connections to Salford Central and Manchester city centre, the site is perfectly placed to be transformed into an open and accessible, sustainable mixed-use neighbourhood.

CGI of Soapworks development

Alongside the housing and workspace elements, the £200m proposal also aims to provide almost four acres of public realm improvements, and a new multi-storey carpark.

The proposals seek to open up the site with new pedestrian and cycle routes to enhance connectivity. New green spaces will be created, with a distinctive central hub, waterfront food & beverage (F&B) area, and courtyard for residents and future and existing employees to enjoy.

The existing Soapworks building is focused on creating a conscious space aligned with social and environmental responsibilities at the heart of its operational practices. The new development proposals will continue to focus on sustainable and wellbeing initiatives to deliver a scheme which continues to place Environmental Social Governance (ESG) at the forefront of its values and culture.

The iconic ‘Boiler House’ building will remain, cementing this part of Salford’s heritage into the neighbourhood and creating an open and inviting view from across the river.

Fiona Chatham, senior development manager at Bankfoot APAM, said: “Bankfoot APAM is excited to be leading the delivery of the regeneration and revitalisation of an iconic site in Salford.

“The creation of new homes, additional office space and extensive public open space will help transform the site into a welcoming mixed-use destination. The scheme design has a key focus on connectivity and aims to deliver a new community in which people can work, rest and play, with sustainability at the heart of the proposals.

“Greater Manchester Pension Fund places significant importance on social value, offering a number of ESG initiatives on the Soapworks site already, such as free wellbeing sessions, community events and actively monitoring and reducing waste on site.

“The latest Soapworks proposals will look to build on the strong existing credentials, with the new development developing a number of the ESG principles further including on-site renewables, improved amenity – along with the new sustainable workspace which will help drive further investment into Salford.”

Current tenants include communications group TalkTalk, and The Home Office. Yesterday (September 7) it was revealed that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities had signed up for 25,000 sq ft of space.

The public consultation will run until 23.59 on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.

Residents, businesses, politicians, and members of the public will be able to leave comments, or request further information by:

• Visiting the website and completing an online form at https://soapworksregeneration.co.uk/

• Emailing: soapworksregeneration@havingyoursay.co.uk

• Calling the Community Information Line on 0161-711 0293 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm, voicemail facility included)

• Sending written feedback to Soapworks, c/o Lexington, Queens House, Queen Street, Manchester, M2 5HT

The development team will review all feedback submitted to help inform the final design, which will be submitted as a hybrid planning application to Salford City Council later in the autumn.