The first plans for a 24-acre Salford brownfield site have been unveiled by joint-developer Scarborough Group International. Scarborough plans to build 750,000 sq ft of commercial space and hundreds of homes as part of the Middlewood Locks scheme.
Middlewood Locks — centred around three large basins of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal in Salford — is being developed by FairBriar International, a joint venture between Scarborough, Top Spring International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed real estate developer and Metro Holdings Limited, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group.
Earlier this year the consortium received outline planning consent for the project. It is now preparing a first phase submission covering 29,000 sq ft of commercial space and 550 homes. Among the facilities within the initial development will be a hotel, offices, shops, restaurants and a gym.
Scarborough has also confirmed the letting agents for the £700m scheme. Knight Frank, WHR property consultants and Lambert Smith Hampton will handle the commercial element, with Jones Lang LaSalle marketing the residential investment.
Lee Savage is development director at Scarborough. “Middlewood Locks will be a first-class, mixed-use community in one of the UK’s most exciting new areas,” he commented.
“The development is situated in what will be a new business destination for the city as well as a sought-after residential neighbourhood due to its proximity to Manchester city centre, MediaCity UK and the impact of other wider regeneration activities that are taking place in the Salford area.” Savage expected construction work to start towards the end of this year.
“I am absolutely delighted to see the Scarborough Group and their partners bring this outstanding new development forward,” commented Salford city mayor, Ian Stewart. “This is a unique site with so much potential to deliver new homes, commercial opportunities and new jobs whilst maximising our riverside and canal assets.
“It is one more step towards the extensive transformation of this part of the regional centre which will enable the cities of Salford and Manchester to deliver the growth necessary to meet the economic challenges we face at a national level,” he added.
The Middlewood Locks site, off Salford’s Oldfield Road, has suffered a number of recent ill-fated schemes. Sixteen years ago planning permission for a ski centre on the site was granted, with the project finally being abandoned in 2002. And a proposed urban village also floundered allowing Scarborough to acquire the land from the administrators of trouble-hit Valley and Vale Properties. It is understood to have paid £10m for the distressed canalside site in 2012.
Founded in 1980 and still controlled by the McCabe family, Scarborough has evolved into a global group with a diverse portfolio. As well as its investment portfolio encompassing all aspects of real estate and leisure it also holds a 50 per cent stake in Sheffield United Football Club.