Topping out milestone marked at £1bn Middlewood Locks site

Topping out at The Railings

The third phase of the £1bn Middlewood Locks mixed-use scheme and new neighbourhood under development in Salford has topped out.

The milestone at one of the largest single regeneration projects in the North West was marked at a celebration at the ‘Railings’ scheme, where developer Scarborough Group International (SGI) hosted the topping out ceremony for the 189-apartments and townhouses project.

More than 50 guests gathered, including Deputy Ceremonial Mayor of Salford and ward councillor for Ordsall, Tanya Burch, and the Chinese Consul General, Rui Tang.

Senior representatives from SGI’s joint venture partners Metro, who flew in from Singapore for the event, main contractor BCEGI, Salford City Council, Homes England and the delivery team were also among guests.

Identified as a key strategic development opportunity more than 20 years ago, the 25-acre brownfield site where Middlewood Locks now stands has already been transformed into a thriving new mixed-use neighbourhood, directly connecting Salford to Manchester city centre.

It is now home to more than 2,000 residents in 1,117 apartments, supported by amenity, and engaging public realm.

Seven Bro7hers Beer House, 92 Degrees Coffee Shop and a Co-op convenience store support the growing community within an established oasis of green spaces along the canal.

‘The Railings’ has introduced the option for family living with 189 new homes including seven waterside townhouses, six mews houses alongside a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

With topping out achieved the new homes are expected to be available for occupation towards the end of 2024/early 2025. All of the townhouses have now sold, along with a number of the apartments and mews houses.

In July this year SGI launched a new show apartment to showcase the quality of the specification with the interior styling and furnishings designed and supplied by John Lewis.

Middlewood Locks is a joint venture being delivered by SGI with Metro Holdings, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group, and Hualing Group, based in Urumqui, Xinjiang, in China.

SGI chairman, Kevin McCabe, said: “Our strong links with the Far East, in terms of our joint venture partners and principal contractor, alongside our mutually beneficial collaborations with key stakeholders such as Salford City Council and Homes England, have helped us to make a vision into a successful and economically viable reality and we are thankful to all that have been involved.

“Middlewood Locks is a major undertaking for us and I am pleased to say greatly supports the regional economy with strong job creation and, ultimately, much needed new homes in the city.”

Mr Yip, group chief executive and executive director at Metro Holdings, said: “It is fantastic to visit Middlewood Locks at such an important milestone in its delivery. As our first venture into UK real estate markets it is most rewarding to witness an already established and thriving community here.

“We are extremely pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Scarborough Group International as a highly respected developer and trusted partner.”

Mr Yu, lead director at BCEGI, said: “We are proud of the work that has been completed to date in creating this thriving new neighbourhood in what is one of the UK’s most prolific regions, and to realise the considerable social and economic values that have been achieved so far.”

Terry Errington, head of structured real estate finance at Homes England, said: “It is rewarding to see how our allocation of funding at Middlewood Locks from the Government’s Levelling Up Home Building Fund is helping to positively impact the local area.”

Seven years under development, the scheme has already made a considerable economic impact, supporting around 6,000 jobs with the total local economic benefit to the Greater Manchester sub region for phases one and two at £260m.

While revitalising the three large basins of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal and re-engaging local infrastructure to provide sustainable and safe passage through to Manchester, the award-winning development has become a flagship for the Northern Powerhouse regeneration.

Future plans include the development of the remaining 10-acre plot that connects to Manchester city centre through the arches with outline planning consent already in place to deliver more new homes alongside Grade A office accommodation and a new hotel with further amenity and public realm.