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How Preston is gaining a global reputation for education excellence

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Congratulations from everyone at Friargate Court to The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) after its rising global reputation received yet another really big boost.

We are delighted to see that the Preston-based university has been named in the Best Global Universities Rankings 2017 for the first time in its history.

UCLan been recognised among the world’s top 1,000 universities in the table, which was published by the American media organisation US News and World Report. UCLan is the 64th highest ranking UK institution and is 908th overall.

And it is the first time UCLan has appeared in the prestigious league table, which ranks institutions from more than 60 countries based on 12 indicators that assess their academic research performance and their global and national reputations.

The Portergate team here at Friargate Court, in Preston’s University Quarter, is also gaining its own international reputation just weeks after we opened the doors of the £18million development to students.

And we are also pleased to report that our new concept in hotel class accommodation is already attracting widespread interest from international students from across the globe – including China, Malaysia, the Gulf and the Middle East.

Richard Taylor, director of Martin & Co, our appointed Preston agents for the 244-room residence, has told us: “We’re seeing tremendous interest in Friargate Court from across the world.

“We were contacted by families in Jordan just last week and we’ve had student enquiries from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain as well as China and Malaysia. There is a real buzz about what Portergate has brought to the city.”

There’s also a real buzz around its university campus. In the league table rankings UCLan scored highly in the ‘Books’ category, for the number of books produced by academics.

It also figured highly in the ‘Normalised Citation Impact’ section, which is measured by the total number of citations per academic paper.

The quality of research produced from ‘Space Science’ courses such as astronomy and astrophysics was highlighted at number 164 in the rankings table, according to a report on UCLan’s own website.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas told the website: “It’s positive news that we’ve broken into this list for the first time in our history.

“It’s a great achievement to be named among the world’s top higher education institutions and one we’re very proud of.

“This year we have featured in four major global world rankings and this is very encouraging for us. It shows the strides the university community is taking are being recognised across the world.”

This latest accolade follows on from UCLan’s recent excellent success in the The World University Rankings, QS World Rankings and the Centre for World University Rankings when it was named in the top 3.7% of all worldwide universities.

First look inside Preston’s most luxurious student accommodation

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The first images inside an £18 million residence purpose built for students, post-graduates, young professionals and key workers have been revealed.

Friargate Court is the largest building project in Preston in the past 12 months and has opened its doors to coincide with the 2016-17 academic year at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The 244 hotel-class studios and en suite rooms have been built by Preston’s Eric Wright Construction for Portergate, a student accommodation specialist in the North West of England.

Friargate Court has opened onto the Adelphi roundabout, the site of UCLan’s ambitious £200 million transformation of the university’s public realm.

Bookings for immediate occupation are being taken by the on-site staff who look after residents 24/7 in a superior management style that has drawn praise from students and their parents from across the world.

Friargate Court is being seen as a ‘game-changer’ for the city’s University Quarter and complements the university’s vision for bringing ‘Town and Gown’ closer together.

Already Portergate has reported many enquiries and bookings from students and professionals eager to be the first to live in the most desirable student address in the city.

Portergate’s debut student residence, Riverside House in Salford, provided the blueprint for Friargate Court and it has been a huge success, selling out in only its second year since opening.

Portergate’s accommodation and hands-on management appeals to students who want more than the basic student living style and to their parents, who welcome the care and attention offered by the round-the-clock staff.

Friargate Court features fully furnished and well-equipped en suite bedrooms in standard apartment clusters containing between two and five bedrooms, a living area and large kitchen.

Standard, large standard, superior and studio apartments are also available to rent now through Portergate’s own website – www.friargatecourt.com – or through the Property Place in Manchester and local agents Martin & Co.

Portergate’s £18 million investment in student living in Preston is being overseen by managing director Karen Preece. She says: “We are thrilled to have opened Friargate Court and welcomed our first residents at an exciting time for Preston and the university.

“For now, we have some excellent offers for the best accommodation in the city and we have seen enquiries from both the UK and all parts of the world.

“UCLan is a vibrant, popular university, attracting students from all walks of life and the university has ambitious plans for making the campus even better.

“There are also many young people from all walks of life starting out on their careers and we can cater for them too.

“Friargate Court has now set the bar very high for high class accommodation and we are changing the game by also taking bookings from graduates, young professionals and key workers who love this style of city living.”

Portergate prides itself on the quality and levels of service and supports residents at its hotel-class properties receive once they move in and recruitment is underway for the best staff to run the residence.

Karen continued: “The tremendously high standards Portergate sets reflect the demands and expectations of today’s students, and in particular their parents, who expect their sons and daughters to live in well designed, safe accommodation while they enjoy their higher education.

“Everyone who works at Portergate is very passionate about what we do, with a total commitment to quality and that’s what the new team we will be recruiting at Friargate Court will deliver.”

John Wilson, managing director at Eric Wright Construction, concluded: “We are well versed in delivering student accommodation schemes, but to build one on our home turf and of such high quality makes this project special.

“UCLan is a gem in Lancashire’s crown and we’re proud to continue our relationship with the institution which started 13 years ago.”

University masterplan delivers the ‘wow’ factor

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The team at Portergate’s Friargate Court student accommodation in Preston has been bowled over by the vision for a new £60 million civic square and student support centre unveiled by the city’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The design from world-leading architect Hawkins\Brown will help to totally transform the University Quarter and deliver UCLan’s ambition of drawing the university and city closer together.

And we’re looking forward to seeing how this stunning design will be turned into reality to create a vibrant new gateway as part of the ambitious £200 million university masterplan.

The design concept features a biodiverse roof, LED lighting underfoot, a pavilion café bar and a large glass façade to create feelings of light, space and airiness.

It has been created using the idea of ‘threads’ to connect the university and its city, drawing on Preston’s textile heritage and its future in aerospace electronics.

The result is a design filled with space, light and openness. The new public square will give a whole new dimension to this part of Preston.

These really are exciting times for the university, its student population and the wider city – with the project due for completion in 2019.

For more details of the design concept and the masterplan visit the university’s own website:

We also echo the comments of Preston City Council leader Peter Rankin, who said: “Everything is coming together to make Preston an even better place to live, study, work and visit.”

The students who are now making their home at Friargate Court are already discovering what Preston has to offer them.

They are also settling down to enjoy the benefits that living in our stylish new £18 million accommodation – opened last month at the start of the new university year – brings them.

The 244-bedroom development, which has helped to kick-start the regeneration of Friargate, is also aimed at employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and Lancashire’s new Enterprise Zone.

Friargate Court is just minutes from the university campus and the centre of Preston.

Our high standard of accommodation and hands-on management appeals to students who want more than the basic student living style and to their parents who welcome the care and attention offered by the 24/7 staff.

Prices at Friargate Court start from £135 for a fully furnished and well-equipped en suite bedroom in a standard apartment containing between two and five bedrooms, a living area and large kitchen.

Large standard, standard, superior and studio apartments are also available to rent now through our own website – www.friargatecourt.com – or through the Property Place in Manchester and Martin & Co. in Preston.

Here at Portergate we pride ourselves on the quality and levels of service and support residents at our hotel-class properties receive once they move in.

Everyone who works at Portergate is very passionate about what we do, with a total commitment to quality – and like the university’s ambitious plans, we’re delivering the ‘wow’ factor.

student accommodation in Preston

I will survive! Take your pick of university life skills advice

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You’ve got through Freshers’ Week in one piece (just) and your student life is just beginning.

It’s a daunting but exciting time and these tips uncovered on the internet by the team here at student accommodation provider Portergate might just help make things go a bit smoother.

First off are these student life skills, which according the savethestudent.org will help you survive university life:

www.savethestudent.org/extra-guides/freshers/13-skills-to-help-you-survive-university.html

They range from knowing when to call it a night to figuring out the washing machine – all essential to student survival.

And when it comes to your course there’s the valuable ‘avoiding tricky seminar questions’ tip.

The Good Universities Guide has also come up with its checklist of advice:

http://www.gooduniversitiesguide.com.au/Latest-news/Life-at-university/How-to-survive-your-first-year-of-uni#.V-fZaySBKQ8

It includes these wise words which we heartily agree with: ‘Don’t be too hard on yourself’.

It might take you a while to get settled.  So don’t expect to get perfect grades straight away and try to enjoy your time at university while it lasts.

According to the Daily Telegraph “University is not just about taking a degree – it’s about learning to be an adult.” Stern stuff!

Check out the newspaper’s survival tips here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/student-life/8677131/Student-living-tips-for-university-survival.html

It seems that everyone has some advice for you as you set off on the big university journey.

Parents think they still know best, and one of the best advice columns Portergate has come across over the years, still has to be from the Mumsnet website. www.mumsnet.com.

According the site, these were lessons “learned the hard way” by Mumsnetters during their own uni days.

They ranged from “be careful which clubs you join” to “know your limits” – or to put it another way: “When you feel sick, stop drinking”.

Other great tips include “read the instructions” – important when doing your washing and “adjust your expectations”, which is a sound piece of advice when you head off to the shops to do your food shopping for the week.

Another piece of sound advice, which Portergate continually passes on to students embarking on their university career, also makes the list. “Stick to your budget”.

And it comes as no surprise that the Mumsnet top 10 includes an instruction to “listen to your parents.”

The article quotes one of its mums explaining: “Before I headed off to uni my dad said, very seriously, ‘Well… don’t do anything stupid.’ It pretty much covers it all!” Quite!

Balancing your budget and making the pennies count is another theme for would-be advisors, with a host of tips to be found on the internet.

We checked this one out from the Independent website and found some sound advice to share:

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/finances/making-student-loan-last-at-university-freshers-week-2016-managing-finances-for-the-first-time-a7326286.html

 

As all students will find out – every penny counts, even when it comes to buying a round of drinks in the Student Union bar. Count those pennies now and at least you’ll avoid suffering a financial hangover.

 

UCLan picks engineering centre contractor

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The first major stage of the University of Central Lancashire’s £200 million new campus masterplan will begin in January.

Bam Construction has been appointed to build UCLan’s £30 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) – across the university roundabout from Friargate Court, Portergate Property Management’s 244-room student and professionals’ residence that opens this month.

Portergate has led the way in the University Quarter of Preston with a new style of accommodation aimed at not just at students, but also apprentices and key workers in the city and surrounding enterprise zones and major employers.

The EIC will combine teaching, research and business space with construction expected to begin in January 2017 and complete for summer 2018.

Like Friargate Court, the EIC is also part of a new style of educational resource that does not just cater to undergraduates.

Karen Preece, managing director of Portergate Property Management, explains: “Both the University and Portergate recognise the changing world of educational provision and the lifestyle that goes with that.

“At Friargate Court we are offering accommodation for a wider range of residents providing homes for young people at different stages of their lives.

“Of course, undergraduates, mature students and overseas students are very important to us and we cater for them all very well here in Preston.

“But we also see a trend for young professionals who are not yet ready to buy their own home and are very much used to living in studios and high class shared accommodation.”

Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, is reported in media outlet Place North West as saying: “Bam has extensive experience in the education sector and recent key projects include the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute, University College London Academy, and University of Arts London’s St Martin’s Campus.”
The EIC is the first major part of UCLan’s £200 million new campus masterplan. Funding of £10.5 million has been provided for the project by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal with Government. A further £5 million came from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. An application is pending with the European Regional Development Fund.

SimpsonHaugh & Partners is leading on the design in collaboration with Reiach & Hall Architects. BDP is providing engineering advice.

Friargate Court is taking bookings across all classes of accommodation from September.

Having a say on Preston’s new campus gateway

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More positive news surrounds the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and its vision to create a new £50million campus gateway in the heart of its home city of Preston.

The university has now announced that it is including the good people of Preston in the process of selecting the architect that will design the development. And the team here at Portergate and Friargate Court can’t wait to see what their input brings.

Feedback from the community will help inform the decision on how a new civic square and student support centre, part of UCLan’s ambitious £200 million masterplan, could look.

The whole process is also being carried out in conjunction with the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Earlier this year, RIBA ran an international competition which asked architectural practices “to submit designs which would deliver an excellent student experience and create a world-class campus”.

There’s now a seven strong shortlist of designs and, as the university’s website has revealed, they will go on display at St George’s Shopping Centre on August 8-10, and UCLan’s Foster Building on Fylde Road on August 11-12.

The university says that members of the public can have their say on the proposed designs, either at the events or online, before final judging takes place later in August.

In a statement the university said: “These events are a great opportunity for local people to find out exactly what is being proposed and help inform the final decision. The whole community can reap the benefits of this multi-million pound investment.”

UCLan Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mike Thomas, told the website: “The standard of the shortlisted entries is very high and we’re now looking to members of the public to ensure these designs reflect what’s important to them.”

Details of the plan are emerging and they are impressive. Combined, the new student support centre and civic square will be the same size as London’s Trafalgar Square!

The shortlisted designs can also be viewed online at www.ribacompetitions.com/uclan where members of the public can share their views using the online form.

These are certainly exciting times for Preston. The countdown is on to the opening of our stylish new £18 million Friargate Court accommodation in the city’s University Quarter.

It will open its doors to welcome students from UCLan later this year. The 244-bedroom development, which is helping kick-start the regeneration of Friargate, is also aimed at employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and Lancashire’s new Enterprise Zone.

The Friargate development is part of Portergate’s ambitious North West expansion plans. It is currently under construction by the Preston-based Eric Wright group.

Portergate’s successful Riverside House student accommodation in Salford has been a major success story and welcomes students from across the globe.

 

Warm welcome to new Chancellor Ranvir

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Congratulations to Preston-born news broadcaster Ranvir Singh on her appointment as the new Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in her home city.

Ranvir, a familiar face to millions of TV viewers watching ITV’s Good Morning Britain and its news bulletins, is a former UCLan postgraduate journalism student and UCLan Honorary Fellow.

And she will take up her new position officially in the autumn when current Chancellor Sir Richard Evans steps down after 15 years of service.

The team here at Friargate Court, Portergate’s new £18m student accommodation development in Preston’s University Quarter, add our congratulations to Ranvir.

Like everyone here, she can’t wait to see the university’s exciting £200m campus masterplan take shape. As she said on the announcement of her appointment: “The future looks very bright.”

In her new role Ranvir will carry out a number of duties, including representing the UCLan at special occasions and will work to raise its profile.

A proud Prestonian, she graduated from the university with a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism in 2000 and received her UCLan Honorary Fellowship in 2013 for her contribution to broadcasting.

Tributes have also been paid to outgoing Chancellor Sir Richards Evans and the work he has done to raise the university’s profile.

Commenting on the new appointment, he summed it up, saying: “I look back with enormous pride on the 15 years I have spent in this role. During that time the university has grown into the one of the UK’s largest and last year broke into the top 4% of all worldwide universities.

“I think Ranvir is the ideal person to take up the baton and to become the University’s new Chancellor, she will be a real asset and I wish her well.”

Here at Friargate Court we are also preparing to offer a warm Lancashire welcome to UCLan students as they begin their university careers.

We’ll be opening our doors later in the year. Our new 244-bedroom development, which is helping kick-start the regeneration of Friargate, is also aimed at employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and Lancashire’s new Enterprise Zone.

The complex is being finished over the summer by Preston-based Eric Wright Construction ready for the autumn.

Portergate’s debut student residence, Riverside House in Salford, has provided the blueprint for Friargate Court and it has been a huge success, selling out in only its second year since opening.

Our accommodation and hands-on management appeals to students as well as key workers and apprentices looking for a more than basic student or post-graduate living style.

The team here at Portergate prides itself on the quality and levels of service and support residents at its hotel-class properties receive once they move in and recruitment is underway for the best staff to run the residence.

The tremendously high standards Portergate sets reflect the demands and expectations of today’s young people, as well as their parents, who expect their sons and daughters to live in well designed, safe accommodation while they make a home away from home.

Everyone who works at Portergate is very passionate about what we do, with a total commitment to quality and that’s what the team at Friargate Court will deliver.

student accommodation in Preston

Moving smoothly into student life: 10 top tips from Portergate Property Management

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Making the right choice of accommodation can make all the difference to your new life as a student.

Get it right and your university or college life will be so much happier. Get it wrong and things can be much harder.

As you wait for those all-important exam results later this summer, here are our ten top tips to help you make that right choice:

  1. Cost is going to play its part in any decision you make – and that will remain the case throughout your university career. No doubt you’ve got a budget you are working to, so the accommodation needs to meet that financial figure.
  2. The value of your student loan will determine how much you can afford. Do your sums right at the start to avoid problems later down the line. Don’t get overstretched
  3. However, there is much more to making the right choice than looking at how much rent you have to fork out each month. The accommodation has to be right for you.
  4. So make sure cost isn’t the only thing you are taking into account. This is going to be your new home, it has to suit and meet your needs. You have to be happy and comfortable with the choice you make as you’re going to spend a lot of time here.
  5. There are numerous questions you need ask, so putting together your own checklist is a good idea. Sit down and think what’s important to you when it comes to accommodation and use that list to gauge and compare what’s on offer.
  6. It pays to visit places in person so you can easily ask the right questions, such as are all the bills included in the price? You’ll also get a feel of the place by simply walking around. Ask the people who are already living there how they find the accommodation.
  7. Location is important. It can help keep the bills down and add to the attractiveness of an address.Portergate’s Riverside House, for instance, is within walking distance of the University of Salford, just minutes away. It also has easy access to Manchester city centre and all it offers. Our new Friargate Court accommodation, which opens its doors later this year, is also minutes from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) campus in Preston. It’s also in the heart of the university quarter and handily place for the city centre.
  8. Take a good, close look at the kitchens, and the bathroom facilities. Are they fit for purpose? Are you happy with them?
  9. Other important questions to consider include: is there a meeting area? What about the extras? Is there broadband, and again is it part of the price? What’s the area around the accommodation like? How are the transport links?
  10. Also, are there laundry facilities onsite? What level of security is in place? Feeling safe and secure is important. Taking a tour and asking the students who are already living there can also help you get a feel of whether the accommodation is going to be right for you.

And here’s our important message to parents: You need to be aware the choice of accommodation is not just your decision. Your child also has to be happy that the accommodation is going to be their home. The atmosphere has to be right for them.

As we’ve said early security is another important consideration. You want your youngster to feel safe in their new home.

Portergate’s acclaimed Riverside House accommodation in Salford has a boutique feel, with modern stylish kitchens and bathrooms. Each apartment includes fully-furnished living space and fitted kitchen complete with appliances. Bedrooms are also fully furnished and there is broadband internet.

Gates, security lighting, perimeter fencing and CCTV help our staff manage 24 hour security. We have a day time Accommodation Manager, concierge, on-site maintenance and 24 hour security. For personal security, all rooms are accessed by swipe card.

Our new Preston Friargate Court accommodation is being created to the same exacting standards. And again, quality of service and support for our students is at the heart of everything we offer – and deliver.

 

University ranked one of the best in the world

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Congratulations to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) from everyone at Portergate following its impressive rise up a prestigious world university league table.

The Centre for World University Rankings 2016 (CWUR) has boosted the Preston-based university’s global reputation by ranking it in the top 3.7 per cent of higher education establishments worldwide.

The rise up the table gives graduating students from the university an extra reason to celebrate as they gather in Preston to receive their degrees this week (July 11-15).

Ranked at 924 among the 25,000-plus degree-granting institutions of higher education worldwide, it is the highest position ever achieved by the university.

There was more good news for UCLan as it was also highly rated in the ‘Quality of Faculty’ category.

It measures the number of academics who have won major international awards, prizes, and medals.

UCLan was also highly rated in the ‘Quality of Education’ section, which is measured by the number of alumi who have also won major international awards, prizes, and medals relative to the size of the establishment.

UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas told the university’s website: “For the thousands of UCLan students graduating over the course of this week these latest CWUR results are great news as they highlight one of our real strengths which is it provide excellent graduate employees, armed with the skills to thrive in the workplace.

“We are extremely proud that Preston has a university which is now ranked as one of the best in the World. UCLan will continue to enable people, irrespective of their background to fulfil their potential, develop as global citizens and meet their life and career goals.”

The CWUR publishes the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students – as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of the research they carry out.

And there is more positive news for this year’s graduates – Friargate Court, our new £18m development in Preston, will be the first bespoke accommodation aimed at giving them the chance to continue city centre living when it opens its doors later this year.

Our aim is to provide modern, affordable accommodation for graduates and young workers as they set off on their path to career success.

We also want to help keep more young people in the area once their studies are completed, halting an exodus of talent that threatens to prevent the county’s economic growth.

Friargate Court is an £18 million mixed use development on Friargate, near to the UCLan campus and the city’s University Quarter.

The quality of its accommodation and hands-on management will appeal not only to current students, but to young workers who want to live in a vibrant city centre once their studies are over and their careers begin.

Prices at Friargate Court will start from £135 for a fully furnished and well-equipped en suite bedroom in a standard apartment containing between two and five bedrooms, a living area and large kitchen.

Large standard, superior and studio apartments are also available to rent now through our website – www.friargatecourt.com – or through the joint agents, the Property Place in Manchester and Preston-based Kingswood.

We pride ourselves on the quality and levels of service and support residents at its hotel-class properties receive once they move in and recruitment is underway for the best staff to run the residence.

 

£30m engineering centre gets welcome go-ahead

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Portergate welcomes more good news for Preston’s regeneration vision – the go-ahead has been given for work to start on The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £30million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).

Planners in Preston have granted the project planning permission as our £18m Friargate regeneration development continues to gather pace.

The EIC has been described by the university as “an integrated hub for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, bringing together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.”

And it is seen as playing an important part in Lancashire’s vision as a national centre for advanced manufacturing as well as boosting skills in the area and the number of females going into the engineering sector.

Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, told the university’s own wesbite: “The approval for work to begin is an important moment for the university and the future redevelopment of Preston.

“A true flagship development for the city, the EIC will be a powerful hub for developing and nurturing talent that will help the UK retain its place as a leader in engineering and innovation.”

UCLan says it aims to close the skills gap by inspiring and shaping the next generation of engineering leaders, producing an extra 500 locally trained graduates a year.”

It is also the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200m Campus Masterplan, which will play such a vital part in the regeneration of Preston and its city centre.

Having been given the green light, the university says it is now focusing on the delivery of the first phase of construction which is planned to get underway later in the year.

Meanwhile, the transformation of Portergate’s strategic 1.5 acre site on Friargate is also heading towards completion in the autumn.

It is delivering three new retail premises and will provide boutique hotel-style accommodation aimed at local students as well as employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.

 

The retail and apartment complex has been designed around open garden areas while being conveniently located in the heart of the city, only a short walk from UCLan and on the edge of the University Quarter.

 

Portergate, which already offers hotel-class student accommodation in Salford, has plans to roll its luxury accommodation concept out across the North West of England.