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Marina operators are being invited to manage an inner-city marina in Manchester as part of a multi-million pound regeneration scheme.

Property consultancy Vail Williams, a marine and waterways specialist, is marketing the opportunity for an operator to run New Islington Marina in the long term.

Ian Froome, a partner at Vail Williams, is overseeing the process following appointment by Manchester City Council.

He said: “The intention is to give the selected operator a long lease of the marina, which will encourage them to invest both time and money to further improve and develop the facilities.

“One clear area for development is that there are two mooring basins, but at present only one is used, so the incoming operator will be encouraged to bring the second one on stream as well.

“Part of Manchester’s historic waterways, the marina has been described as a ‘hidden waterside oasis’, just a few minutes’ walk from Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter.

“New Islington is at the heart of a major regeneration area, which was originally kick-started by the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Over the past few years the city council has continued to upgrade the public areas all around the marina basin. 

“This involved repairing the basin walls and replacing the paving around one side of the marina, with a second phase being the replacement of the walkways around Cotton Field Park, which runs around the other side of the marina. This work was completed last autumn.”

Ian added: “An established marina operator would help continue this regeneration, respecting the proud industrial heritage of the Rochdale Canal, which officially opened 216 years ago, with a clean, well-kept and thriving marina over the decades to come.

“New Islington Marina is managed currently by a third party. With the agreement running to 2020, the city council now wishes to find a long-term operator.”

Councillor Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “It is important that a professional marina manager is put in place to ensure the continued success of the New Islington Marina as a key asset for our city centre.

“The area has seen major regeneration in the last two decades, with an influx of new residents choosing to move to Ancoats and New Islington in the last few years, and as new businesses move in, the number of visitors to the neighbourhood is also growing markedly.

“The marina itself has undergone major improvements in the last year, including fantastic public realm space, and so we look forward to welcoming a new management company that will guide the marina in the coming year for the enjoying of boaters and local residents alike.”