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definition - Salford Quays

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Salford Quays


Coordinates: 53°28′16″N 2°17′35″W / 53.471°N 2.293°W / 53.471; -2.293

Salford Quays
Salford Quays.jpg
Salford Quays & Manchester Ship Canal (looking east)
Salford Quays is located in Greater Manchester
Salford Quays

 Salford Quays shown within Greater Manchester
OS grid reference SJ807972
Metropolitan borough Salford
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SALFORD
Postcode district M50
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Salford and Eccles
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

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



Built by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, Salford Docks was the larger of two sections which made up Manchester Docks; the other being Pomona Docks to the east.[1] They were opened in 1894 by Queen Victoria[2] and spanned 120 acres (49 ha) of water and 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land.[1] At their height the Manchester Docks were the third busiest port in Britain, but due to containerisation and the limit placed on vessel size by the Manchester Ship Canal, the docks declined swiftly during the 1970s.[1] The docks closed in 1982, resulting in the loss of 3000 jobs.[2]

In 1983 Salford City Council acquired parts of the docks covering 220 acres (90 ha) from the Manchester Ship Canal Company with the aid of a derelict land grant.[3] The area was rebranded as Salford Quays and redevelopment by principal developers Urban Waterside began in 1985 under the Salford Quays Development Plan.[1] Faced with major pollution issues from the water of the ship canal, dams were built between the ship canal and the docks to isolate them, following which the water quality was improved by aerating the water using a compressed air mixing system. Within two years the quality was sufficient to introduce 12,000 coarse fish, which have thrived in this environment. Water quality is monitored fortnightly by scientists from APEM, the Manchester University Aquatic Pollution and Environmental Monitoring Unit, and the excellent habitat has been recognised by both the Angling Foundation and the Institute of Fisheries Management.[3]

Between 1986 and 1990 the infrastructure of the docks was modified to create an internal waterway network. Roads and bridges were built across the site and a promenade along the waterfront constructed and landscaped. Moorings and watersports facilities were provided and a railway swing bridge relocated to cross Dock 9. A hotel, cinema, housing, offices were built on piers 5 and 6 followed by more developments on Pier 7. Public funding and private investment totalled around £280 million by the early 1990s.[2]


  The Lowry

The Lowry Centre Arts Complex
MediaCityUK, Salford Quays

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.[2]

The Lowry 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 17,330 square feet (1,610 m2) of gallery space.[4] In addition there are cafes, bars and a restaurant on the south-western end of the building. The centre is associated with L. S. Lowry, and houses a unique collection of his work.

  Imperial War Museum North

The Imperial War Museum North (IWM North), located on Trafford Wharf Road in Trafford Park, overlooks the Manchester Ship Canal on the opposite bank to the Lowry and MediaCityUK. The area was heavily bombed during the Manchester Blitz in 1940. The museum building designed by architect, Daniel Libeskind opened in July 2002. The building is a metaphor for a world shattered by war with sloping walls and ceilings. Three areas, the Air, Earth and Water Shards house exhibition and gallery space, public areas and restaurants.


MediaCityUK is a 200-acre (81 ha) mixed-use property development on Pier 9 of the Quays with a focus on creative industries. It is being developed by the Peel Group. Its principal tenants are media organisations including the BBC. The brownfield site occupied by the development was part of the Port of Manchester.[5]


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

The head office of GMG Radio is based on Salford Quays, with the company's flagship stations 105.4 Real Radio, 100.4 Smooth Radio and 106.1 Rock Radio based in the Laser House studio complex. Standing at the head of Erie Basin (Dock 9), Anchorage is a complex of buildings, home to BUPA and Barclaycard. To the north side of Erie Basin stand the Victoria and Alexandra buildings.

To the South East the former Colgate-Palmolive factory is under going a £25m renovation project known as Soapworks. This project is set to create around 2,000 jobs and provide retail, accommodation, leisure facilities and 350,000 sq ft of office space at Salford Quays.


  The NV Buildings

Some of the first developments in Salford Quays were residential,[6] 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.[7] 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 is linked to Pier 7; 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).[8] 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

  Millennium Bridge, Salford Quays
  Residential area, Salford Quays
  • 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.[9] 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 217.2 feet (66.2 m).[9] 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.[10] 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 180 feet (55 m) in height. Costing £36 million, they stand in a line overlooking Huron Basin from the waterside of Pier 9 (North Wharf), their curved frontages designed to represent sails.[11] 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.[12]
  • 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.[13]


  The 2010 open water swim

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.[14] In September 2010, the site hosted the Great Salford Swim, a mass participation open water swim event.

Salford Watersports Centre opened in 2001, in Ontario Basin, a closed off area created for it providing a range of watersports and outdoor activities including Royal Yachting Association recognised training in sailing and British Canoe Union recognised training in kayaking and canoeing.


Salford Quays is part of a joint tourism initiative between Salford City Council and Trafford Borough Council, supported by private sector partners including the Lowry, the Imperial War Museum North, Manchester United F.C., Lancashire County Cricket Club, the 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.[15]


  A Metrolink tram crosses the ship canal at Pomona

Salford Quays is connected to Manchester city centre by a tram (Metrolink), which was opened in 1999, and a route to Eccles which opened in 2000. The section of the Eccles Line from Pomona to Mediacity:uk serves the Salford Quays area. Trams operate every 12 minutes throughout the day and every 12–15 minutes on Sundays. "Mediacity:uk" Metrolink station opened in summer 2010 to serve the new "Media City" complex.

Salford Quays and the Trafford Wharf area are easily 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.


  1. ^ a b c d Salford Quays, Pastscape.org.uk, http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=516326, retrieved 28 April 2008 
  2. ^ a b c d Salford Quays Milestones: The Story of Salford Quays, Salford City council, http://www.salford.gov.uk/milestones_v2.pdf, retrieved 21 August 2009 
  3. ^ a b "Water Quality". Salford City Council. http://www.salford.gov.uk/wsc-water.htm. 
  4. ^ About The Lowry, The Lowry, http://www.thelowry.com/aboutthelowry/default.html, retrieved 9 July 2007 
  5. ^ MediaCityUK, Salford City Council, http://www.salford.gov.uk/mediacityuk.htm, retrieved 6 October 2011 
  6. ^ Salford Quays early developments, Salford City Council, http://www.salford.gov.uk/living/regeneration/geographicareas/quays-regen/salford-quays/salfordquays-development/salfordquays-developments.htm, retrieved 27 August 2007 
  7. ^ Spotlight on Salford Quays, Manchester Online, http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/homesearch/latest/whereyoulive/s/122/122679_spotlight_on_salford_quays.html, retrieved 27 August 2007 
  8. ^ Lee, Diane; Craven, Ken (2005), Salford Quays Heritage Trail, Industrial Powerhouse 
  9. ^ a b SkyscraperPage.com, SkyscraperPage.com, http://skyscraperpage.com, retrieved 28 August 2007 
  10. ^ Sovereign Point Poll, skyscrapercity.com, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=284125, retrieved 28 August 2007 
  11. ^ NV Buildings, Manchester, Broadway Malyan Limited, http://www.broadwaymalyan.com/projects/architecture/residential/nv-buildings-manchester.cfm, retrieved 28 August 2007 
  12. ^ Stock, Jon (27 November 2004), And the jester's prize goes to ... William Hague, London: Telegraph Media Group, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=/property/2004/11/27/prugby127.xml, retrieved 28 August 2007 
  13. ^ PropertyWeek, PropertyWeek.com, http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=297&storycode=3117221&c=1, retrieved 1 July 2008 
  14. ^ The Salford BG Triathlon World Cup, Salford City Council, http://www.visitsalford.info/whattodo/sports/triathlon/salfordbgtriathlonworldcup.htm, retrieved 27 August 2008 
  15. ^ Welcome to the Quays, Quays Partnership, http://thequays.org.uk/, retrieved 1 November 2007 

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