English Cities Fund eyes resi at Salford Central

THE English Cities Fund (ECf) is contemplating two residential schemes as the next phase of its £650m Salford Central regeneration project.

Development director Phil Mayall told TheBusinessDesk.com the ECf was looking at two development plots which it would like to start work on next summer.

One is for 90 apartments in the New Bailey section of the scheme, next to a Premier Inn which is under construction, and the other is for around 20 town houses close to St Philip’s Church off Chapel Street.

As well as the Premier Inn, which has been forward funded by LaSalle Investment Management, ECf is on site with a 615-space multi-storey car park and the 83-apartment Vimto Gardens scheme on Chapel Street. It is also preparing to make a speculative start on a 125,000 sq ft office block called One New Bailey on the site of Ralli Court.

Funding for the car park and One New Bailey has come from two different Legal & General funds. Legal & General is a partner in ECf along with the Homes & Communities Agency and Muse Developments.

Asked about insitutional investment for the next residential phases, Mr Mayall said: “There’s no doubt there’s money looking for that type of thing, particularly in private rented. Or we go down the route of open market sales as we have done with Vimto Gardens. But there’s funding around – we’ve got our own, we certainly don’t need to get it funded.

“We’d like to start in spring/summer next year but there’s a lot of work to do between now and then, and they may not be the right things. We don’t have planning or detailed designs but we’re keen to keep moving on.”