Publication Local Plan, Chapter 10: Culture and tourism

Creating a fairer Salford by:

  • Improving access for all residents to leisure and tourism destinations
  • Providing opportunities for artistic activity and individual expression

10.1 Salford has a wealth of historic and culturally significant buildings, a thriving artistic community and a diverse range of leisure opportunities, green spaces, parks and waterways, making it an attractive location for visitors. Existing tourism locations vary enormously in character, from the vibrant areas of the City Centre and Salford Quays, containing well-loved facilities such as the Lowry arts centre and MediaCityUK, to the tranquillity of the countryside in the west of the city. The forthcoming RHS Garden Bridgewater will bring another major visitor attraction to the city.

10.2 The tourism and cultural economy has a significant role in raising the city’s profile and improving its competitiveness, but also in providing employment, creative and leisure opportunities for local residents. It is therefore important that this plan supports its continued success.

Policy CT1 - Tourism development 

Development shall protect and enhance the tourism function of the key tourism locations in Salford in a manner consistent with the following criteria: 

  1. Salford Quays
    1. Consolidating its position as an important established tourism destination containing major visitor attractions; and
    2. Focusing on its roles as a centre for culture, arts, media, retail, business and watersports;
  2. City Centre Salford
    1. Taking advantage of its close proximity to attractions and facilities in Manchester and the role of the wider City Centre as the primary leisure and business tourism destination in Greater Manchester;
    2. Making the most of the area’s rich heritage and culture, vibrant neighbourhoods, green spaces (including The Meadow and Peel Park), assets such as Irwell River Park and Salford Museum and Art Gallery; and
    3. Providing a new Greengate Park as part of a continuous area of high quality public realm in the east of the area, drawing visitors into the area and providing an events space
  3. Worsley Village, RHS Garden Bridgewater and the Bridgewater Canal
    1. Enhancing, and enabling the appreciation of, the area’s unique heritage and environmental quality;
    2. Improving and diversifying the recreation and leisure facilities, with activity clustered in a small number of key locations along the canal corridor to promote linked trips; and
    3. Promoting improved access by public transport, cycling and walking
  4. The stadium area and Barton Aerodrome
    1. Supporting the success of the stadium;
    2. Protecting and improving Barton Aerodrome as a general aviation facility and heritage asset; and
    3. Promoting improved access by public transport, cycling and walking

Hotel development shall be focused within and on the edge of these locations and the city’s town centres.

Development that would compromise the tourism role of the above locations will not be permitted.

The city’s network of green infrastructure will continue to be protected and enhanced as an important part of Salford’s recreation and tourism offer, with Chat Moss, the Irwell Valley and West Salford Greenway being identified as strategically important areas of green infrastructure.

Figure 8 - tourism development context

Art and culture

10.3 Art and culture are critical elements of Salford’s identity and character, contributing to the city’s economy and supporting inclusive communities and well-being. They will become increasingly important in developing the distinctive places that are essential to competitiveness and the ability to attract residents, businesses and tourists.

10.4 The city already has a good range of facilities and is making a significant and increasing contribution to Greater Manchester’s world class artistic and cultural status. Significant concentrations of cultural activity exist within the City Centre and Salford Quays. Facilities include the internationally renowned Lowry arts centre, MediaCityUK, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Islington Mill, Hot Bed Press, the Working Class Movement Library, Ordsall Hall, local libraries and various performance venues. Salford also benefits from its proximity to nearby cultural facilities in Manchester.

10.5 The continued enhancement of artistic and cultural opportunities is seen as central to place-making in Salford and contributing to a good quality of life. It will help to deliver the experiences that prompt reflection, engender debate and critical thinking, and deepen our understanding of the world, which will all be essential for Salford to be a sustainable and inclusive city. This importance of art and culture will need to be reflected in the way in which Salford and its neighbourhoods develop, with individual developments contributing towards this.

10.6 Many of the city’s cultural assets are located in mixed use areas with sensitive uses in close proximity, including existing and proposed residential development. The ‘agent of change’ principle will therefore be crucial to the ongoing viability of some of the city’s cultural assets and will help to ensure that mixed-use areas function successfully, enabling noisier cultural activities that are important to adding vibrancy and interest to an area to be located near to uses that may be sensitive to noise. For example, if a residential development is proposed that could be affected by noise from a cultural venue, then as the agent of change it would be the residential development that would need to ensure sufficient mitigation to avoid any potential complaints from future residents. Conversely, if a cultural venue is proposed that could generate noise affecting the amenity of existing residents in an area, then as the agent of change the responsibility for appropriate works would fall on the cultural venue. In either case, this could include both on-site and off-site works.

Policy CT2 - Art and culture

Development shall: 

  1. Maintain and, where appropriate, enhance the provision of cultural activities and facilities across the city, including workspaces and studios; and
  2. In the case of major developments, where practicable and appropriate to the location, incorporate cultural activities (which may include the provision of public realm capable of hosting events and performances, as well as cultural space within buildings). 

The temporary use of sites and premises for cultural activities, particularly in locations where they can help to animate the public realm, and the provision of public art will be supported.

If a development would potentially result in conflict between a cultural activity and another use, especially in terms of noise, then the development responsible for the change must secure the implementation of appropriate mitigation before it is completed (known as the ‘agent of change’ principle). 


Major development is defined as in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015, as amended, or any successor to it.


10.7 The main indicators that will be used to monitor this chapter are:

Indicator Baseline position Target
Number of visitors to key tourist attractions in Salford Total number of 996,091 visits to key attractions in 2018 [1]
Total in 2018 comprised visitors to the Lowry, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Ordsall Hall, and BBC and CBBC tours MediaCityUK.
Significant increase (2019-2037)


[1] Marketing Manchester (September 2019) One Stop Intelligence Document – Greater Manchester’s Tourism Sector

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