Northwest Development Agency to ensure the successful regeneration of the
Ashton Canal Corridor.
Centre to Sportcity and the City of Manchester Stadium. The regeneration
of the canal, adjacent buildings and road and rail links within the area
form a major part of the overall regeneration programme for New East
Manchester Ltd. New East Manchester Ltd co-ordinates government investment
in the area and it is working with developers and landowners to capitalise
on the commercial interest generated by the Commonwealth Games and the
coming of Metrolink.
Mike Shields, chief executive of the Northwest Development Agency, said:
'We are delighted to approve this important investment to further the
regeneration of East Manchester. The funding will help bring back into use
a once neglected area, which will have obvious social and economic benefits
and will also provide an important pedestrian route between Sportcity and
the centre of Manchester. This is just the beginning of a regeneration
process covering East Manchester which the NWDA is totally committed to.'
The Northwest Development Agency funding is the last piece in a financial
jigsaw that will support a programme of around£30m worth of
investment within the Ashton Canal Corridor's environment over the next two
years. This follows NEML's recent success in securing£54m of
European Union funding for the entire East Manchester area, which will also
make a significant contribution to the programme
Chief executive of New East Manchester, Tom Russell, said: 'The Northwest
Development Agency has demonstrated a clear commitment to the regeneration
of East Manchester. The funding will help to rejuvenate the appearance and
image of the Ashton Canal Corridor and bring lasting social and economic
benefits to local people and the north west region as a whole.
'The area is now poised for a major transformation and in the coming weeks
and months physical changes will begin to take shape with major reclamation
and infrastructure works to create new and improved open spaces for local
people, safe pedestrian and cycle routes and proposals that will encourage
greater activity on the canal.'
The regeneration of the Ashton Canal Corridor is comprehensive and wide
ranging. The vision has three themes:
- An attractive pedestrian/cycle route from Manchester Piccadilly to the
Sportcity and Stadium site will be created in time for the Commonwealth
Games in July 2002. This will comprise environmental works to pavements
and the provision of cycle lanes as well as improved street lighting.
- The canal itself will be upgraded with improvements to its towpath,
the creation of a new canal basin and the re-opening of former canal arms,
and new pedestrian crossing points.
- Quality open spaces will be created including improvements to existing
green areas; exciting proposals to reclaim and remediate parts of the
Medlock Valley and important public realm works associated with Sportcity.
One of the most ambitious proposals involves building a tunnel and a major
new bridge for Metrolink across the river Medlock in the Holt Town area.
In a partnership with the GMPTE, the structures will incorporate a footpath
and cycleway that will bring visitors to the Commonwealth Games ? and those
who use Sportcity in the long term - though a traffic free green corridor
on their way to events.
Said Tom Russell: 'The area is changing rapidly and, thanks to the inward
investment we are attracting, it is our aim to make these change beneficial
and long lasting.'
New East Manchester Ltd (NEM) is one of only four Urban Regeneration
Companies in the country and a partnership between the city council,
English Partnerships and the Northwest Development Agency. It is NEM's
role to implement the Regeneration Framework, secure the requires public
and private funding, lead on specific major development projects as well as
co-ordinate the range of regeneration and renewal initiatives in the area.
The regeneration programme comprises around 1,100 hectares adjacent to
Manchester's vibrant city centre. Over the next 15 years it is expected to
attract around£2bn of public and private funding which will
drive forward improvements in employment, education, health, housing and