A £13m regeneration project to turn an old cotton mill along the north bank of the Bridgewater Canal in Leigh town centre into 98 luxury, loft-style apartments is underway.
Built in 1882, the Grade II Listed, six-storey mill on Mather Lane, has stood empty for 20 years. Now, J P McGuire Developments is converting it into 98 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, complete with large reception areas with comfortable seating for socialising or working. The exclusive gated development will also have a private cinema and large dining room that residents can hire, as well as on-site gymnasium, secure parking and bicycle storage.
The Loom Wharf apartments boast high ceilings and generous floor plans, with one-bedroom apartments covering up to 74² and the biggest apartment covering 165m². They also benefit from large windows with views towards Manchester city centre, Rivington Pike or the Peak District, and some include private balconies. All apartments have original features and high-quality fit-outs. Prices start at £78,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.
If people take advantage of Help to Buy – the government-backed scheme that helps people to purchase a property with only a 5% deposit – it can work out cheaper on average to own an apartment than rent. As an example, one of the two-bedroom apartments in Loom Wharf is just under £105,000. If buyers take advantage of the Help to Buy scheme, they would only need a deposit of less than £5,250 – which would be topped up with a 20% Help to Buy Equity Loan of around £21,000. A 25-year mortgage, with an interest rate of 3.15%, would see an estimated monthly mortgage repayment of approximately £380 a month. Considering the average two-bedroom apartment costs £450 to rent a month in Leigh, or £800 a month in Manchester city centre, people could well find they make considerable savings on their monthly outgoings.
Jonathan Twentyman, MD of JP McGuire Developments, grew up in Leigh and has built his business – electrical contractor, Genlec – in the town centre. Twentyman said: “From when I went to the primary school around the corner to starting my own business in the mill opposite, this building has been the backdrop to my life. Now, I get to give it a new lease of life with this regeneration project. Leigh has already benefited recently from the new busway, which means you can get into the city centre quicker than ever, and with more investment planned for the town, plus private developments like Loom Wharf, it’s an exciting time for the area.”
The reception and communal areas, designed by interior design studio No Chintz, along with three showroom apartments are expected to be complete August 2019. The rest of the project is scheduled to complete by the end of the year. A number of the apartments have sold already.
Twentyman added: “My aim with Loom Wharf is to make luxury, quality living affordable and accessible to more people. We’re not just ticking boxes and getting away with the minimum standards with this property development. From installing the best soundproofing between walls and floors and state-of-the-art ventilation systems to keep air clean and purified, to adding modern fittings and features, we’re making every effort to make these homes as comfortable and stylish as possible.
“And with Help to Buy available, people can own their own home with mortgage payments of only a few hundred pound each month for some of the apartments. When you consider rents in the city centre, as well as the space that you get, it’s a really attractive option for those looking to get on the property ladder. Overall, we’re offering more space and better quality at a fraction of the price compared to other options available in Manchester city centre.”