Amongst property developers, speculators and investors, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, launched the Masterplan for the re-development of the Crescent yesterday, at the MIPIM property orgy in the South of France.
The details of the "£800million investment opportunity" were unveiled by the Mayor, the University of Salford and 5plus Architects under a banner reading 'Soul Not For Sale'.
In tweets from his speech at MIPIM, Paul Dennett said: "Salford is a hub of culture, art and entertainment. It's a place where we put the people, the culture, and the communities at the heart of regeneration...It is not growth at any cost, it's about keeping the heart and identity of the city paramount..."
As the Salford Star reported recently, considering that 'communities are at the heart of regeneration', it seems no community group in the area was actually consulted on the plans before they were unveiled...not even the East Salford Community Committee. This despite the Salford University website stating that there had been a "consultation process", "options workshops" and "feedback from key stakeholders"... (see here)
Indeed, the recent history of Salford's regeneration has seen what many believe to be the 'soul' being ripped out of the city – with the demolition the Salford Quays Cranes, the City Mission, the Black Horse pub, Ye Olde Nelson pub and the breaking up of old communities via the Pathfinder project.
Meanwhile, the University of Salford itself, one of the partners in the Crescent Masterplan, drew huge criticism a few years back when it re-styled itself the University of Salford, Manchester.
Since then, there's been MediaCityUK, Manchester, the Lowry Outlet, Manchester, New Bailey, Manchester, Downtown Manchester and a zillion more examples of Salford being downgraded from the map, as developers seem intent of ripping the 'soul' from the city (see previous Salford Star articles - click here and click here and click here).
Should anyone trust this latest 'Soul Not For Sale' hype dreamt up by the architects? The rather nauseous video on the new Crescent website, also launched yesterday, and titled 'Soul Not For Sale', is actually narrated by a bloke with an American accent...and ends with Salford University Manchester proudly displaying its logo.
See the videos and plans on the Crescent Masterplan website – click here
The Crescent Masterplan...
The blurb from the website
"A distinctive place to live, work and visit, proud to be more Brooklyn than Manhattan, where people and businesses, from near and far, can find the space they need to thrive, prosper, create and connect..."
Creating a new University Vision and City District at the Heart of Salford's Transforming Economy
"Across 240 acres (99ha) Salford Crescent has the potential to deliver: £800 million investment opportunity, 2,500 residential new build – apartments and houses, 300,000 sq ft of modern student residential accommodation, 5 hectares of transformed historic parkland, 1.6 million sq ft of new commercial innovation floorspace for industrial growth sectors, 1.1 million sq ft of new educational floorspace. A new hotel and bespoke conferencing suite, 2,000 space multi storey car parks across the neighbourhood, a new school, local retail & health services and new commercial arts workspaces. Nearly 2 million sq ft of public realm, green landscape routes, 5 miles of running tracks, 1.5 miles of cycleways and 1,000 trees. and ensuring the future of six heritage buildings."
* One of the videos on the website also shows the controversial Crescent bridge – which saw Section 106 money that could have been used for affordable housing squirrelled away to pay for its £2million construction: See previous Salford Star articles – click here and click here