Star date: 21st May 2012


"If they give us notice, they are going to get a fight. A big fight…" Melville's Fish Bar

As Coronation Street films scenes at Mocha Parade, both traders and the community fear for the shopping centre's future. The flats are tinned up, the shops are losing customers and Mocha is now just an island in a sea of bricks and rubble where streets once stood. Salford Council is saying nothing about the future. Is this any way to treat the community?

Full story here….

Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford
Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford
Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford
Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford
Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford Mocha Parade Lower Broughton Salford
click image to enlarge

In the car park of Mocha Parade in Lower Broughton, people are gathered around watching Coronation Street being filmed. Steve McDonald's car seems to have blown up and there's steam wafting all over the place.

The Street has come here to film, presumably to get that gritty feel of a proper Salford community space. Unfortunately, that very Salford community is being broken up, and the community spaces and houses flattened to make way for the Brave New Broughton of small white houses and sterilized streets.

If any of the Corrie cast or crew took a look beyond the Mocha Parade car park they would see the flats above the shops tinned up with the Salford Council mantra `All Materials of Value Have Been Removed' stamped on the former windows. At the sides and back of Mocha Parade whole swathes of streets are currently being bulldozed. And both the shop keepers and shoppers at Mocha Parade feel that very soon the whole precinct itself will be rubble.

Not that Salford Council has told anyone what is happening with Mocha. But the tinned up flats and bulldozed streets give one huge clue.

"I think they want to bulldoze it, they are running the place down" says Ashfaq Ahmed of Mocha Newsagents "There's nothing wrong with the flats up there but since people have moved out we've had about five break-ins and the insurance hasn't paid out yet. It's like I read in the paper about Scotland; the Council moved all the residents out, it was like a ghost town and the businesses couldn't survive. That's what's happening here. Exactly the same scenario. We're surviving, just making ends meet.

"I would like someone to come forward from the Council and say `Yes Mr Ahmed, this is what we're going to do'" he adds "It's six years I've been here, I've got a good reputation and served the community well. I'd like to stay here all my life to be honest. I don't want this place demolished. I think they should do it up, I like it. If we know what the future is then we can start preparing for it but at the moment it's a dead end."
Over the last five years there's been all sorts of Council policies and rumours about the future of Mocha Parade. In 2008 Salford Council Leader John Merry confirmed that there were proposals to knock down Broughton Baths and move it to Mocha. It never happened. Council reports since then promise the "comprehensive redevelopment" of the precinct "anchored by a small supermarket"…

That `small supermarket' was presumed to be ASDA but that now appears unlikely to happen with ASDA looking to take over the giant Springfield Lane site as part of the proposed grassed roof Urban Splash scheme close by. All the while traders are treading water, watching Mocha getting run down by the week with no proper leases in place providing any sort of protection.

"When there was the Kwik Save supermarket it was very, very busy but now it's a struggle" says Darren Melville of Melville's Fish Bar, who took over the 35 year old Mocha chippy three years ago "In the last four months trade has gone down and we don't know what to do. They said there was going to be a meeting between the Council, Urban Vision and Countryside Properties within four weeks - that was at the beginning of the year, we're now in May.

"I've phoned the relevant people at the Council and there was no response, they won't say anything" he adds "Local tenants have signed a letter saying we want new shops putting in, but no. The leases ran out in 2010 we're all on rolling leases so we don't know if we're going to get compensation or a new shop. We don't know what's happening, we're just waiting. They might give us new shops and that would be fine but you just don't know…"

It's not just the shops future that is at stake, it's the community's too. Run down though it is, Mocha is one of the few places left in Lower Broughton that has independent shops, employment and any kind of social history. The British Legion across the road was flattened late last year, as the bulldozers have moved from Camp Street further and further towards the river and Manchester.

The fruit and veg shop, W McEvilly and Sons, has been on Mocha since 1977 and a business in the area for five generations. Now its future is in the balance…

"They don't care about us" says one of the shop workers who served Steve McDonald actor, Simon Gregson, with an apple earlier "We've got less customers since they've knocked down all the houses. We all agree that Mocha is a mess and something needs doing but they've yet to offer us another shop or anything. We've been told that there's no need for precincts any more…but we will be very angry if they don't give us a shop. There's a good community spirit here and we would be devastated if they split us all up."

Sarah, who is buying some fruit at McEvilly's, agrees. Her father worked in the shop for the great grandfather of the current owners and she thinks it's the end of an era. 

"This is a community and we all get along" she says "These shops should all be together but with all the houses coming down I don't think they will stay here. It's a shame. It's about splitting up the community."

And while the community is being split up - some going to the new Countryside Properties houses in New Broughton, some re-locating to the old surviving houses on Riverside and Spike Island, and others fleeing the area completely – confusion reigns.

"We get asked a lot off the community what's happening to Mocha Parade and all we can say is we don't know" explains Joe Wagner, a counter assistant at K's Chemist "We've been told that they are making plans for a new shop but we've not seen anything, and we heard that through someone else rather than through the Council who haven't kept us informed of anything. Basically, we're being kept in the dark. They're not doing anything and with the houses getting emptied above it's going to make it look even shabbier."

Edna Brookes has been living in one of the flats above the shops for 34 years
and used to work in one of them before retiring. Now, surrounded by boxes, she's preparing to move out to a New Broughton `apartment' as the windows on her Mocha neighbours' flats get tinned up around her.

"I'm happy in a way, because it's got rather run down around here" she says, quickly adding that renovation rather than total demolition of the area would have been a better option.

"I think they should have thought about doing the houses up before knocking them down" she explains "There used to be a community but they've moved away and they don't come back on Mocha as much as they used to do."

All of which is the classic Council way of treating old communities – run an area down, then say it's beyond repair and needs to be flattened. Bring in developers, underscored with public money, and build properties that few of the old community can afford, with some social housing to justify the public money. Lose a good proportion of the old community in the process and hope to replace with `young professionals' who dilute the social problems.

It's happened and happening all over Central Salford, from Ordsall to Broughton, to Charlestown, to Langworthy to the imminent Pendleton PFI project. Mocha Parade is centre stage to all this – almost next to Manchester, the River Irwell and the University of Salford, Manchester.

The Salford Star asked Salford Council whether Mocha faces demolition or refurbishment…

"We are currently in discussion with a developer about the redevelopment of the area south of Green Grosvenor Park, which includes Mocha Parade" said Councillor Gene Merrett, the new Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment.

"No planning applications have been submitted for this area yet so there are no imminent plans for any work in the area" she added "However, as plans for the area develop, we will be speaking to traders about existing and future business opportunities for Mocha Parade."

This is not encouraging for the precinct. Developers don't tend to refurbish, preferring new `developments' with sky high rents and chain stores. The Coronation Street location team might well be running out of proper Salford community spaces in the future.

Darren at Melville's Fish Bar isn't giving up hope…"If they give us notice they're going to get a fight" he says "A big fight…"

See previous Salford Star articles…

Lower Broughton Regeneration Hell – click here (and more links at the end of the article)

The Assassination of the Higher Broughton Community – click here for Coronation Street chippy location story and click here to see what happened next

Salford Council Gives City To Developers – click here

Eddie Smith wrote
at 21:41:09 on 05 December 2012
Oh wonderful, another supermarket,,, such vision eh? That corner is the first entry point to Broughton as you come from manchester, surely someone can come up with something better than another bloody Asda???
Nachtschleper wrote
at 16:55:59 on 19 November 2012
How many fucking supermarkets do you tossers need?
peter wrote
at 16:55:53 on 19 November 2012
new tesco at salford precint why the hell make it with a real car wash not crap hand ones we need a real car wash thats keeped uptodate and clean seems to vanish put one in god so slow CAR WASH CAR WASH
peter wrote
at 08:31:01 on 19 November 2012
just hurry up and get rid of this bad place to many wired ones round there once goes they go easy build Tesco or even better a Asda mush nicer place then and a petrol stashon and a proper car-wash not hand job car washes crap.
John wrote
at 20:43:13 on 08 August 2012
Just get in down and sorted insted of wating just do it if you do a job do it right start and finish its easy but there just so slow. and put asda there ;-)
Missing the point wrote
at 10:45:51 on 23 May 2012
That is how the council operates. They run down an area by failing to upkeep it,lack of information, increases in rents etc. Then the moving people out and the tinning up starts. As people move out and property gets tinned up the council turn round and say that the area is run down and needs "regenerating". This usually involves demolishing what is left and building some crappy flats that will last 15 years so it can all start again. THAT is the Salford council "sustainable regeneration"
Di Rector wrote
at 10:45:40 on 23 May 2012
Another fine example of what happens when inept ,clueless, greedy , self-serving fools make important decisions . That's why Mocha resembles a post-apocalyptic hell. A film set is a great idea . Salford council could be in it , as a mob of inept ,clueless, greedy, self-serving fools . No acting ability needed . Is Danny Boyle available to direct ? He could employ locals to scramble through the rubble and howl at the moon , and bring a few much needed jobs to Salford . Can already hear spicer screeching about 'jobs for salford'.....
Val Broadbent wrote
at 21:18:21 on 22 May 2012
Re Local Resident..Thank you for your advice but I think you missed my point. I am in agreement with what has been said about Mocha. It is an eyesore and badly run down... My comment referred to the way Mocha used to be before they moved the community away from it. I'm sure the people with heart and breathing problems and walking difficulties will appreciate you suggesting they get more exercise. As for shopping online, we have done that for the past 4 years. Myself and 4 of my immediate neighbours regularly have our shopping delivered as there is no alternative. When 'they' moved the people 'they' should have moved the shops with them or at least made them easier to get to.. We would have liked nothing better than to continue shopping and supporting Mocha and will do so again if it ever gets rebuilt and made more accessible to us. As for your comment about a bus stop (I assume you meant bus and not bust) a bus stop in the vicinity be it outside my house or otherwise it would be an improvement in an area so poorly served by public transport.. And I don't mean Manchester. Salford people like to shop in Salford... "We need more investment in Broughton"... I wonder where I've heard that said before.
caroline wrote
at 21:17:32 on 22 May 2012
Makes a great film set..?Maybe that the reson to destroy oops..also sorry do not like supermarkets .like corner shops ..it make me wore out looking for my shopping...by the time i get home i feel hardly able to cook.
J wrote
at 17:26:01 on 22 May 2012
In its current form Mocha is terrible, run down and its the right decision to knock it down (if that happens). However it is a vital community resource, and it should move with the residents. It should be rebuilt in 'New Broughton' where it is more easily accessible (I believe there were originally plans but have just surfaced as Costcutter and Victoria Chemist) and they need to encourage more traders to the area. Although it goes against the ethos of Mocha, a supermarket is needed and its no coincidence that there has been a sharp decline since Kwik Save & Iceland left.
Local Resident wrote
at 17:25:54 on 22 May 2012
Re Ms, Mrs/Miss Broadbent. It's an eyesore end of. It does'nt matter what time of the day I go, it's not exactly 'buzzin' with people, yes I've seen a one or two persons who may stop and have a chat for a couple of mins, then they pop into whichever shop they need, get what they want and off they toddle to their domain, wherever that may be! NO-one really spend more than 10mins there (unless working) Bottom line is, We need more investment into Broughton, it will only happen when things change, and people change learn to change their mindset. As for having to walk further to the 'Mocha' (as I normally call it by the way)! It won't do anyone much harm to get a little more exercise. We cannot expect EVERYTHING on our doorsteps I'm afraid. Next you will be wanting a taxi rank or bust stop outside your house...But you would probably complain about that too ! OH and just for the record, if you don't want to walk to the shops. Ring up or go online to Tesco's etc. they will deliver your goods to your doorstep, I expect the local businesses would love you for that !
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 16:17:25 on 22 May 2012
Great idea Mr Irwell, let us take up our markers.
Val Broadbent wrote
at 14:22:24 on 22 May 2012
It would be interesting to know who "Local Resident" really is. I'ts obvious that He/She isn't part of the 'real' community as they would know the true reason why 'Mocha' has deteriorated. What can you expect when they move people out of perfectly good modern houses into 'New Broughton' and then create a massive building site between them and the shops...As a true local resident of 62 years my daily 5 minute walk to Mocha to shop and meet up with friends and neighbours has been wiped out... It's now nearly an hours walk there and back when I have a doctors appointment. The elderly, infirm and those whithout a car find it almost impossible to shop there now, especially in bad weather. Also a real local resident wouldn't refer to it as "The Mocha Parade" To us, it's just 'Mocha'
Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 14:21:51 on 22 May 2012
@ Nachtschlepper - That is very cool. I wonder if people should write that on marker on the silly pink signs, just before the baffling 'IN' in capitals. That would be a good protest if it began to sprint up all over the city. Just saying, like :)
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 07:03:27 on 22 May 2012
Is there any truth in the rumour that Salford will have a new motto All Materials of Value Have Been Removed. Because really over the last 30 years that is what has happened.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 07:03:16 on 22 May 2012
It seems that "Local resident is fluent in gibberish.
Local resident wrote
at 20:33:05 on 21 May 2012
GOOD. I have lived in these parts for almost 20years, I happen to like Broughton and the people who live here, it's deffinately changing for the better from my past experiences. The Mocha parade is outdated and as you say, 'no-one really goes there now' The small supermarket there sells basic food stuffs, nothing much nutritional. It the whole area looks tired, outdated and an eyesore, and to be honest, as I come over the bridge from Manchester,(almost daily) it looks very depressing, it lets Broughton down on arrival. I say Good riddance, I'm sure that whatever IS planned will be a much improved and pleasing to the eyes. I'm sorry for the bussiness's there, but we really need to move on. Trade has been going down for a long time anyway. Chances are, some are prob just keeping there heads above water anyway do they not want more customers and money in their back burner ! Thank you.
Marxy wrote
at 18:45:18 on 21 May 2012
So this is what 'nodding dog' career politician stewart means by ' open governance' is it ? Utter bullshit . Mr Greedy and his underwhelming cabinet chums owe the people of Mocha an explanation . Different day , Same shite . Wonder if Fred Done's running a book on which of Tesco or Morrisons gets the 'consumer cattle-shed experience ' go ahead ?
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