tall modern new-build properties in Mayfield Park, Manchester

Manchester’s first city centre park in 100 years: how will it impact housing?

There’s a £1.4bn regeneration scheme underway in the centre of Manchester. Here’s how it could transform the city and boost its housing market.

Earlier this week, the government announced it would allocate £23m towards a new city centre park in Manchester as part of its £900m Getting Building Fund. The plans come as part of a huge £1.4bn improvement project near the heart of the city, which will transform around 24 acres of unused space.

The new seven-acre Mayfield Park will sit close to Manchester Piccadilly train station. Plans say it will be “beautifully landscaped” and “at the centre of one of the most significant, catalytic sustainable and green regeneration developments in the UK”. The park also marks the first of its kind in the northern city in 100 years.

Green space and wellbeing

One of the big drivers behind the focus on outside public space is coronavirus. For many, green space has been a crucial part of people’s wellness and resilience through the lockdown. Particularly in urban areas such as Manchester, more public outdoor space will make a huge difference to people’s lives.

Aimee Stimpson, the national lead for healthy places for Public Health England, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has made many of us more aware of how much we value and rely on our outdoor spaces to support our health and wellbeing.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “As we get Britain building we are also laying the foundations for a green economic recovery by investing in vital infrastructure for local communities, creating jobs and building environmentally friendly homes with a huge £1.3 billion investment.”

He added that the government is maintaining its focus on “levelling up” all parts of the country. While the funding will boost the economy, it will also help “build the homes the country needs”.

What else is planned for Manchester?

As well as Mayfield Park, the proposals include 320,000 square feet of commercial space. The scheme will also create around 1,500 new homes in the area, as well as restaurants, bars, shops and a hotel.

It will also bring in around 10,000 new jobs to the city in office, retail and leisure. There will be a boost to the construction sector’s workforce with 2,500 supply chain roles as well as apprenticeships.

Aside from this scheme, the government has pledged £54.2m for Greater Manchester Combined Authority. This will go towards a wide-ranging package of projects, including Mayfield, and will boost the local economy. In total, the funding will help to create more than 11,000 job opportunities in the area.

A huge impact on housing

Properties that are close to public green space are more desirable and often come at a premium. Numerous studies support this, and last year analysis by the Office for National Statistics showed green space can actually boost a property’s value by £2,500.

The research showed that homes and flats within 100 metres of public green space benefited the most. It meant an average premium of 1.1% on a property, compared to one 500 metres away. However, this research was conducted pre-coronavirus. Arguably, the value people attach to living close to public green space is now even higher.

Interestingly, despite being such a built up area, Manchester has the fourth highest amount of green space out of cities outside of London. With the upcoming addition of Mayfield Park right in the centre, this ranking could rise even higher. For property investors and homebuyers, there could be a spike of interest ahead for well-located property in the city centre.

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