Once complete the scheme will feature more than 2,000 homes. Credit: via French PR

Homes England agrees £30m Middlewood Locks loan 

The cash will support the development of Scarborough Group’s 189-home Railings scheme, the third phase of the £1bn Salford masterplan. 

Homes England’s £30m loan will bolster Middlewood Locks’ position as a driver of urban regeneration and levelling up, according to the agency’s chief executive Peter Denton.  

“It is urban regeneration schemes like Middlewood Locks that will support the levelling up of towns and cities, creating places where people want to live, work and play,” he said. 

The loan will come from the government’s Levelling Up Home Building Fund, which provides development finance to small-medium housebuilders. 

“The regeneration of our towns and cities is a key part of our levelling up mission,” said Housing Minister Stuart Andrew. 

“I am pleased to see the progress being made at Middlewood Locks, it is a fantastic example of our brownfield-first plan to transform disused land into thriving communities.” 

The 25-acre Middlewood Locks is being developed by a joint venture between Scarborough Group International and partners Metro Holdings and Hualing Group. 

A total of 1,117 apartments have been delivered across the first two phases of the development. 

Once complete Middlewood Locks will deliver more than 2,000 homes, 900,000 sq ft of commercial space, including a hotel and leisure amenities set in a calm canal-side environment with 4.5 acres of public realm and event space. 

Plans for two residential towers of 32 and 28 storeys featuring more than 650 apartments were approved by Salford City Council earlier this year.

Kevin McCabe, chairman at Scarborough Group International, said: “Securing this funding reinforces our long-standing relationship with Homes England and underlines our joint aspiration for creating a vibrant city centre community through the delivery of a further 189 high-quality homes, together with supporting amenity space and public realm.” 

Earlier this year, Homes England announced a change in approach that would see it adopt a more holistic approach, focussing on placemaking and regeneration rather than just housing delivery. 

This week, Homes England and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority announced a strategic partnership with the aim of delivering town centre regeneration and affordable housing in growth locations. 

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Overjoyed with the new partnership between Homes England and GMCA, but feel as though this investment is a bit of a cop out on Homes England’s behalf. Middlewood Locks is already a thriving development, which would have most likely been completed in full regardless of the loan provided. I personally would’ve preferred to see the money benefitting developments that are deeper into Salford town centre and act as a catalyst for much needed development in that area.

By Verticality

Those town houses in the blond brick are exceptional. We need to build houses like these in Central Manchester on a much larger scale to attract families and to create neighbourhoods.

By Elephant

Homes England will pluck the low hanging fruit and then take the plaudits for backing an odds-on winner.

By Anonymous

“Developments that are deeper into Salford town centre “ might be a good ambition but it should not blow out the highly attractive potential of waterfront both here and at the Quays. It feels to me churlish to question the Homes England investment into Middlewood Locks when it is clear that the scheme so far, is exemplary. Offering such a high quality & considered scheme (albeit at the high end of the market) across the water from MCC’s hubristic Factory development, seems to me to be exactly what an autonomous Salford authority should be doing. Scarborough International are in the business of building a residential exemplar that can only benefit Salford as a whole. What planning authority would look at such a scheme & not offer wholehearted support?

By Phil Griffin

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