BCEGI is creating “a truly unique and special neighbourhood” at £700m Middlewood Locks

Situated just off the River Irwell in Salford, Manchester, this major development features offices, hotels, shops, delis, restaurants, a convenience store, gym and 2,000 new homes.

BCEGI’s Middlewood Locks project is one of the largest regeneration schemes in the north-west, offering community life with the buzz of a big city.

BCEGI (Beijing Construction and Engineering Group International) was appointed as the preferred contractor for the £700m Middlewood Locks development – a brand new residential and commercial neighbourhood located at the western gateway to Manchester’s central business district.

Speaking during the construction work, BCEGI Senior Project Manager, Raymond Clarke said:

“Real estate investor and developer Scarborough Group International specifically chose to work in partnership with us to help deliver the 24-acre regeneration scheme. It is set to comprise 750,000 sq ft of commercial and mixed use development and 2,000 new homes.

“Middlewood Locks offers a superb opportunity to create a truly unique and special neighbourhood, adding to, complementing and becoming part of the existing community. It represents a major regeneration opportunity within an area of Salford that is of both cultural and strategic importance. The site demands respect and is deserving of a powerful and contemporary vision that will deliver a vibrant and healthy community.”

The first phase of Middlewood Locks, which includes 571 homes and associated commercial space, shops, restaurants and new public realm, represents BCEGI’s first foray into the UK residential market.

Phase 1 of the residential development consists of following plots:

  • Plot F – two blocks of eight storeys, comprising a total of 140 apartments with associated service areas, commercial use (including the management office), 29 parking spaces and 28 secure cycle spaces.
  • Plot I – two blocks of seven, eight and nine storeys, comprising a total of 277 apartments with associated service areas, 68 parking spaces, eight on-street parking spaces and 56 secure cycle spaces.
  • Plot J – two blocks of six and seven storeys joined by a central podium deck comprising a total of 154 apartments with associated service areas, commercial use, 41 parking spaces and 31 secure cycle spaces.
  • Plot O – Public realm at the canal basin.

Outlining the development, Raymond said:

“The project incorporates a cohesive site strategy, detailed plot layouts and a contemporary robust approach to the aesthetic, materials and detail elements of each building, and the landscape in which they sit. At all times, the proposals have been mindful of the wider context of the relationship of the buildings and spaces within this phase to the surrounding phases in the Middlewood Locks development, and beyond the site boundaries within the city of Salford.”

Talking about the particular challenges faced in relation to the community, environment or the workforce on this project, and how they have been overcome, Raymond said:

“There was initial mistrust from local residents who had been promised plenty of jobs when Media City (a separate new waterfront destination for Manchester) was being constructed, but who had lacked the skills to take advantage of these opportunities. As they saw it, their neighbourhood was being transformed and invaded without them reaping any benefits.

We identified which council members were our best points of contact and ensured we developed good lines of communication. Six of the 10 local school headteachers are leaving, and again this meant that we had to gradually gain the trust of the schools and identify how we could cooperate with them.”

Recently published