DISAPPEARING SALFORD AWARD
With MediaCityUK already re-branded as in 'Manchester' courtesy of Peel Holdings, plus a zillion other places, it shouldn't really have come as a shock when developer, Villafont, decided that its new 'hotel style' apartments in Ordsall would be titled 'Downtown Manchester' – but it did!
The massive six block scheme of 368 flats on the banks of the River Irwell, opposite Pomona, had already avoided paying £1.22million in fees to Salford City Council, plus the provision of over seventy affordable properties, when planning permission was granted two years ago (see here).
Following that planning permission, the flats were marketed by Alliance Investments to rich Knightsbridge investors, promising 7% 'rental yields'. A one bed apartment is being flogged 'from £185,000', and, in the first release of Block A two bedroom flats, the cheapest is £254,030, ranging up to £322,000, with an additional £20,000 for a parking space. Three bedroom flats are being sold 'from' £286,000 (see here).
"Downtown is Manchester's premier residence" states the blurb from Villafont, which adds that the blocks will "create a new contemporary and iconic landmark property in Manchester, to service the needs of an ever increasing aspirational residential community."
In May, local artists made their own comments on 'Downtown Manchester' when they added a few Salford references to the sales hoardings outside the site. The illustrations of the 'contemporary' apartments featured a picture of a London scene by Lowry on the wall. The artists covered this with a photo of a bulldozer smashing down affordable housing in central Salford. They also added an old photo of Ordsall women too, to give it a sense of place...
...And, on the giant hoardings showing 'aspirational' people walking down sterilised streets in front of the future shiny blocks, the artists added some tents to represent the amount of homeless people in the area (see here). A few hundred yards from the site, homeless people were sleeping under bridges.
Behind all the new apartment blocks that are now surrounding the original community, Ordsall itself remains within the 3%-7% most deprived areas in England. A few years ago, Salford City Council drew up a development strategy which included a map for a new 'Regional Centre'. The boundary line for the Centre included MediaCityUK and Ordsall Waterfront but not Ordsall itself (see here).
So, ladies and gentlemen, raise a glass of warm Holt's beer, sway from side to side and sing that famous Ewan MacColl chorus 'You Dirty Old Bastards, leave our city alone...you're not in sodding Manchester, you're in Salford...' etc... And then raise your fingers for the winner of the 2017 Salford Star Mary Burns Disappearing Salford Award...
If someone from Villafont would like to make an acceptance speech, please use the comments box below...
Winners of 2017 Salford Star Mary Burns Awards...
Feed The Rich (Part 1) – Fred Done – click here
Dick Turpin Award For Services to Bridge Hold Ups – Peel Holdings - click here
Carly Simon Award For Vanity – Councillor Derek Antrobus – click here
Feed The Rich Award (part 2) – Conservative Government and the HCA – click here
Corbynista Council of the Year Award - Salford City Council and Mayor Paul Dennett - click here
Grenfell Tower Urgency Award – Salford City Council – click here
Uncle Joe Stalin Award for Open and Democratic Government – Salford City Council – click here
Shameful and Unacceptable Practices Award – Greater Manchester Police – click here
Self Destruction Award – Salford UKIP – click here
Our Friends In The North Memorial Prize – Salford City Council – click here