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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 076 - Generating fees to manage open space

076 - New Islington Millennium Community, Manchester

The centre of the New Islington Millennium Community development is a new water park. This creates a heart for the community and links the Ashton and Rochdale canals. It provides 3,000m of new canal side surrounded by nearly 10 hectares of parks and gardens.

Consideration was given to how this area could be effectively maintained and managed. Following legal advice which looked at risk, liability, funding, ownership, long-term governance and tax status it was decided that a Community Interest Company (CIC) would be the most appropriate management structure. Once the estate charge becomes sufficient to pay for the services required, the CIC will take a lease from the Homes and Communities Agency, take responsibility for management and receive the estate charge revenues and ground rents from management companies aross the development, known as zones.

The decision to use the CIC was made on the basis that:

  • It allowed an asset lock to ensure the indefinite existence of the public realm and water park and excluded it from future redevelopment
  • It allowed limited liability but ensured a continuing obligation on the board to ensure it operated in the interest of the community
  • Local representatives from each of the zones would be representated on the board of the management company 
  • Long-term governance would be in the hands of the community

Once all zones are established and the representatives nominated, the Homes and Communities Agency, Urban Splash and sub-developers will retire from the board.

Other Information

  • Location: Manchester
  • Project Team: Key partners: English Partnerships, New East Manchester,Manchester City Council, Urban Splash Developer: Urban Splash, Taylor Woodrow, Great Places Masterplanner: Grant Associates, Alsop Architects Architect: Alsop Architects, Ian Simpson Architects, FatArchitects Engineer: Martin Stockley
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Managing Quality Placesace 

Management of New Islington’s park by a Community Interest Company will help protect it from future development and ensure the community is involved in its long-term governance.Images (image bank)