MediaCityUK – Town Centre Designation

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MCUK Water Blue

Location: MediaCityUK, Salford

Client:  Peel Media Limited

Numbers:

  • 200-acre regeneration zone
  • Home to the BBC, ITV and over 250 media and creative businesses
  • Connected to Greater Manchester by 3 tram lines
  • BREEAM Sustainable Community Award
  • 20 million metres of fibre optic cable
  • 5000 employees on site.
  • 2500 residential units
  • 2 hotels

Features:

  • Complex regeneration site planned from 2006, with various amendments to its overall masterplan to reflect the evolution of the area.

Issues:

  • The area was showing all of the characteristics of a centre but had not been recognised through spatial planning policies.
  • A new approach was needed to evidence and exemplify why MediaCityUK should be considered as a new town centre.

Summary of NJL Approach:

NJL provided strategic planning advice on how best to evidence the role that MediaCityUK plays in land use terms. We collated this evidence linking economic, social and spatial elements together to demonstrate that the area genuinely performs as a town centre and how this will evolve further into the future with ongoing improvements to connectivity. Hence, we provided the clear rationale and “building blocks” to support its designation as a town centre.

Outcome:

MediaCityUK is now designated as a town centre in the final draft of the Salford Local Plan and similarly recognised in the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. The designation of a new town centre is a rare occurrence in UK spatial planning and a first for NJL Consulting and the client.