A model of how imaginative but simple design interventions can give a new lease of life to an area of terraced housing.

The Northmoor area of south-east Manchester contains around 1,400 predominantly two-bedroom terraced houses, built around 1919. From the late 1970s the area experienced a decline in population, high levels of unemployment, increasing crime rates and declining local services. Many properties were left empty and homeowners fell into negative equity.

Public funding was used to take a design-led approach to improve the area and involve residents in making decisions and planning for the future. The resulting scheme succeeds in:

  • retaining most of the existing housing
  • making the network of streets and alleys safer, more welcoming, more legible and better connected
  • providing space for play
  • introducing larger properties to improve the range of housing in the area
  • making improvements to social rented housing
  • introducing local initiatives such as a neighbourhood wardens scheme.

The scheme has won several awards:

  • National Housing Awards for Best Regeneration Scheme and Outstanding Achievement in UK Social Housing (2000)
  • Housing Corporation Gold Award for Joined-Up Development (2008)
  • Local Government News Street Design Award (2003).

An urban arts project was set up as part of the scheme which won a British Urban Regeneration Association best practice award in 2001.  The local gardening club has competed in the Britain in Bloom initiative.