Atom Valley is has been identified as one of just five projects across Greater Manchester with the power to truly transform the city region’s economy. It has been shortlisted for Insider's Greater Manchester Future Ambition Award.

These projects have been meticulously selected for their potential to transform Greater Manchester’s landscape. Each scheme or development has the potential to have a catalytic effect on the local area and its economy and is at the stage where it is an investable proposition.

Commenting on the shortlist, Insider’s editorial director Miri Thomas, said: “Awards are usually backward-looking, celebrating successes already achieved.

“Future Ambition is about recognising those projects that are not finished yet but whose impact will be felt far beyond the city region. It’s about those projects that by coming forward will unlock millions of pounds of further investment and unleash the area’s full potential.”

The shortlisted projects are:

  • Upper Brook Street

In January 2024, plans for Upper Brook Street, the £450m development of life science workspace, student accommodation and public realm in Ardwick were granted planning permission. Manchester City Council approved a masterplan that will see a total of 700,000 sq ft of life science accommodation and 1,800 purpose-built student units developed by Property Alliance Group, Moda Living, McLaren Property and Kadans Science Partner.

The Upper Brook Street site will deliver 5,800 new direct and indirect jobs, and a total £138m GVA contribution to the local economy through construction alone.

  • Trafford Wharfside

The draft Trafford Wharfside Development Framework and Draft Trafford Wharfside Masterplan was approved by Trafford Council in February. The plan, now in public consultation, was produced in partnership with landowners Peel Group, Manchester United and Salford City Council. It places nature at its heart, creates opportunities for up to 5,000 new homes. It better connects Trafford Wharfside to the city centre and MediaCity, and celebrates the importance of the Manchester Ship Canal waterfront, Imperial War Museum and Manchester United, as the club develops plans for a world-class football stadium.

  • Atom Valley

Translating the work of Greater Manchester’s universities into reality, the employment growth along the North East Growth Corridor will focus on creating an ‘Advanced Materials City’ and establish a national Advanced Manufacturing and Materials ‘mega’ cluster for Greater Manchester, building on the existing manufacturing supply chains and skills base. Central to this location is Atom Valley. Part of the Greater Manchester Investment Zone, Atom Valley’s three sites – Northern Gateway, Kingsway and Stakehill – cover 17 million sq ft of flexible employment space.

  • Ashton Moss & AMDZ

March 2024 saw the first meeting of Ashton Mayoral Development Zone (AMDZ) with a focus around three principal opportunities: Ashton Moss, St Petersfield, and Ashton town centre as well as areas across both the Eastern Growth Cluster and Tameside. Ashton Moss Innovation Park sits within the AMDZ as a regeneration opportunity and focus for investment and growth. The vision is to create an innovation park attracting investment, particularly around advanced materials.

  • Crescent Salford

Part of the Greater Manchester Investment Zone, Crescent Salford is a £2.5bn project. The last 12 months saw ECF submit a planning application for Crescent Innovation North. The scheme will bring forward up to 933 new homes, as well as 1.7 million sq ft of new commercial innovation floorspace, academic and research floorspace, active ground-floor space, a new transport hub, along with significant improvements to public spaces.

The winner will be chosen by vote at a special lunch event taking place on 8 May in Manchester. The event will feature presentations from the teams behind the shortlisted projects and a special address from Caroline Simpson, currently chief executive of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and the incoming chief executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.