Manchester is set to become the first area to benefit from a £500m government fund to regenerate housing in the north of England.
The New East Manchester regeneration company issued an invitation to tender notice this week in the European Union’s Official Journal for the revamp of 700 terraced homes in Openshaw. It is likely to be the first project to invite bids using money from the housing market renewal fund, which the government launched in July.

The fund was created to rejuvenate areas of the North where housing is largely derelict or rundown. Homes will be demolished or refurbished to create normal market conditions where houses can be bought and sold. Nine areas were granted pioneer “pathfinder status” under the scheme, and each was asked to provide a business case explaining why it should receive funding. Three areas, including the Manchester and Salford area, have since been granted approval.

Toxteth Street, in Openshaw, is the first project in the Manchester and Salford pathfinder. It is expected to start after Christmas and, along with another scheme still to be announced, will receive £30-40m.

Tom Russell, chief executive of New East Manchester, said the selection of a contractor would be a two-stage process. He said: “The housing market renewal fund money will come on stream in April – and we want to have one of the early projects.

The housing money will come on stream in April – and we want to have one of the early projects

Tom Russell, chief executive, New East Manchester

“We hope to get expressions of interest from contractors by Christmas and make a final selection by February.”

The Openshaw scheme will also include a commercial element that might make it more attractive to bidders.