ECF refreshes Salford Crescent masterplan 

Developer English Cities Fund wants to transform the 250-acre site into a “globally recognised destination”, through a revised framework that could see a Metrolink extension connecting the area with Salford Quays.

After being appointed by Salford City Council and the University of Salford to deliver the £800m project earlier this year, ECF – made up of Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England – has drafted an updated masterplan to guide development in the area. 

An indicative masterplan drawn up by 5plus Architects was endorsed by the council in 2018 but never formally adopted, creating the need for an updated document. 

Under 5plus’ masterplan, the development site was split into five areas but this configuration has been tweaked under ECF’s revised plans, which outline six key zones. 

The Adelphi, Peel Park, Crescent, and Innovation Zones remain from the earlier masterplan, but the Transport Hub and Parks & River zone have been introduced under the revised framework. 

Salford Crescent Masterplan 2

ECF’s plans propose extending the Metrolink to connect the university with Salford Quays

Transport Hub 

The Transport Hub section of the framework proposes the creation of an integrated transport interchange featuring a Metrolink station that would provide connectivity between the university and Salford Quays. 

The A6 could potentially be closed to traffic with public transport and pedestrians prioritised. 

In addition, the existing railway lines at Salford Crescent station will be built over to provide improved connectivity between the Innovation Zone and the Peel Park Campus as well as an area of public realm. 

Innovation Zone  

The Innovation Zone, the most northerly area stipulated in the framework, incorporates many of the University of Salford’s facilities and is divided by Frederick Road. 

ECF is proposing the construction of a podium across Frederick Road, connecting the two halves of the site, as well as a new-build 40,000 sq ft Innovation Centre. The plans also propose an area of public realm in the heart of the zone. 

Parks & River 

This zone covers David Lewis Playing Fields, Peel Park and the Meadow, areas of green space bordered by the River Irwell. 

Plans for this area include the creation of improved pedestrian and cycleways, removing invasive species of trees and creating a recreation space that will “enhance the experience of transient users”. 

Salford Crescent Masterplan 3

A podium connecting the two halves of the Innovation Zone is proposed

Peel Park Campus  

The area between Peel Park itself and Frederick Road would see the retention of a number of assets including Maxwell Hall and Salford Business School, as well as the “de-engineering” of Frederick Road to create an enhanced sense of arrival for students. 

The Crescent 

The Crescent, the southern-most area in the development zone, will be the main focus for residential development and ECF plans to create a a mixed-use neighbourhood featuring a hotel within the former Police HQ building and the redevelopment of The Old Fire Station into a multi-use community space. 

Adelphi Village 

Situated to the east of the River Irwell, Adelphi Village would be used to bring forward further residential development. 

The Farmer Norton Car Park, Centenary Building and Old Adelphi would all be repurposed under ECF’s proposals. 

The project team for the updated framework includes consultancy CBRE, Make Architects, infrastructure firm Aecom, landscape architects Planit-IE, quantity surveyor and project manager Faithful + Gould, and consultancy Cundall. 

Consultation on the framework starts on 20 October. 

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Unfortunately, after decades of intentional neglect by SCC and individual land owners, this area is a dump.

There are few buildings of architectural interest and to have an A road reduced to 20mph and one lane is a cruel attempt to justify a congestion charge in this area.

It could have been great but Salford messed it up.

By Observer

There seems to be over emphasis on what is good for the students. Salford is one of the UKs greenest city’s, and as far as I am aware the area between the river and the crescent is a nature reserve. There are many species of songbirds that rely on this undisturbed habitat including willow tit and goldfinch. I would like an independent report on the impact of this development. Not just a financial report that benefits Salford Councils coffers.

By David

When will the development in the crescent start,, has a planned scheduled been drawn up
The planned hotel in the crescent police station,, will this building be replaced.
5 Oc 2020

By John

Did Walter Mitty come up with this scheme?

By Peter Chapman

what about Salford Precinct, that could do with a massive face lift.

By lipstick

It’ll never happen though it should. The students are the best thing about this area, go to the awful precinct and compare the people there.

By Dan

This area is both in need of huge regeneration, but also one with equally huge potential. It is close to the city centre, so one of the inner-city neighbourhoods that becomes both a city gateway as well as a great place to live, dine, drink and entertain. It has a student population that can boost nightlife and a great counterbalance to competing areas like Castlefield, Oxford Rd corridor and Ancoats – yet another great redevelopment that continues removing our donut of dereliction that once fully surrounded the city centre.

Its proximity to Middlewood Locks and Greengate only help its potential. But I do fear the transport discussions are once again watered down. It seems to forget we are the 2nd city in the 5th richest nation on the planet and is conceiving a transport scheme that an undeveloped country might consider. This would be a perfect line for Manchester’s first subway/metro, going underground connecting Salford University with the city centre, through to Oxford St, Fellowfield, Withington and connecting to Didsbury. Connecting one of the largest concentration of students in the country and more.

Instead we see mention of one tram stop with a connection to MediaCity but not the city centre. It’s a start I guess, but that would be a huge waste of opportunity if it doesn’t also connect to the city centre! It’s almost too impossible to imagine that the council may actually be considering a line to the city from MediaCity via Salford Crescent, but not actually going all the way to the city. If it did, it would link Salford Crescent with two important cores, allowing an alternative route to relieve huge overcrowding on the MediaCity line, plus a faster Northern journey into MediaCity (including quick links from Victoria)

That said, I do like the additional bridges across the river and the idea of removing invasive plants.

Fingers crossed this goes ahead and if we just get the MVP version, we at least get a proper line connecting the city centre. I know we won’t get a metro line. This is Manchester, not any other city in the world its size. But at least let’s not build half a metrolink line.


Its all about being able to put a conjestion charge within Salford & greater Manchester. Don’t be fooled by our Mayor Andy Burnham We have lived in the trinity area 38yrs brought up our family here but seeing the changes I think its time to get out I don’t want to live in a London-styled city. We as residents should have a say on our surroundings & not be left to the Andy Burnhams of this world.

By David F

I remember the ‘pedestrianisation’ of the Crescent . The resulting tarmac jungle did not remotely look like the artist’s impression. I suspect this dream will not, either

By Suspicious

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