According to a report being presented to the Cabinet today by the Leader of Salford City Council, Central Salford has lost £167million of private investment, as the credit crunch hits the city.
The figures are contained within Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company’s (URC) Business and Investment Plan. Originally £170million worth of private investment projects were forecast to be completed next year. Now the URC is predicting a mere £3million worth of completed private sector schemes, which represents almost a complete standstill, despite Media City opening in 2011.
The Report states that “this marked fall in forecast is substantially accounted for by a number of major housing schemes not proceeding”. It lists Dandara on Chapel Wharf, and Bellway, Countryside and LPC in Ordsall – literally across the road from the Media City site.
The key issues behind the collapse are given as “the inability of developers to secure finance and the lack of mortgage availability for buyers”. The Report also states that the £167million crash only covers the URC Business Plan Priority Areas and that “the whole fall in private sector investment in the whole area of Central Salford will be higher”.
The Report strangely goes on to reveal that “Whilst this changed forecast is most unwelcome…with completions and commitments we can secure £1billion of private sector investment by 2012”.
It aims to do this by asking the URC’s `Founder Members’ – North West Development Agency, Salford City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency to `more than double’ public investment in Central Salford at Media City and Chapel Street, “tangibly delivering real uplift in Central Salford’s investment prospects”.
We could be wrong, but we read this as the public sector underwriting and financing former privately funded `prestige’ projects. Meanwhile, less sexy schemes, like the neighbourhood wardens in Seedley and Langworthy are being stopped through lack of funding.