Manchester City Council is set to sign off a loan to Far East Consortium to progress the first projects at the £1bn Northern Gateway within the next 12 months.
FEC, the Northern Gateway development partner, is set to secure a loan from the council’s £25m pot for the Northern Gateway; this will allow it to speed up land assembly to deliver the opening phase of projects within the masterplan area, which stretches from Victoria Station to Collyhurst.
Two sites have already been acquired, both in the Red Bank area of the masterplan, near Victoria Station: the former Angelgate plot on Dantzic Street, and another neighbouring plot. The Angelgate plot was purchased last year following the collapse of previous developer Pinnacle Angelgate.
Heads of terms have been reached for a third, larger plot, although a final deal for this site is yet to be agreed.
It is understood the first projects to be brought forward are at Collyhurst, where FEC and the council will develop affordable homes, and within the Red Bank area.
Red Bank, the nearest plot in the masterplan to Victoria Station, has the potential to house tall buildings, while there is also an ambition to bring forward a “brewery quarter”, featuring existing businesses within the site’s railway arches. The existing Red Bank viaduct will also be re-used under FEC’s plans for the area.
The loan for land acquisition will be repaid by FEC at the point of development and can be reinvested by the council into other projects. FEC and the council have also put forward a bid for Housing Infrastructure Fund money to support development.
According to the council, the loan will allow FEC to submit a planning application and start on site with its first development in 2019/20. The total value of the loan remains undisclosed; Manchester City Council’s executive is set to sign this off at a meeting on 26 June.
Earlier this month, FEC put forward proposals for an 80-apartment scheme in New Cross, designed by architect Hawkins\Brown; this sits within the council’s New Cross Neighbourhood Development Framework.