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Operational review by Stephen Wild

Executive Director of Strategic
Investment & Growth and
Managing Director of MediaCity

Whilst there was continuing disruption due to Covid-19, we increasingly saw the return of people to MediaCity – both to work and visit. The year saw the continued expansion of the Peel L&P ARRIVE managed workspace concept – responding to the way our customers want to occupy space going forward with increased flexibility and more high-quality collaborative space – the latest locations have been in Blue and Tomorrow buildings with an investment of circa £5m. Our partnership with Glenbrook, delivering 288 new homes, including a number available through shared ownership, continued to make good progress.  

We have also seen a significant increase in the number of people spending their leisure time at MediaCity – the popular “Box on the Docks” initiative continues to thrive, working with local creatives and artists to provide a must visit and award winning destination.

Our award-winning Box on the Docks returned for another successful year

A significant change occurred in November 2021, when Landsec invested in MediaCity – L&G (50% shareholder) disposed of their interest after five successful years as an investor and in parallel Peel L&P reduced their shareholding to 25%. This is a fantastic vote of confidence in the team that run MediaCity – one of the UK’s largest real estate investors and placemakers has chosen Peel L&P as their partner of choice for their strategy to invest more in strong regional places and partnerships.

Working closely with our communities and partners is a key ingredient. MediaCity continued to support Salford Foodbank and also worked with the MediaCity UTC and Oakwood Academy (an educational establishment for young adults with additional learning needs) – both these now have retail units in Quayside MediaCity and this is now enabling Oakwood to deliver retail diplomas for their students helping to create opportunities which wouldn’t otherwise be possible. 

The strength of the stakeholder relationships was most eminently demonstrated with the joint working with The Lowry, BBC, ITV, RHS, Salford City Council and many more, to announce the ground-breaking “We Invented The Weekend” festival – free to access for the people of Salford and beyond – this will take place in 2022/23 and no doubt we will update on its success in our review next year. 

The future continues to be at the forefront of our minds and new exciting plans for Quayside and our wider landholdings in the Quays (North of Broadway, MediaCity East, Trafford Wharfside) together with revised future phases of MediaCity continue to evolve and deliver an extensive pipeline of future opportunities for investment.

Van Gogh Live at MediaCity

Gloucester Quays Food Festival

"Exciting plans for Quayside and our wider landholdings in the Quays together with revised future phases of MediaCity continue to evolve and deliver a further extensive pipeline of future opportunities for investment."

2021/22 saw the establishment of our Major Projects Team within Strategic Investment and Growth – this team has been established to co-ordinate some of our most exciting schemes going forward - working closely with Land and Communities but also the many other leading innovative businesses that form part of the Peel L&P family. 

GatewayEast in Doncaster is under the guidance of the Major Projects team and this year saw significant progress in the refinement of a new vision – to become a leading Innovation District focussing on the research and technologies needed to decarbonise the way we live and travel – with exciting partnerships being formed with the University of Sheffield which will see leading research and development facilities constructed going forward. This year also saw the consent for over 3m sq ft of logistics and manufacturing space achieved – we are moving forward to delivery now with funding secured from South Yorkshire Pension Fund for the initial infrastructure, we continue to partner with others – individually Panattoni who committed to construct a 400,000 sq ft logistics/manufacturing building. 

The Major Projects team also works closely on the Hulton Park (Ryder Cup) initiative, the emerging Health Innovation Cluster in south Bolton and Elton in Bury. 

"Post-Covid, we have seen a positive return of people and our retailing partners."

Gloucester Quays, one of the UK’s leading designer outlets is also a part of this division. In the aftermath of the disruption from Covid, we have seen a significant return of shoppers and visitors and our retail partners returned to deliver a fantastic line up in the centre. The team in Gloucester Quays continue to work tirelessly to deliver the high-quality events and experiences for our customers – this will see the return of the tall ships and the renowned food and drink festival together with exciting new food and beverage operators opening during the summer of 2022. 

Proposed campus area at GatewayEast

Proposed allotments for the Hulton Park Community

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