Irwell River Park, designed by Broadway Malyan in collaboration with Form Associates supported by Gifford, is one of the largest landscape-led regeneration projects in the country
Covering 280 hectares in three local authority areas in Greater Manchester, the project aims to turn the Irwell corridor from a forgotten backwater into a meeting point for the cities and communities along its banks.
The project will deliver a sustainable transport corridor, from MediaCityUK to the heart of the regional centre and beyond. This will make a major contribution to the sustainability of the region by linking key centres of activity and improving the connectivity of the fragmented and vehicle-dependant city centre. In addition, new public parks and spaces will animate the riverside, provide meeting spaces and facilities which enhance the green infrastructure of the regional centre.
Despite current economic uncertainties and earlier planning problems, the project is now a firmly entrenched part of the shared vision for the conurbation, which all parties are committed to. Although some of the more ambitious elements of the scheme have had to be scaled back and the specific form and timing of many elements is uncertain, the future emergence of Irwell River Park as a key asset for Greater Manchester seems assured.
The pre-implementation stage of this ambitious and ‘once-in-a-generation’ project, which was started in January 2009 and will cost approximately £50m, has now been completed and it is hoped that it will exemplify a new phase in the regeneration of Greater Manchester.