Within hours of the week-long Chinese state visit coming to an end Scarborough International named Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEGI) as the preferred contractor for its £700m Middlewood Locks development.
The Chinese construction and engineering firm has already been working with Scarborough on the design for the detailed planning application for the first phases of its new residential and commercial neighbourhood at the western gateway to Manchester’s Central Business District.
The latest application — to include around 550 homes, 29,000 sq ft of commercial space and extensive new public areas in the form of canal side footpaths and cycle ways connecting directly to the city centre — was submitted earlier this month. If granted before the end of the year Scarborough could start site work by the spring of 2016.
Middlewood Locks received outline planning consent in March, 2015, from Salford City Council to deliver a new mixed use community of around 2,000 new homes and up to 750,000 sq ft of commercial development space, including offices, hotels, shops, specialist food stores, restaurants and a gymnasium.
The Salford project is centred on three large basins of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal and is just a few hundred yards from Manchester’s central business district and retail amenities. It’s hoped the 24-acre scheme will generate more than 7,000 jobs.
It is being developed by FairBriar International, an international joint venture between Scarborough, Top Spring International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed real estate developer in the People’s Republic of China, and Metro Holdings, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group.
Scarborough Group International — wholly owned by the McCabe family — holds substantial real estate interests throughout the UK and abroad with subsidiary, associated or connected companies in the Far East, China and Australia. At home the group also owns Sheffield United Limited and, with it, co-owns Sheffield United FC.
“Middlewood Locks is a unique site with the potential to deliver thousands of new homes, jobs and a first-class business destination,” explained Lee Savage, development director at Scarborough.
“The selection of BCEGI means that we are on track to deliver the first phases of the development and we are confident that this scheme will be transformational for Salford and its wider regeneration activities.”
In response, Xing Yan, BCEG International’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be selected as preferred contractor for Middlewood Locks and have very much enjoyed working alongside the Scarborough team. We are now looking forward to delivering the first phases of development of this significant and strategic regeneration project.”
Based in the Chinese capital, his company already has an active United States subsidiary which, combined with its Far East interests, makes it the 44th largest construction and engineering company in the world.
Ian Stewart is Salford city mayor. “Salford is growing at an incredible pace and the international investment demonstrates this.”
“We have worked closely together with developers like the Scarborough Group to create new jobs, homes and commercial opportunities and bring large a piece of unused land back to life,” he said.