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Waterfront foodie destination coming to Salford

A new, waterfront dining and drinking destination at Quayside MediaCity is set to be launched as Central Bay – and will become the first of its kind in Salford and one of the biggest in the region.

Named after the original stretch of dock which was once a thriving loading bay during the industrial revolution, Central Bay will offer 25,000 square feet of exciting food and drink experiences, while sitting at the heart of cultural landmarks such as The Lowry, Imperial War Museum North and Coronation Street’s studios.

And with more than 2,000 square foot of south-facing outside terrace space to enjoy, up to 600 visitors to Central Bay will be able to enjoy unrivalled views of some of Manchester’s most iconic landmarks – including Old Trafford football ground.

What’s more, the operator behind the British Street Food Awards 2022 – ‘Food Hall of the Year, Cutlery Works’, in Sheffield and The GPO in Liverpool, has been brought on board to run and develop the food hall, which will be known as Kargo, while the street vendor elements of Central Bay will be branded Kargo Mkt – aligning with the area’s rich history.

Blend Family is adept at building new, unique food hall experiences, intricately engineered to become community hubs. With a mix of design and culinary excellence, Blend Family, in partnership with Quayside MediaCity, will showcase the best in up-and-coming food and drink talent, hand chosen and incubated to bring the best in world food under one roof.

Earmarked for a summer 2023 launch, Central Bay will be one of the biggest independent food and drink operations in the North; it will house four new independent restaurants, 13 kitchens, pop-up events, indie markets, live music performances and recreation space for children, with more announcements set to be made in the coming months.

As works progress on the £3.5 million transformation of this waterfront stretch, a new digital impression has been released to give a preview of how Central Bay will look ahead of its opening in summer this year.

Working with local artists, Central Bay’s heritage will be reflected and celebrated across the destination’s design, from the branding, signage and artwork, through to the re-imagined shipping containers, which will utilised by Blend Family to serve as a launchpad for up-and-coming local food stars.

The ethos of supporting local independents and artists is a legacy of MediaCity’s successful Box on the Docks initiative, launched during the pandemic to support local traders and creatives. Sourcing and recruiting, local, emerging talent sits at the heart of MediaCity and Quayside’s strategy and Central Bay is set to continue that legacy.

Stephen Wild, Managing Director for MediaCity said: “Central Bay is an ambitious and transformational project for Quayside MediaCity which will be a fantastic place for our growing number of residents, workers, students and visitors to enjoy great food, in a tranquil yet vibrant waterside setting. It will be truly unique and a celebration of local food, drink and art – which is what we know, from the Salford Vision 2030 research piece, local people want to see and access. Central Bay will add another dimension to MediaCity and Quayside and will bolster its growing reputation as a leading leisure and cultural destination.”

Matt Bigland, Founder and CEO of Blend Family, said: “This is an exciting development for us and the passion that the Quayside MediaCity team have for creating new, exciting experiences for everyone who lives, works, and visits the area is infectious. We can’t wait to announce Central Bay and Kargo’s first line-up of incredible food vendors and bring our offering to Salford.”

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