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Master planning team appointed to Manchester's Collyhurst regeneration

Above: CGI of proposed new housing at Collyhurst, Manchester (FEC and Manchester City Council)

Next steps for the once in a generation transformation of Collyhurst Village and South Collyhurst, part of Greater Manchester, have been set out. This comes as the joint venture between Manchester City Council and Far East Consortium has appointed a masterplanning team for future phases of development. 

Collyhurst is one of the first areas to be developed as part of the major Victoria North regeneration programme being delivered by the joint venture, which will see 15,000 new homes built across seven new and emerging neighbourhoods in north Manchester over the next two decades. 

Last June, Manchester City Council's Cllr Gavin White, and developer FEC joined Future Cities Forum's levelling up discussion event at the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, to describe the important work that has been carried out into the development of new affordable housing and place-creation of this area of the city. FEC's Victoria North Senior Project Director, Tom Fenton, detailed the aims:

'This development is really a lesson on how traditionally wealth of city would always travel south in city. Victoria North has the River Irk running through it but you wouldn't know it was there. We are aiming to make it a feature for the benefit of the community. The project covers 40 hectares with seven districts and it is being built both for a new populace and existing people in city. It ties up important current day initiatives such as active travel and net zero. The development has to work for current council house inhabitants.

This is among the poorest of neighbourhoods in the region and therefore nationally. People living there have poor health and education and they do not identify with what goes on in central Manchester - it doesn't work for them and they do not feel connected to centre. We do not want to gentrify the areas but make it work better for them. They need access to good insulated housing with better air quality and there needs to be an initiative in getting people into jobs and a better educational offer. We need to access joined up government investment at the right time, because infrastructure takes longer to plan for.'

With site works having begun to deliver 274 new low carbon homes – including 130 homes for social rent – alongside a new community park and commercial space, the JV is now turning its attention to delivering the longer-term vision for both neighbourhoods.

Outlined in an update to the Collyhurst regeneration plan, the JV intends to work with a masterplanning team to develop a street-by-street plan that builds on the vision set out in the 2019 Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF) for Victoria North.

The master-planning team includes Mæ (lead architect), Turner.Works (meanwhile use), Schulze+Grassov (landscape and public realm) and IF_DO (community engagement). The team is expected to work with existing local residents to shape the design of potential new homes, streets and parks, with a programme of public engagement due to begin in the coming months. This will include a range of interactive events and activities, which will be inclusive and accessible to all members of the community. The community engagement programme is likely to involve workshops and consultation events to gather the views of local residents and get their feedback, a series of community design sessions involving residents, exhibitions and online engagement.


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