Salford Quays Set to Become ‘South Bank of the North’

Salford Quays is set to be transformed into a ‘world-class’ cultural, leisure and digital media destination by 2025 replicating the success of London’s South Bank, plans have revealed today.

Salford Quays Set to Become ‘South Bank of the North’

A consortium of businesses in the surrounding area have united to produce ‘The Destination Management Plan’ which aims to help annual visitor numbers to the Quays reach 3.4m by 2017 and increase the amount of money it generates for the local economy to £340m.

A host of other ideas will also be worked on in the next three years as a result of the plan, including the creation of a single marketing brand for the Quays, continual water improvements to increase participation in water sports and improvements on coach parking, pedestrian and cycle paths.

The plan also outlines intentions to produce a co-ordinated events programme in order to maximise the potential of the area’s unique attractions.

The plan aims to help annual visitor numbers to the Quays reach 3.4m by 2017.

The consortium of businesses that produced the plan includes BBC North, The Imperial War Museum North, ITV, The Lowry, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester United, MediaCityUK, Salford City Council, Trafford Council and The University of Salford.

The Destination Management Plan mirrors a similar partnership between businesses in the South Bank area 14 years ago.

The South Bank area lies on the Southern bank of the river Thames opposite the City of Westminster and, after embarking on a period of regeneration following the Second World War, has become one of the main honeypots for tourists visiting the city.

The dawn of the new century saw the arrival of South Bank’s most iconic attraction, The London Eye; while a growth of attractions including the re-opening of both the National Film Theatre, re-launched as BFI Southbank, and the Southbank Centre in 2007 saw the area’s tourist status increase even further.

The area’s main attraction, The South Bank Centre received over 25 million visitors in 2012 making earnings of £21m, while the Tate Modern Museum, located in South Bank, received 5.3 million visitors in 2012.

Although these figures clearly outshine those seen in the Quays during 2012, when 2.8 million visitors were received, the waterfront is accelerating at an incredibly fast pace and in 2012 produced an impact on the local economy worth £251.6m.

The area has also been cited as a model for future growth in cities across the UK in a briefing document published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) due to the vast amount of regeneration in the area, which according to the document, has unlocked the Quays’ business potential.

In addition, the impact of the moves of the BBC and ITV to the area have reaped rewards in recent years, with figures released by the Land Registry in January 2013 showing that house prices rose faster in Salford than anywhere in Britain, outside of London.

Salford Quays’ shopping mall, the Lowry Outlet, also experienced the best Christmas campaign results in its history in 2013, with the mall’s Managing Director announcing that the Lowry outlet and another of their outlets, Gloucester Quays, saw a combined footfall growth in the 2013 Christmas period of 9.5%, with sales up 16.3% year-on-year.

Article adapted from Manchester Evening News


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