St Michaels
A 40-storey tower at St Michael's is among Manchester's priority projects

Manchester unveils £1.5bn bid for ‘shovel-ready’ schemes

Dan Whelan

The city council has included more than 60 priority projects in a huge pitch for Government funding, with council leader Sir Richard Leese calling on Whitehall to increase the budget that Boris Johnson set last week. 

The projects include the £1.4bn Mayfield regeneration and the £1bn Northern Gateway, as reported earlier this week, the permanent pedestrianisation of Deansgate, the ID Manchester innovation hub, First Street mixed-use scheme and an expansion of Didsbury Technology Park, among other projects either in construction or in the pipeline.

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The prime minister announced on Tuesday that a total of £900m would be made available to councils to support the development of “shovel-ready” projects, as part of his £5bn pledge to kickstart infrastructure and other schemes deemed crucial for the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

Johnson’s budget is some £600m shy of what Manchester City Council alone has argued it will need to help fund its list of eligible projects.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of the council, said in a statement: “We cannot play down the challenge we are facing around recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak. 

“The projects that we have put forward represent the city’s highest priority, shovel-ready projects that will give us the best footing for economic growth, while helping us address long standing socio-economic and environmental challenges.” 

However, the council added that it does not expect to receive funding for all of the projects it has earmarked as “shovel-ready” priorities. 

Highlights of the bid include:

  • £220m for the Northern Gateway regeneration project, proposing 15,000 homes across 383 acres
  • £120m for ID Manchester, a 4m sq ft mixed-use development at the University of Manchester’s former north campus
  • £61m for refurbishments at London Road Fire Station, Campfield on Liverpool Road, Albert Shed on Water Street and the Turing Institute at the University of Manchester 
  • £35m for a 100,000 sq ft advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing facility at Wythenshawe Hospital
  • £30m for upgrades to walking and cycling routes in Chorlton, Fallowfield and the city centre
  • £27.5m for First Street, the office-led mixed-use scheme being developed by Ask Real Estate
  • £27.1m for public realm improvements at Lincoln Square, Piccadilly Gardens, The Factory and the Medieval Quarter
  • £23m towards the mixed-use redevelopment of Mayfield Depot
  • £11.5m for connectivity infrastructure at Enterprise City, part of Allied London’s St John’s district
  • £10m for the permanent pedestrianisation of Deansgate
  • £6m for the 40-storey St Michael’s tower, being delivered by a joint venture between Jacksons Row Developments, backed by ex-footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs 
  • £4m for a 90,000 sq ft innovation hub in Hulme
  • £3m for a 60,000 sq ft expansion of Didsbury Technology Park to provide a net-zero carbon office building
Mayfield Car Park Visual

The redevelopment of Mayfield Depot is one project included in the bid

Confirmation of successful bids nationwide are expected as part of the Chancellor’s budget statement on 8 July. 

A report to the Manchester City Council’s executive ahead of a meeting this afternoon said that the projects put forward for funding would “ensure that the city plays its full part in the national economic recovery, by continuing its development as a forward-thinking global city that is able to reach its full economic potential.” 

Sir Richard Leese added: It’s important to show that Manchester remains an attractive place for organisations to locate and invest, which in turn guarantees a range of employment opportunities for our residents.” 

The council’s executive had a packed agenda for its meeting today. As well as signing off the funding bids, it was also expected to approve several regeneration frameworks including for parts of Ancoats, New Islington, Noma, St Mary’s Parsonage, and First Street. 

N08 First Street

The continued development of First Street requires £27.5m, according to the council

Your Comments

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No matter how much money is saved, Manchester always prospers.

By The McDonough reverb

No Zip wire?

By J.A.

You have to hand it to Manchester City Council they know how to go for it.

By Monty

And so it should.

By Anonymous

Don,t forget the money still needs to be there for replacing fire risk cladding systems to many high rise buildings.
Also when is HS2 starting in Manchester ?

By Paul Griffiths

This does not help it’s residents at all. It is welcoming new workers outside the city and leaving the natives jobless. And one again these out if touch out if towners will try once again to implement a congestion charge of some sort. Leese and his cronies need to leave this city and stop ruining it.

By Black Mancunian

I recall Johnson’s latest 3.worder ‘build build build’,, There’s no lack of initiative on this end, 60 development jobs, some nearing completion, others are derelict brownfield sites. MCC costs them @ £1.5B, I think the government was going to throw £900M at it by its own reckoning. July 8 the decision is announced. I really hope we are not in for another repeat episode of ‘austerity Street’. There is a lot of private investment bound up in those 60 jobs so the government decision is critical. An example :St Michael’s,,, around £200m of development in one job, they require £6/7m for completion,, that’s 3% of the project cost. C’mon!

By Robert Fuller

If there weren’t so many benefit scroungers in Manchester they might be able to afford this without begging

By Lol

Top pic is like a view from 1989 for a ‘modern city’. It’s 2020, where’s the greenery? People need to breathe in these cities too…

By Zoppo

Quite easy to discount a few of these straight away that clearly don’t need public money.

By Public sector

@Black Mancunian, please show evidence that these projects don’t help locals. Your statement is just words on the Internet without any base on reality. As Manchester grows and develops, jobs are created for all, existing locals and new residents. As for any congestion charge, perhaps if we had one, we would finally have funding for public transport. If there were more people using public transport, you would have less congestion on your roads. But one of the reasons we have such poor roads and public transport in the UK is that so few people are willing to pay for upgrades


I agree with Zoppo, a very dark and colourless vista.

By Turning in Blakes Grave

Black Mancunian. Perhaps if there weren’t so many poorly educated people in inner city Manchester we wouldn’t need to import outsiders to do the new highly skilled jobs. Not much point in looking in Moston is there.

By Elephant

“Black Mancunian” – there is nothing stopping local Mancunians applying for and getting these jobs. I myself am a born and bred Mancunian working in the property industry. Would you rather there were no jobs being created at all? Some people just love to moan at anything.

By Anonymous

@Black Mancunian has every right to voice his/her viewpoint. The comments belittling inner city Manchester aren’t helpful. It’s pure snobbery too.
I agree with the sentiment that some of these schemes do not need any public money when there are Manchester residents in apartments with dangerous cladding. Why does St. Michael’s need any funding? It is not the government’s fault it has not been appraised properly. I hope it is never built.

By Observer

Confused as to why private schemes should benefit from government money?

By Mrqs

Why are people talking about not seeing green space in the first image?
It’s a side view of the city centre, you’re not going to see anything on the ground floor, especially at night ha.
Not that the city centre doesn’t need more green space, although the second image forms part of the massive Mayfield Park which is hopefully being built soon ;)

By Anonymous

They’re not snobbery, they’re factual comments.

By Anonymous

Observer, why is it snobbery commenting on poorly educated people in certain areas. The statistics suggest that if you are born in a poor part of Manchester the likelihood is you will have limited opportunities and the only way out of poverty is an education. Why did the parents of working class children in the 60s know this? But since that decade that attitude has disappeared?

By Elephant

It isn’t just about education, there are so many training, education and employment opportunities in Manchester which are not available in other towns and cities across the UK. Manchester and Salford are each having a construction boom, with each planning application having a local labour agreement conditioned, with a set number of apprentices and roles at all grades for a starter.

There are so many industries and businesses moving here looking for employees of all grades. The issue is that groups of “local people” do not interact with these opportunities as “it’s not for us”, when in reality it is for them too, but it’s low aspiration breeding low aspiration. It’s easier to complain and moan, than it is to take responsibility for one’s choices and actions.

By Anonymous

£6m for the millionaire footballers property development scheme at St Michaels ?

Doesn’t quite feel right to me. But hey – they are celebs – so anything goes right ?

By A Developer

What people are saying about the lack of green space/colour is a reflection on how a lot of modern buildings are incorporating green spaces or sky gardens in them to provide a healthy space and supportive lung to the atmosphere. The image shown does hint at a time when this was not thought about and shows the lack of real quality modern buildings in the provinces. Indeed if the St Michaels development is awarded the £6m, then perhaps they could include some extra green area in the proposal to show what a truly modern and international building it could be. I believe over the next 10-20 years the skylines of most cities will include at least one or two high rise urban farms providing fresh produce for the community, let’s see how Manchester responds to the future?

By Green and healthy

Fair play to the council but they need to get rid of some of these so called developer partners who rock up with their pretty pictures and then wait for the public sector to pump prime everything. They need to front up and take some risk that is what real developers should do.

By Oscar

“Black Mancunian. Perhaps if there weren’t so many poorly educated people in inner city Manchester we wouldn’t need to import outsiders to do the new highly skilled jobs. Not much point in looking in Moston is there.”

July 06, 2020 at 11:34 am By Elephant


I usually read PNW comments for a chuckle but this is by far the most ignorant comment I have ever read here. You’d have thought that the lockdown would give have offered people ample opportunity to check their privilege and some time for quiet introspection. Rather, regular contributors such as Elephant and others would still prefer to blame inner city dwellers for “benefit scrounging”, their lack of education and opportunities. People have died and been killed over the last few weeks because of their income, ethnicity and standard of living. Yet, here we go again, blaming the poor. Have a bit of humility, eh?

By Elephant Poacher