Dividing the area into three distinct neighbourhoods and reactivating ground floor commercial units are among proposals set out in a four-part plan to shape the future of Salford Quays.
Salford City Council is seeking feedback from the public on fresh plans for the area, which counts MediaCityUK and The Lowry theatre and exhibition venue among its assets.
The council’s vision is split into four sections:
- Three neighbourhoods – this section outlines plans to divide Salford Quays into three distinct areas, Living, Live/Working, and Leisure. The idea behind this is to make residential areas quieter and boost footfall in public spaces
- A ‘town centre’ – this includes the creation of a new ‘town centre’ stretching from MediaCityUK to Royalton Group and Frogmore’s £360m residential scheme, Cotton Quay. The creation of a town centre would encourage more outdoor events, including markets and street food exhibitions, and would see existing public spaces upgraded. An all-weather, permanent outdoor structure of “international quality” could be created at the heart of the town centre and be used for events and as a place for children to play
- Physical and mental wellbeing – this element of the vision proposes “building on the reputation of Salford Quays as a great place to walk, run and swim”. The council proposes improving existing sports facilities and increasing the amount of free or low-cost activities so that more people have an opportunity to take part. Adding pocket parts and protecting waterside views are among plans aimed at boosting mental health
- Culture and creativity – this involves working with cultural partners such as The Lowry to further develop the area’s public art programme, and partnering with landlords and developers to incorporate more active uses on the ground floor areas of office blocks and towers. Mini galleries, co-working spaces, or café are all mooted as potential uses.
The consultation runs until 30 April and the final version of the framework is to be published this summer.
The council’s plans to revamp Salford Quays come after it was announced last week that the BBC would expand its regional presence by relocating additional departments from London to MediaCityUK and other sites across the country.
Under the plans, the whole of the Radio 3 and 6 Music departments will be based at MediaCityUK, and Salford will also be the main base for the BBC’s digital and technology teams.