Sitting on the waterfront opposite Salford’s historic Ordsall Hall, Foundry provides a very modern reflection – a mini business village comprising 12 commercial buildings laid out around a 30m wide central green boulevard – the perfect place for Salford’s next generation of creative businesses to evolve.
Delivered in a collaborative partnership of HBD and Capital & Centric, Foundry was backed by £1.1m ERDF funding which has enabled the transformation of this industrial brownfield land into a thriving support hub for Media City.
HBD’s vision here was to explore uses that would fill a notable gap in the market at the time – a commercial product designed for small support businesses to the creative sector. Plans were drawn up for units that would deliver superb workspace for office-based businesses, each considering features that occupiers of this sector needed – such as rear exterior door access for filming supplies like cameras, rigs, lighting and props. It was HBD’s understanding of the needs of this market that made the scheme a success.
The external areas were also considered, and despite Foundry’s industrial location, its proximity to Salford’s iconic River Irwell was enhanced, giving occupiers a direct green route to the city centre and MediaCity, while new public realm, including the central boulevard which looks over Ordsall Hall and the Irwell, were also created.
Salford’s boom time
And with that the scene was set, and Foundry added to Salford’s stunning post-war regeneration and investment. Media City was a reality, and the BBC had moved to the north, so it was clear that Salford Quays was fast becoming not only Greater Manchester’s creative hub, but the country’s.
A host of industries were springing up around Media City and while that space was great for the big broadcasters there was really very little support space for its vital supply chain – something Foundry soon addressed.
Now a decade on, this scheme has enriched the local area, and enhances Salford Quay’s media ecosystem, something which was promised as part of securing the ERDF grant. It is a renowned creative hub in which well-known TV shows have been born – from Channel 4’s award-winning It’s a Sin through to campaigns with the Euro-winning Lionesses.