Manchester has successfully bid for £51.6m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock land for more than 5,500 new homes over the next ten years.
Manchester City Council led the bid process supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which focused on 20hectares of brownfield land that will support the initial phases of the Northern Gateway project - and will support, amongst others, the joint venture between the City Council and the Far East Consortium (FEC).
The funding will help address a series of core infrastructure constraints and support the delivery of new homes, including affordable housing, along with investment in walking and cycling routes, and new road access to improve connectivity across the Gateway area.
This investment will also help develop an initial phase of the planned City River Park incorporating St Catherine’s Wood as part of a network of public open space, including improvements along the River Irk and works to improve flood resilience, unlocking the potential of the Irk Valley that will characterise the wider Northern Gateway project.
At 155 hectares, the Northern Gateway has the potential to deliver 15,000 new homes in the next 15 to 20 years and will include at least 3,000 affordable homes, helping Manchester people meet their housing aspirations through high-quality homes that residents can afford, in attractive areas they want to live in.
The project will connect seven new and emerging neighbourhoods through high quality green spaces and public squares, bringing life to the currently underused Irk River Valley.
Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “Confirmation that we have been successful in our bid for Housing Infrastructure Funding is incredibly welcome. This will mean we can overcome a number of major infrastructure hurdles that currently limit the development opportunities in the Northern Gateway area, and will unlock land for new housing, including a significant number of affordable homes.
“The Gateway project is beginning to build a real head of steam and it’s exciting to see the building blocks of this ambitious project come together. In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with residents to ensure they are central to the conversation as we begin to move towards the delivery of new homes for Manchester.”
Tom Fenton, project director at FEC, said: “Many people have worked incredibly hard on this bid to Government and this announcement is the perfect catalyst to unlock momentum and become the basis for further strategic investment. We are really pleased that the Government have shown confidence in our collective ability to deliver and it’s a real vote of confidence for the project and we can’t wait to get started.”