Transformation of the Crescent in Salford

A masterplan to create a new ‘city’ district on 244 acres in Salford has been unveiled. Billed as an ‘£800m investment opportunity’ it will transform the historic area, The Crescent. The vision, based in and around the University of Salford campus, includes:

*2,500 new apartments and houses.

*A new school.

*2,000 space multi-storey car parks.

*A new hotel and conferencing suite.

*Hundreds of new student accommodation flats on campus increasing total to 2,000.

*New shops and health services.

*New parks and public spaces.

The plan is for the next two decades and the aim is to turn the location into ‘a key cultural destination through a more diverse offering, which could incorporate cafes, restaurants, galleries, events…and a hotel.‘ It is not yet clear how many of the new homes will be affordable or private but it is understood the council’s intention is to make sure a sizeable percentage are ‘affordable’.

The A6 corridor, along The Crescent and Chapel Street, has already seen a revival with new apartments and independent businesses giving it a ‘Northern Quarter’ feel. Land involved in the development is currently owned by both the University and the council. The University’s Maxwell building will be retained as an events venue but made available for more public use. The planting of 1,000 additional trees around Peel Park, which is within the University campus, and along the A6 is also proposed.

Designed by 5plus Architects it identifies three ‘zones’ of investment: the Adelphi and Crescent neighbourhood; Peel Park and Frederick Road (Main University Campus); and the Frederick Road North Industrial area. An estimated 1.6 million sq ft of new commercial space for industrial growth sectors including digital and creative, sport and health – plus 1.1 million sq ft of new educational floorspace for the University are planned. New commercial arts workspaces, five miles of running tracks, and 1.5miles of new cycleways would also be provided.

Six heritage buildings, including the magnificent Peel Building on the campus, would be preserved but possibly used in other ways, but some, including the Newton Building in the campus, would be demolished.

Helen Marshall, Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford, said: “These exciting plans for The Crescent represent the next step of a journey that started with the construction of the first of our university buildings – the Peel Building – in 1896. Working in partnership with the council and 5plus Architects, we have developed this masterplan to ensure that our campus is fit for purpose for the next 20 years, providing a great experience for our students and investing heavily in the future of the City of Salford. The new facilities that are part of the package of redevelopment will enable us to carry out the industry-led teaching and research that is key to our strategic aims of preparing our graduates for the modern world of work and delivering economic growth for Salford, Greater Manchester and beyond.”

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