Manchester regeneration makes inequality worse

“Glitzy high-rise developments have been on the march in Manchester for the past 30 years but they have left poorer families out in the cold, according to a damning report.

Predictions have been made that Manchester is facing a looming housing crisis due to a “misguided” developer-led regeneration strategy.

Almost 50,000 new and mostly private homes are planned in central Manchester by 2040 – yet some 80,000 people are currently on Greater Manchester’s social housing waiting list.

The report from Alliance Manchester Business School said regeneration over the past 30 years has focused disproportionately on new flats and offices in the two central boroughs of Manchester and Salford. It said this has resulted in a centre filled with one and two-bed buy-to-let flats built for one demographic – young white-collar workers – and is failing to meet the demands of others such as families and those on lower incomes.

The report also argued that there is a danger of the creation of “social clearances” where expensive new developments could create community tensions. As central Manchester expands, the planned developments in areas such as Angel Meadow and Collyhurst could intrude on existing communities, many of them in areas of social deprivation.

Over the past 30 years, according to the reports’ authors, local authorities have allowed private property developers to lead the city’s regeneration, focusing primarily on building new flats and offices in central Manchester and Salford. The repercussion of this, they said, is that the city is no longer meeting the needs of many of its residents and does not have the social infrastructure such as schools, libraries and broadband “that communities need to thrive”. …”