Coopers Field, Eric Wright, p.Inform Comms

The Lancaster Canal Quarter is intended to become a 15-minute neighbourhood. Credit: via Inform Comms

Eric Wright picked for £30m Lancaster Canal Quarter job 

The city council has selected the contractor to build Coopers Fields, a 139-home affordable housing project within the 16-acre masterplan zone. 

Eric Wright will redevelop two acres of city council-owned car parks off Leonard’s Gate in the Canal Quarter.  

The tender process for the job was publicly run through the North West Construction Hub high value framework for projects valued in excess of £25m. 

Coopers Field is one of the first phases of Lancaster’s Canal Quarter regeneration efforts. 

The scheme will prioritise “sustainable urban living by maximising renewable energy opportunities and looking to reduce the impact of the construction process by minimising elements of embodied carbon where possible”, according to Eric Wright. 

The contractor already has an interest in the Canal Quarter proposals. 

Maple Grove Developments, part of Eric Wright Group, has an option to redevelop another site within the Canal Quarter, the former Heron Chemical Works.    

Phil Brown, commercial director at Eric Wright Construction, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the area, having delivered the Caton Court project and the Luneside student accommodation project and look forward to utilising our knowledge of green buildings and Passivhaus principles developed on previous schemes to deliver a highly sustainable project .” 

The Coopers Field project is led by the city council’s housing team with Anderton Gables acting as its retained consultant and project manager. PRP is leading on the project’s design. 

Cllr Caroline Jackson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “A key ambition of the Canal Quarter Masterplan is to breathe new life into this area of Lancaster by providing local people and families with much-needed affordable housing.  

“The council has appointed Eric Wright under Pre-Construction Services Agreement to collaborate with the design team under early contractor engagement protocols, taking a major step forward in making the ambitious housing vision a reality.” 

Elsewhere within the Canal Quarter, the city council is also looking for a contractor to deliver housing on Nelson Street car park. 

The triangular site comes in at just under an acre and is located next to Lancaster Canal at the southern tip of the masterplan area.   

Canal Quarter masterplan Lancaster City Council p Lancaster City Council

PRP Architects designed the masterplan for Lancaster City Council. Credit: via Lancaster City Council

The Canal Quarter vision 

Overall, the Canal Quarter, which stretches southwards from St Leonard’s Gate to Quarry Road, would comprise 580 homes, two public squares, and more than 75,000 sq ft of commercial space.  

The Lancaster Canal Quarter is intended to become a 15-minute neighbourhood under the masterplan vision, with additional pedestrian and cycle-friendly streets encouraging access to Lancaster Canal. 

At the heart of the proposal is the former Mitchell’s Brewery, which is set to become a landmark building in the quarter.  

Other aspects of the Lancaster Canal Quarter vision include extending Duke’s Theatre, improving the public realm, and enhancing the existing ginnels in the area to create interesting pathways for pedestrians to explore. The plan also calls for stepped canal access.  

Lancaster City Council owns the majority of the site and PRP will also work with private landowners within the area to create a coherent plan that features homes, hotels, offices, and a prominent cultural and artistic offer.   

The main privately-owned site within the Canal Quarter, previously known as Canal Corridor North, is the 2.5-acre former brewery.   

The background 

The site was previously owned by a joint venture between Worthington Properties and fund manager Revcap.   

However, following the developer’s collapse in 2019, Revcap went into partnership with Riverstone Developments to bring forward the site’s redevelopment.   

The masterplan follows the blueprint laid out in a strategic regeneration framework for the Canal Quarter, drawn up by Planit IE and Avison Young.   

A previous retail-led iteration of the Canal Quarter scheme was brought forward by British Land in 2013 but the partnership between the council and the developer was terminated in 2018 and British Land sold its interest in the site to Worthington the following year. 

Canal Quarter masterplan Lancaster p.consultation

The masterplan area. Credit: via consultation documents

Your Comments

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Excellent urbanism. A lesson in how to build sustainability and organically.


The first pic shows where I currently park when I go into town…second choice is Nelson St, mentioned later in the article as being turned into residential.

Parking is still going to be a thing in Lancaster….isn’t it?

Overall though, good to see this project progressing.

By BLS Bob

No 30 story towers here 🙁

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

This looks fantastic, Manchester take note

By Gilly

@ Giant Skyscraper Fan

Why on earth would you want an unsustainable 30 story tower in the middle of a small historic Georgian city?

@ BLS Bob

I think the secret is for parking to be discreetly accommodated into the city – open air car parks are not really a sustainable use of land.


@SW Sustainability needn’t worry you, it’s not sustainable in that sense

By Dan

@SW – please explain your rationale behind stating a 30 story tower is ‘unsustainable’?

By Verticality

Lol, first image leave google street name in.

By Allergic to Squirrels

@ Verticality

Where to start? The reliance on lifts, energy intensive build, more maintenance over time, higher energy use (the higher the floor, the more colder)…


If you close Nelson Street Car Park you will close retail businesses and Public Activities in Town. The Park and Ride is no use to shoppers in town.

By Anonymous

Verticality I don’t know about 30 story towers but I lived in a 64 floor glass tower where we paid energy bills in a two bed apartment twice of the price of an average 4 bed semi that became dangerously hot in summer forcing residents to book into hotels and buy air conditioning units because air con wasn’t included. Not very sustainable.

By Former DS Resident

Looks cute

By Anonymous

Wish we could get something like this in Liverpool. Looks really good.

By Fran

Do t worry about taking all the car park spaces away, just come and park on greenfield street with every other person

By I.p. knightly

@SW – Yes, that makes sense.

By BLS Bob

@SW Lancaster could be the canary wharf of the north if they showed ambition

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

@Giant Skyscraper Fan

There’s nothing ambitious about turning every settlement into a bland globalised anywhereville. Besides, I very much doubt the City of Lancaster – especially with its Greens-heavy council – would want to transform the historic city into Dubai-on-the-Lune.

True ambition is making a place that is distinctive, unique and characterful.


This will be greeted by the Green agenda basically get rid of car parks, get rid of one of the main cut through roads to get through town, cause traffic chaos and make it impossible to use your car to go into Lancaster, next thing will be ULEZ. I

By Si S

Great to see that a local contractor has been chosen to deliver it!

By Phil Ingham

I don’t agree with using the car parks to build on. Hardly going to encourage people to the town centre if they can’t park! I for one am not interested in park and ride. Struggled years ago trying to get bags of shopping on & off buses in all weather so don’t intend to go back to that.

By Anonymous

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