On Tuesday 24 June Manchester City Council and Abu Dhabi United Group, the privately owned investment company which also owns Manchester City Football Club, announced a major new partnership to accelerate the transformation of two emerging East Manchester neighbourhoods.
The partnership will see, as Phase One of the programme, the provision of more than 830 homes in Ancoats and New Islington, bringing significant impetus to both areas and helping to complete their redevelopment. The agreement forms the first phase and foundation of the Manchester Lifeinitiative and builds on the regeneration activity that has been led by Manchester City Council in collaboration with a range of partners over the last 15 years.
The predominantly privately rented homes will strengthen Manchester’s economic growth trajectory by providing much needed residential units, helping the city achieve its Residential Growth Strategy to build tens of thousands of new homes by 2027.
The multi phased Manchester Life initiative, foresees investment of up to £1 billion over the next 10 years, with provision for further multiple investors. It will expand the residential market on the eastern fringe of the city, providing a platform for the delivery of more than 6,000 new homes.
The prioritisation of Ancoats and New Islington for Phase One of the Manchester Life Initiative, builds on the significant investment in these areas to date including the completion of the Metrolink extension, the advent of new healthcare facilities, a free primary school due to open in New Islington in September 2015 and the remodelling of Central Retail Park on Great Ancoats Street.
These services together with the high quality, environmentally sustainable homes that are planned as part of the scheme, will enable the area to quickly become an established and desirable neighbourhood for those living and working in Manchester.
Manchester Life Development Company, a joint venture between the two partners will be established to oversee the development. Following the completion and approval of Phase One development plans, construction work is expected to begin next year. All of the land which is required for Phase One of Manchester Life has been assembled, allowing immediate progress.
The economic impact of Phase One is expected to create significant employment opportunities and demand for retail, leisure and commercial developments.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Today’s announcement adds another commercial dimension to the already significant investment made by Manchester City Council and ADUG in East Manchester, and in doing so progresses the regeneration story which began in the 1990’s and was accelerated by the 2002 Commonwealth Games and ADUG’s recent development of the Etihad Campus.
“The planned transformation of the eastern edge of the City Centre is the single biggest residential investment Manchester has seen for a generation. Building thousands of quality new homes will be a fundamental part of our growth story and will deliver significant socioeconomic impact. We look forward to working with Abu Dhabi United Group to create a world class exemplar of regeneration.”
Speaking on behalf of the Abu Dhabi United Group, Board Director, Marty Edelman said, “ADUG, through Manchester City Football Club, has come to know Manchester City Council’s vision for regeneration and its ability to deliver major initiatives effectively. Given Abu Dhabi United Group’s existing long term commitment to Manchester and the Council’s economic growth plan, it was a logical decision to look at ways to create a commercial partnership with the city to deliver its wider residential strategy. We are effectively investing in the opportunities and positive circumstances created by our joint investments to date. We are extremely proud of the resulting Manchester Life joint initiative that will complete the transformation of the Ancoats and New Islington areas”.