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Taking its name from its representation of an entirely focused media city, in 2016, Manchester’s MediaCityUK announced a ten-year proposal for a gigantic site expansion worth £1 billion. Two years on, the hive for digital and media activity is rapidly progressing through phase two of the development with exciting plans laid out over the next eight years.

The Northern home to the BBC amongst many other firms such as ITV, Ericsson, Kellogg’s and 250 more businesses is also host to a Salford University media campus and a number of areas preserved solely for leisure use only. MediaCityUK balances being one of the UK’s most prominent commercial developments whilst also concreting itself as a destination for living, studying and simply ‘hanging out’.

Already existing features include a huge piazza, a waterside boulevard and terrace plus a media park, so it’s no surprise that the project was the first in the world to be awarded the ‘Communities Excellent’ accreditation by BREEAM – a global and leading certification for sustainability. It has also received multiple other awards spanning construction, design and town planning.

Working with and enhancing what’s already in place, the second phase will cost around £1 billion and will see the total magnitude of the site double in size as the Salford Quays hotspot welcomes ten more inspiringly designed buildings, nearly 2,000 residential apartments, up to 540,000 extra square feet of high-quality office space, plus more retail and leisure facilities all encapsulated in a distinctive and captivating new public realm.

MediaCityUK Phase II

Image Credit: Chapman Taylor

Landscape architects Gillepies are responsible for the masterplan design. Deemed ‘intelligent’ in creating unique spaces through innovative techniques, they were excited to share plans of the ambitious and additional regeneration announced in 2016. Working alongside developer Peel Land and Property, architects Chapman Taylor and private real estate development company General Capital to see the scheme from start to finish, a truly collaborative venture is unfolding along the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal at Salford Quays.

The new wave of structures will include a magnificent office building with a crystalline, mirror-effect exterior that will sparkle in the sun, a dynamic residential apartment block named ‘Lightbox’ with balconies benefiting from beautiful waterfront views, a blade-style mixed-use building complete with a large multi-storey car park and a colourful and characteristic two-tower development with unrivalled retail and leisure space.

MediaCityUK Phase III

Image Credit: Chapman Taylor

An extra 7.7 hectares of land have been acquired to make way for the network of communal spaces adjacent to the waterfront with seamless connectivity ideal for pedestrians running right through to the initial phase developments. All key players are taking advantage of MediaCity’s unique positioning on the edge of a major waterway, complementing the natural landscape with a thoughtful and harmonising construction strategy.

Planned to complete by 2026, there is much excitement to come for MediaCityUK and the area of Salford Quays as it becomes a more popular and established investment location. Furthermore, properties in the local region will benefit from Manchester’s higher profile with several residential property investment opportunities looking forward to increased tenant demand. More young professionals are expected to be drawn into MediaCityUK’s expansion with a consequent surge in the creation of employment openings.

MediaCityUK Phase Two

MediaCity jobs range from working in the bustling studios of television broadcaster giants, to serving up cocktails in the many bars and restaurants in its parameters. The BBC alone employ around 2,700 staff, with nearly 5,000 generated in total after the launch of Phase 1 MediaCityUK in 2007. These figures are set to increase as business premises grow in line with the planned development in the scheme.

Some new commercial buildings are already in place. Company Extravision who specialise in email marketing services moved to MediaCityUK’s Tomorrow Building which is a hotel and office environment part of the Phase 2 masterplan. This company is a prime example of how MediaCityUk’s expansion is allowing individual businesses to grow and take on more employees.

Image Credit: Chapman Taylor

Effortlessly evolving into an innovative core for media, city location Salford has surprised many who believed that the formerly run-down zone would be nothing more than the vacant banks of an industrial water channel, let alone one of the UK’s top investment postcodes. With the arrival of a purely media city, Manchester’s southern quarter of Salford now boasts excellent rental yields which buy to let investors could have only dreamed of over two decades ago.

Manchester’s rising population and affordable property prices make other urban locations appear much less attractive, and with a further renaissance sweeping the city’s Salford Quays hotspot, Manchester and more particularly, MediaCityUK, has cemented itself as the number one situation for UK property investment for the next ten years.

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