Islington Mill Salford
The refurbished mill would provide workspaces for SMEs

Salford progresses mill buy and land sale

Dan Whelan

The council has agreed to invest £3.3m in acquiring and refurbishing Islington Mill, and has also opted to sell land at David Lewis Playing Fields to Salford University so the latter can expand its student accommodation offer.

At a meeting of Salford City Council’s planning and regeneration committee, Salford Mayor Paul Dennett moved to progress the authority’s planned acquisition of Islington Mill on James Street after a successful funding bid to the European Regional Development Fund. 

The council wants to refurbish and extend the mill by 25,000 sq ft to create a council-owned workspace for creative small businesses, in a project projected to cost £7m. 

Dennett described the scheme as an opportunity to “explore solutions for sustainable creative communities and local residents, at a time when affordable rents are a huge issue facing many millions of people in our country”.

He added: “This is about protecting and cultivating the production of culture – not just the consumption of culture. Ownership is key and, moving forward, the project we are embarking on with the mill will be crucial in creating models for communities to resist gentrification.”

At the same meeting, the council agreed to dispose of a narrow strip of land between Salford University’s Peel Park Quarter student accommodation village and the artificial grass sports pitch at David Lewis playing fields.  

Peel Park Campus2

The Peel Park Quarter project completed in 2015 c.Gillespies

The university plans to build additional student accommodation on the site, increasing its offer at the campus by up to 700 beds.  

The acquisition is part of the university’s £2.5bn masterplan, spread across 240 acres and being delivered by the English Cities Fund development consortium comprising Muse Developments, Homes England and Legal & General.  

The Crescent masterplan, designed by 5Plus Architects, is intended to support the regeneration of the University of Salford’s existing campus, including areas around Salford Crescent, Peel Park and Frederick Road North.  

Planning consent for the existing Peel Park Quarter student accommodation project was secured in 2013 and the development was completed in 2015.  

The scheme was developed by Salford Village, a consortium made up of student accommodation provider Campus Living Villages, construction firm Graham Construction, and investors Equitix and Kier Project Investment.  

Designed by architecture studio Sheppard Robson, the scheme cost £81m and comprises 1,367 en-suite bedrooms over eight-storeys. Gillespies was the landscape architect. 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

I first seen a news article about the students digs in a local Salford website about 2weeks ago.. Salford university about 7 years ago built about 4 student blocks of students digs on peel park and took away greenbelt and lots of trees. Now 7 years later they are taking more greenbelt of the lovely scenic peel park and about 100 trees are going and building 2 more students blocks. I’m annoyed.. Ive been going on peel park and David Lewis playing fields since I was a nipper and I still go on now with my kids and it’s getting smaller and early on this year Salford university built a massive astro turf football pitches on David Lewis playing fields which is always locked up, so it’s for the students. I’m still annoyed Salford university are taking all the lovely greenbelt land around this area and the council are letting em. Im annoyed. I’m off to get a chill pill.

By Darren born bred.

I do think the student accomm expansion is a pretty terrible decision actually.
There’s no denying that Salford Uni has had massive benefits for the area and i’m all for expansion but this is quality green space which is used by everyone. It’s a proper little oasis right next to the city centre.
I’m sure Salford Uni have their reasons (e.g. land ownership restrictions?) but we should be holding onto green spaces that are so central as there’s hardly any of them near to Manc City Centre.
That’s why we should be building taller on brownfield land. Not places like this.

By Anonymous

This is great news for Islington mill which is now going to get a lick of paint.

By Anonymous

The Islington Mill scheme looks great but I agree with Darren born bred’s comments.

By Observer

@Darren born bred, I’ve seen a lot of posts by you and every single one is negative. This website must destroy your soul every time you read it. All these constructions, all these horror stories. As for this complaint, they are hardly taking Peel Park apart. They are building on a thin strip between housing and playing fields. This also isn’t greenbelt land, it is land belonging to the council.

By Salford for the Future

I’m annoyed. 100 trees are going to destroyed for more students blocks and more of the Daniel Lewis playing fields and lovely peel park are going to be built on on this small strip of land. I first seen this story in a local Salford website last month, I was out on a family bike ride and passed here and I counted the trees a few weeks ago on this land and it’s roughly about 100 trees that are going to be destroyed. .. Also roughly 6years ago Salford uni built about 4 students blocks on peel park and early this year Salford uni built a huge astro turf football pitches on Daniel Lewis playing fields. ALL GREENBELT LAND. . protect our greenbelt

By Darren born bred Salford.

@darren born bred; you have highlighted of the huge issues with our current planning system. Generally people don’t understand designations, what they are and where they are.

By Anonymous

The future,, and Darren. I’m not from Salford but I don’t like the fact that the astro pitch is for Uni use only, locals should have access. I think there’s a solution across the city. More roof gardens and pitches, pocket parks. A slope going up/down, 2 sides of the building. It would work up to about 5 floor building. You get your building and the outdoor space. As someone already said, build taller in order to save some spaces.

By Robert Fuller

They will all be sent home soon to distance learn so it may all flop

By Daniel Ross

Darren born bred is correct about the fenced off sports facility though.

By Salfordflyer

Total waste of time and money.

By Anonymous

Hello…having worked at univ if salford for many many years and seen some of the hideous decisions cutting courses planning etc does no one remember the selling off of oaklands halls of residence to developer and the selling of land at racecourse. Not to mention building then student space on car parks so staff and students who travel cant park. Not to mention selling off this was 11 yrs ago each car park space to staff and students at ratio of about 10-1.Fact. So guess what…..greed.

By Michelle

I do not understand why people are getting so worked up about the Salford Uni scheme taking up a strip of land on the site of some underused football pitches when there is a Peel Park and the Meadow within 5 mins walking distance.

By Bradford

100 trees are going to get butchered, trees that are about 100 years old all for blocks of students digs .. Salford council might as well give Salford university all the Daniel Lewis playing fields and lovely peel park to build on. That’s what it looks like.

By Darren born bred Salford

Bradford @. Like I said in my previous comments, Salford uni have already built about 4 students blocks on peel park greenbelt about 6 years ago and also built a huge astro turf football pitches on green fields that is locked when I’ve been passed so its for the students and now Salford uni are going to build students blocks on a strip of greenbelt land and DEMOLISH 100 trees. I know peel park very well and a quarter of the park has gone in the last few years because of the blocks of students digs and astro turf football pitches. Peel park was one of the first public parks in the world, I could go on for hours about the history about this lovely park but that might bore people to death. At the end of the day it’s a lovely place to relax and chili out.

By Annoyed Darren from Salford.

Salford council are building thousands of new properties over the next ten years around the Salford university and Salford crescent area. It’s called the Salford crescent masterplan.

By Bobby

It’s only a piece of small land, who cares about the park

By Anonymous


I don’t normally agree with Darren but as he said previously they’ve already sliced the park in half with the previous student accomm development, so this will separate Peel Park from the playing fields further when they should be linking the spaces up.
Given there is an industrial estate to the north-west which already has some student accommodation dotted about, it would be miles better to build more student accomm around there and create a proper neighbourhood rather than in the middle of a green space, which I believe is the section full of trees (although it would be helpful if a site layout plan could confirm this as I couldn’t find the info online).
I know they’ve allocated loads of resi units in the masterplan, I think the majority of it is great.
But this is rubbish.

By Anonymous

Save the 100 trees on this strip of greenbelt land on lovely scenic peel park from Salford student blocks. This is greenspace , are no parks safe no more. I thought parks was protected from housing development.

By Tree loving Darren born bred

No parks and greenbelt are safe from destruction of housing developments

By Bobby