Irwell City Park Manchester, Salford Project, Design, News, Image, Architect, Team

Manchester Irwell City Park Project

Salford Architecture Development, northwest England, UK

2 Mar 2009

Irwell City Park

Design Team Appointed for £40m Regeneration of Manchester’s Main River Corridor

A high-profile design team, comprising Broadway Malyan, FoRM Associates and Gifford, has been appointed to take forward proposals for Irwell City Park – the transformation of an 8km stretch of the River Irwell in Manchester, once one of the most important industrial waterways in the country, into a world class linear park.

Following confirmation of funding from the Northwest Development Agency for the pre-implementation stage of the project last November, the team has been selected to develop the outline vision into a deliverable project by March 2010, with an estimated value of £40 million making it possibly the largest single public realm project in the country.

Irwell City Park Manchester Irwell City Park Manchester Irwell City Park

The project includes the creation or upgrading of up to 8km of shared use cycle-pedestrian routes, three major new public spaces and three new footbridges to enhance linkages across the river. Spanning some 280 hectares, Irwell City Park runs through the very heart of the Greater Manchester conurbation, providing a crucial link between MediaCityUK in Salford Quays and Manchester city centre and connecting the iconic riverside landmarks and buildings of both cities.

Irwell City Park is being brought together through a partnership of Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, Salford city Council, Manchester City Council, Trafford Metropolitan Council, the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) and private sector partners. The project also includes a complex interface with a wide range of development sites and regeneration strategies, and an ambitious engagement process will involve numerous community, stakeholder and developer groups to ensure that the designs for Irwell City Park are built on the needs and aspirations of local people and other stakeholders.

“The river Irwell has been a constant symbol of the fortunes of Manchester,” commented Eddy Fox, Associate for Broadway Malyan’s Manchester office. “Its continuing state of dereliction and underuse after two decades of progressive regeneration reflects the incomplete success of Greater Manchester’s reinstatement as a great European city. The new linear water side Park will turn the tide on decades of neglect and heal the physical severance between Salford, Manchester and Trafford, during which, instead of the garden fence over which they talk to each other, the river has become the back wall which separates them.

“The reappropriation of the River Irwell as a unifying element, meeting place and symbol of shared values is an essential next step in the process of recreating the city. Irwell City Park is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lift the regeneration of Greater Manchester onto a new level and reposition the city as a genuinely international urban centre.”

Irwell City Park is a project of national significance and will transform the currently neglected river corridor into a powerful symbol of connectivity, synergy and unity for Greater Manchester. Its impact will be momentous for the Northwest region, delivering significant economic gains at a time when the economic climate is under stress, creating a solid foundation for future private and public sector investment.

The proposals will embrace the river as a catalyst for regeneration and renewal, creating a unifying element that will move the Manchester City Region onto the world stage. This new park, on a scale of urbanism rarely seen in the UK, will become the jewel in the crown of the new Manchester: Knowledge Capital, celebrating its unique heritage and creating one of the most vibrant, exciting and desirable waterfront destinations in Europe. However ambitious this project may be in terms of its physical scale and reach – and it is possibly as significant as the Olympic Park as a public realm investment – its cultural and symbolic importance far outweighs the complex physical transformation of the river corridor.

In addition to its huge recreational and regeneration benefits for the local population, Irwell City Park is being seen as a pilot for the development and assessment of Green Infrastructure in the city region. Through collaboration with the Red Rose Forest designs will be tested and assessed against a series of sustainability-related criteria to ensure that its potential benefits in GI terms are maximised. Critical elements include contributions to future-proofing the city in terms of the urban heat island, flood risk and renewable energies, but of overarching significance is the project’s contribution to non-vehicular modes of transport. Apart from the numerous health and lifestyle benefits these bring, they are seen as an essential ingredient in the development of a sustainable model for the ongoing regeneration of the centre of the conurbation, with the linear park providing a high quality strategic movement artery for pedestrians and cyclists, linking the new Media City in Salford Quays to Greengate and Victoria Street in the regional centre.

Broadway Malyan, FoRM Associates and Gifford will be working with Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company to bring the Irwell City Park proposals to the planning application stage by March 2010. The project is likely to take a further three-four years to implement with completion expected in 2013.

Broadway Malyan is a leading international practice of architects, urbanists and designers, employing over 600 people across fourteen offices throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Established in 1958, the company recently celebrated 50 years in practice and has been ranked as one of the top 25 architecture practices in the world.

FoRM Associates is a London-based design practice established in 2007 by Peter Fink, Igor Marko and Rick Rowbotham. The company was formed through an amalgamation of Art2Architecture London Ltd and Urban Red Ltd. The creation of FoRM Associates has brought together their experiences and skills in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture, to deliver an integrated inter-disciplinary design consultancy for 21st Century cities.
Gifford is a world leading consultancy of engineers and specialist advisers. Delivering expertise and sharing knowledge across Centres of Excellence in Buildings, Civil Engineering and Environment Development Planning.

Broadway Malyan

4 Feb 2008

New joint venture stimulates the Irwell City Park Project

Salford and partners are continuing the vision for Irwell City Park following a new deal to develop a riverside walkway – the missing link between Trinity Bridge, The Lowry Hotel and the Albert Bridge on to New Bailey Street.

Manchester Irwell City Park Project

The site has been acquired through a joint venture between Salford City Council and Bruntwood. The site will provide a high quality public space within the heart of the regional centre.

The joint venture company Trinity ICP will develop the quarter acre site
(0.101 hectares) that was acquired from the Guardian Media Group (GMG) by Bruntwood and Salford City Council with the support of the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

The development reflects Central Salford’s position as the natural expansion of Manchester’s commercial heart by creating a corporate centre with new business space, employment opportunities and a high quality public realm.

Bruntwood are developing the site on behalf of the joint venture company. Following the completion of the public realm, Bruntwood will assume the ownership of the entire site and will be responsible for the maintenance of the public realm landscaping.

The purpose of the joint venture between Bruntwood and Salford City Council is to ensure that quality public realm is provided and a walkway from Trinity Bridge to New Bailey Street will be delivered by the private sector.

The joint venture will further develop the ‘Vision’ for a beautiful, vibrant and prosperous Central Salford and ensure that views from Trinity Bridge, the curved facade of The Lowry Hotel and the existing public realm is preserved and enhanced through the new development.

The designs for the site are to be worked up jointly between all parties and a Development Agreement has been signed to make sure that this project is delivered to the satisfaction of all.

Councillor John Merry said: “The council are delighted to announce this joint venture of Salford City Council and Bruntwood. Through this deal we can continue the vital work of regenerating a key link from Salford into Manchester and ensure that we deliver a first class public realm that befits the vision we have for the future.”

Chris Oglesby, CEO Bruntwood: “Bruntwood is proud to be working alongside Salford City Council to develop this area of Salford. Providing our customers with the right environment has been key to our success and developing high quality public realm lies at the heart of our business ethos.”

Karen Hirst, Development Director Central Salford URC: “The announcement of this joint venture between Salford City Council and Bruntwood is excellent news for the people of Salford. The development of this key area will continue the work of opening up access to the River Irwell and delivering a key linkage for the Irwell City Park project which is part of the vision to make Central Salford beautiful, vibrant and prosperous.”

Irwell City Park Project Info from Creative Concern 040208

Lowry Hotel:
Lowry Hotel
Manchester building photo © Matthew Ansell Sep 2006

Irwell City Park Project – Property Information
Site size 0.101 hecatares (0.25 acres)
Purchaser Trinity ICP Limited, a new Joint Venture Company with Bruntwood and Salford City Council
Vendor Guardian Media Group PLC
Completion date 12/12/07

This is first joint venture with the public sector that Bruntwood have undertaken. This is the first time the NWDA have funded an acquisition through a joint venture company. Central Salford URC was established by Salford City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the national regeneration agency, English Partnerships, and is responsible for bringing about the transformation of the Central Salford area.

The site was marketed by Guardian Media Group’s agents Keppie Massie. Urban Vision acted for Salford City Council and Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company and provided the valuation advice for NWDA.

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Location: Victoria Street, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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