Abu Dhabi United Group, which owns Manchester City football club, is to back a £1 billion project to deliver up to 6,000 new homes in central southern Manchester.
The deal is set to leapfrog efforts by other local authorities, and by the mayor of London, to encourage housing development and the growth of a professional private rented sector. While talk in London is now of a talent drain, as workers cannot find affordable places to live, Manchester looks set to deliver.
A partnership with the city council will see an initial phase of more than 830 private rented homes delivered in the Ancoats and New Islington areas, close to the Etihad stadium. The 10 year deal under the name Manchester Life aims to deliver more than 6,000 new homes.
“The planned transformation of the eastern edge of the city centre is the single biggest residential investment Manchester has seen for a generation,” said council leader Richard Leese. “Building thousands of quality new homes will be a fundamental part of our growth story, and will deliver significant socioeconomic impact.”
According to the Manchester Evening News, the deal is significant for the inroads it makes into the city council’s housing development goal; and as a great example of public-private partnership with a major investment. “Most of homes will be aimed at the 25-39 year old young professionals,” says the publication, “who may struggle to get on the property ladder but are eager to live on the fringes of the city in private rented accommodation.”
Construction on the new homes could start early next year.