Manchester Place aims to spark housebuilding bonanza

A NEW partnership to prepare development sites for housebuilders and investors to construct thousands of new homes has been launched by Manchester City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Described as a “strengthened alliance”  between the two organisations, the new entity called Manchester Place, will create a pipeline of sites to help the city meet its target of creating 55,000 new homes by 2027.

Manchester Place will work with investors such as Manchester Life – the recently announced £1bn investment in east Manchester from Abu Dhabi United Group – and others wanting to support high quality housing across the city to ensure there are sufficient opportunities.

In some cirumstances, developers could be helped to access to public resources, while the partnership would be willing to support with cumpolosory purchase orders if needed.

Key tasks for Manchester Place include working with landowners to get sites ready for development, assembling land where necessary, and using the land resources and market intelligence of both the Council and HCA to produce a clear response to government initiatives encouraging housebuilding.

Receipts from land sales will be recycled for housing and associated developments supporting growth.

An annual investment plan will identify priority areas for public and private sector investment which can unlock residential growth. These will be designated as Investment Action Areas, with Ancoats and New Islington one of the first.

Cllr Jeff Smith, executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “Manchester Place will secure an integrated approach by Manchester and the HCA to stimulating faster and wider interest in the city’s housing market.

“We welcome conversations with other investors, both international and UK-based, about the many opportunities in the city and will engage with landowners and developers to create a development pipeline for all investors and developers willing to support our residential growth strategy. 

“This is a significant partnership which should have a huge positive impact on Manchester’s housing market.”

Deborah McLaughlin, North West executive director at the HCA, added:  “Manchester Place captures the strong working relationship that has developed between the city council and the Homes and Community Agency, and is a great demonstration of how we can jointly use pioneering investment models to stimulate growth.

“By working closely in collaboration, we are ensuring that we support local strategic priorities – Manchester’s population is growing enormously quickly, and this partnership will accelerate the supply of much-needed housing in the city.”

The activities of Manchester Place will be overseen by a project board, chaired jointly by Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council and the regional director of the HCA.