Manchester wasteland to be turned into green community space

A derelict area of northern Manchester will be turned into community woodland after over £1m was awarded for its regeneration, as part of the Newlands scheme aiming to rejuvenate large areas of Northwest England.

Currently a bleak wasteland that has housed a quarry and a landfill site in the past, the 21 hectare area will be turned into recreational space, to include woodland, a wildflower area and a sports pitch.

The £1.69 grant will also provide solar-powered lighting and recycled gravel paths, and pay for the management of the resulting “community woodland” over the next 20 years.

The area to be regenerated, known as Moston Vale, is located near Manchester’s own Central Park – the UK’s biggest mixed-use business park.

Manchester City councillor Paul Murphy said: “This scheme will dovetail perfectly with other regeneration initiatives in the surrounding area. It will provide both local residents and workers at the prestigious new Central Business Park with somewhere to relax or exercise.”

Moston Vale is the first project to be given the go-ahead under the Newlands regeneration scheme, which is ran jointly by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NRDA), the Forestry Commission and other partners. The scheme aims to transform 400 hectares of disused and derelict land across Northwest England into community woodlands.

Stephen Broomhead, Chief executive of the NRDA, said: “The redevelopment of damaged land throughout England’s Northwest is vital to the region’s regeneration, delivering high-quality areas in which people want to live, work and invest, and significantly improving quality of life.”

Graeme Prest of the Forestry Commission said: “Newlands at Moston Vale will give local communities and workers adjacent to the site a high-quality green haven for recreational pleasure as well as a boost for healthy living.”

“Additionally, as the first Newland Phase One site to go live, it will act as a pioneer for other schemes to follow and reflects the growing trend for exemplar community woodlands in England’s Northwest.”

By Goska Romanowicz

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