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.
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.