Salford Quays

Salford Quays

infobox UK place
map_type= Greater Manchester
country = England
latitude= 53.471
longitude= -2.293
official_name= Salford Quays
metropolitan_borough= City of Salford
metropolitan_county= Greater Manchester
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Salford
post_town= SALFORD
postcode_district = M50
postcode_area= M
dial_code= 0161
os_grid_reference= SJ807972

static_image_caption=The Lowry footbridge over the Manchester Ship Canal at Salford Quays from Imperial War Museum North.

Salford Quays is an area of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England, near the end of the Manchester Ship Canal. Previously the site of Salford Docks, it became one of the first and largest urban regeneration projects in the United Kingdom following the closure of the dockyards in 1982.

It is also home to a joint tourism initiative between Salford City Council and Trafford Borough Council, supported by private sector partners including The Lowry, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester United F.C., Lancashire County Cricket Club, Lowry Outlet Mall and the Golden Tulip and Copthorne Hotels; working in partnership with Marketing Manchester. Salford Quays forms one part of the area known as The Quays, which also includes Trafford Wharf and Old Trafford, on the Manchester side of the ship canal. [citation |title=Welcome to The Quays |url= |publisher=Quays Partnership |accessdate=1 November 2007]

In 2007 it was confirmed that the BBC would be moving several of its departments to a new to be built on Pier 9 of the Quays.


The Salford Docks were built by the same company that built the Manchester Ship Canal and was intended to serve the canal and act as a dock for the cargo being moved along the canal.citation |title=Salford Quays |url= | |accessdate=28 April 2008] They were opened in 1894 by Queen Victoria.citation |title=Salford Quays milestones: the story of Salford Quays | |url= |accessdate=12 April 2008] The docks spanned convert|120|acre|ha of water and convert|1000|acre|ha of land. The docks began to decline in the late 1940s and by the mid 1960s the docks were almost useless as they proved too small for newer and larger container ships. The docks closed in 1982 resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs; in 1984 Salford City Council acquired most of the docks from the Ship Canal Company. The area was rebranded as Salford Quays and redevelopment began in 1985 under the Salford Quays Development Plan to build offices, housing, and leisure facilities including the Lowry Centre and the Imperial War Museum North.


The Lowry

Early in the redevelopment plan for Salford Quays, the potential was recognised for the area to host a landmark arts venue. Initially referred to as "Salford Quays Centre for the Performing Arts" in 1988, it became known as The Lowry Project in 1994 and had secured £64 million in funding by 22 February 1996.citation |url= |title=Salford Quays Milestones |publisher=Salford City Council |date=10 June 2005 |accessdate=9 July 2007]

The Lowry today stands at the end of Pier 8, largely surrounded by the waters of the Manchester Ship Canal. Designed by James Stirling and Michael Wilford, it opened on 28 April 2000 and houses the 1730 seat "Lyric" theatre, the 466 seat "Quays" theatre, a range of studio spaces and convert|17330|sqft|m2|0 of gallery space.citation |url= |title=About The Lowry |publisher=The Lowry |accessdate=9 July 2007] In addition there are cafes, bars and a restaurant on the south-western end of the building, with views over the water to Libeskind's Imperial War Museum North. As the name suggests, the centre is associated with L. S. Lowry, and houses a unique collection of his work. Some of the pieces are on permanent display, whilst others are on loan and may appear in changing exhibitions where appropriate.

Media City UK

In 2007, it was confirmed that the BBC would be moving five of its departments to a new development on Pier 9, to be called mediacity:uk. [citation |title=BBC Salford is on! |publisher=BBC |url= |accessdate=20 August 2007] The Mediacity:UK project is being developed by Peel Holdings Group. [citation |title=Quay Property Investments | url= |accessdate=18 April 2008] The affected departments are BBC Children's, BBC Children's Learning, BBC Sport, BBC Radio Five Live, and parts of BBC Future Media and Technology (including a small number from BBC R&D), involving about formatnum:2300 staff. [citation |title=BBC buildings: New developments |publisher=BBC |url= |accessdate=23 November 2007] The move, expected to be completed by 2011, marks a major decentralisation of the corporation's operations, and will represent the BBC's largest presence outside of London. The arrival of the BBC is expected to attract other media, broadcasting, and filmmaking companies to the area.

It is claimed that mediacity:uk will create up to formatnum:10000 jobs and add £1bn to the regional economy over 5 years. [citation |title=BBC confirm move of five departments to mediacity:uk |publisher=BBC |url= |accessdate=23 November 2007]


The Lowry Outlet Mall contains numerous discount and 'outlet' stores from well-known high street brands, including Cadbury's Marks & Spencer and Costa Coffee . The centre also contains a multi-screen cinema operated by Vue, several popular coffee shops and convenience food chains. Outside the mall, overlooking the Lowry plaza, are several restaurants and a bar.

The main offices and studios of 100.4 Smooth Radio and 105.4 Century FM are based on Waterfront Quay, while XFM Manchester and Gold is at Exchange Quay, to the east of Trafford Road. Standing at the head of Erie Basin (Dock 9), "Anchorage" is a complex of several buildings, home to BUPA and Barclaycard. To the north side of Erie Basin stand the Victoria and Alexandra buildings


Some of the first developments in Salford Quays were residential, [citation |title=Salford Quays early developments |publisher=Salford City Council |url= |accessdate=27 August 2007] initial builds consisting of traditional low-rise flats and town houses in "Grain Wharf" and "Merchants Quay". As the area has prospered, more high-rise buildings have been constructed to increase housing density on the naturally limited pier space. Because of this premium on space, apartments have also been constructed on the opposite side of Trafford Road to the Quays.

Low Rise

*Merchants Quay was one of the earliest residential areas, constructed during the mid-to-late 1980s. It is on East Wharf South (Pier 6), originally referred to as the 'posh side' of the Quays due to its popularity with soap stars from Coronation Street and city centre high-fliers. [citation |title=Spotlight on Salford Quays |publisher=Manchester Online |url= |accessdate=27 August 2007] Merchants Quay consists largely of terraced town houses and mews properties, with only one block dedicated to flats. The development is bordered on its southern side by South Bay (Dock 6) and by the St. Francis, St. Louis, and St. Peter basins to the north, which provide habitats for fish and waterfowl and are popular with local anglers. Properties on the western edge of the pier overlook the Imperial War Museum North and Lowry Bridge over the Quays turning circle; the largest expanse of water at Salford Quays. The development shares Pier 6 with the business-orientated "Waterfront Quay", located on the north side of the basins on East Wharf North.

*Grain Wharf is located at the centre of the Quays, and consists of three matching developments: "Winnipeg Quay" and "Vancouver Quay" to the west of Mariners Canal, and "St. Lawrence Quay" to the east. Its name derives from the land's previous use, when imported grain was delivered by ship and transferred to the railway network that ran the length of Pier 8 (Central Wharf). [citation |last=Lee |first=Diane |last2=Craven |first2=Ken |title=Salford Quays Heritage Trail |publisher=Industrial Powerhouse |year=2005 ] Built between 1985 and 1995, Grain Wharf consists of a combination of two and three bedroom town houses and apartments, none exceeding four stories in height. Many of the properties have been positioned to take advantage of the views over Huron and Erie Basin (Dock 9) and Mariners Canal, with a number of town houses in "Winnipeg" and "Vancouver Quay" facing onto a landscaped garden square. The development is noted for its distinctly symmetrical layout across Mariners Canal, which was added to link the cleaned water of Ontario Basin to the south and Erie Basin to the north for water sport; the watersports centre is directly opposite "Vancouver Quay". "Vancouver" and "St. Lawrence Quays" are linked by a footbridge over the canal, and by "The Quays" road.

*Labrador Quay consists of five three-storey apartment blocks close to the far end of Erie Basin, completed in 2003. Accessed via the "St. Lawrence Quay" cul de sac, the buildings are quite inconspicuous due to the waterside tree planting and their location behind both "The Lighthouse" offices and "Anchorage" buildings. Two of the buildings face directly onto the water of Erie Basin, while the others are angled around communal gardens.

High Rise

*Imperial Point was the first of the high-rise residential buildings on the Quays: a 16-storey tower built alongside the Lowry Outlet Mall on Pier 8 (Central Wharf) in 2001. [citation | | |url= |accessdate=28 August 2007] Finished in sand-coloured cladding with grey and steel finishes to the roof, service cores and balconies, the lower levels are integrated into the mall itself.

*Sovereign Point is the sister building to "Imperial Point", located towards the rear of the Lowry Outlet Mall. It is the tallest tower in Salford Quays, and the third tallest in Salford, at convert|217.2|ft|m|1. [citation | | |url= |accessdate=28 August 2007] Completed in 2005, its 20 stories are entirely residential, save for some commercial units at ground level, including Sovereign Food and Wine, the Quays first grocery store. The tower has had its share of controversy regarding its design, which is regarded by some to provide a poor aesthetic on all but the water-facing elevation. [citation |title=Sovereign Point Poll | |url= |accessdate=28 August 2007] It is also in stark relief to the neighbouring low-rise "Winnipeg Quay".

*The NV Buildings were designed by Broadway Maylan and completed between 2004 and 2005. The development consists of three 18-storey residential towers, each convert|180|ft|m|0 in height. Costing £36m, they stand in a line overlooking Huron Basin from the waterside of Pier 9 (North Wharf), their curved frontages designed to represent sails. [citation |title=NV Buildings, Manchester |publisher=Broadway Malyan Limited |url= |accessdate=28 August 2007] At night, each of the buildings is illuminated by four green lights atop curved poles, plus a single green flood light to either side. The 'Type 3' apartment in the NV Buildings won gold for 'Best Apartment' in 2004 'What House?' awards. [citation |title=And the jester's prize goes to ... William Hague |publisher=Telegraph Media Group |url= |accessdate=28 August 2007]

*City Lofts construction began in 2005 and was completed in late 2007. The development consists of two linked towers: one 9 stories, the other 19 stories. These towers sit on land adjacent to the bund carrying "The Quays" road, which separates the Manchester Ship Canal from the cleaned water of the Salford Quays basins. The apartments feature interior design by Conran & Partners. Interest in the development was limited, due to the slump in the housing market, and in July 2008, City Lofts was forced to place all its unsold apartments, including many at Salford Quays, into receivership. [citation |title=PropertyWeek | |url= |accessdate=1 July 2008]


In 2003, Salford Quays was the venue for the first International Triathlon Union World Cup event to be held in the UK. It has since become an annual event held at the end of July each year, although the 2008 event was cancelled because of a clash with the Beijing Olympics. [citation |title=The Salford BG Triathlon World Cup |publisher=Salford City Council |url= |accessdate=27 August 2008]

A watersports centre was opened in 2001, providing Royal Yachting Association recognised training in sailing, canoeing, rowing, and windsurfing.


Part of the success of Salford Quays is its Metrolink route to Manchester City Centre which was opened in 1999, and its link to Eccles which opened in 2000. The section of the Eccles Line from Pomona to Broadway serves the Salford Quays area. Trams operate every 12 minutes throughout the day and every 12-15 minutes on Sundays. Commuter services into Salford Quays are often extremely busy, and the Eccles Metrolink line faces many delays, frequently due to vandalism around the Langworthy Road area. Current bus services are patchy and infrequent to and from The Quays.

Salford Quays and the Trafford Wharf area are eaily accessible from the M602 Motorway and major arterial routes from The Trafford Centre, Manchester City Centre, Salford and Old Trafford. Many main routes around the quays are high-quality dual-carriageway routes, built after the demise of Salford Docks.


External links

* [ 'The Quays: Greater Manchester's Waterfront']
* [ Salford Quays Flickr Group]
* [ Salford Quays photo tour]
* [ Salford Quays Developments and Events Website]
* [ MediaCity:UK Salford Quays Photographic Timeline]

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