Salford Crescent Police HQ
Having driven past this derelict building for more than a decade it was finally time to satisfy my curiosity and have a wander around the perimeter to see if there was a way inside to photograph the interior. I guess because it looks quite smart from the front - with its front windows covered in painted wooden murals - I presumed it was a no go. To my delight however, once around the back the decay is evident with windows smashed and the years of neglect showing clearly.
So, one Monday morning - in summer 2019 - myself and David (Scrappy NW) headed inside. A slightly awkward entry but not the most difficult.
Inside was dark, especially down in the basement and 1st floor where the cells are. Some torch lighting was necessary for a couple of shots even though I don't like to use this method and rarely do.
Lots of peeling pain especially around the staircases. Not much in terms of artefacts had been left behind, probably wise as it was a former police station.
Structurally, the buildings frame seemed fine however there are large portions of the roof which have gaping holes which will only accelerate the levels of decay inside.
We spent 2-3 hours inside seeing the whole complex of buildings and enjoyed it a lot. Always surprises me what is right on my own doorstep.
History & redevelopment proposals:
The building was designed by the architects Bradshaw, Gass & Hope using brick and Portland stone and was opened in 1957. Inside the building is the stone unveiling plaque still in situ on a wall stating:
'This building was opened on 24th September 1957 by the Right Honourable The Earl of Derby MC who unveiled this stone'.
It was was originally the headquarters of Salford City Police and C.I.D Division then in 1974 - following the merger of forces within Greater Manchester - it continued to operate as the GMP Salford Division Headquarters until it finally closed for good in 2005.
As for development plans since its closure, an article in The manchesterEvening news in November 2011 stated that the building had been earmarked for demolition but this decision had been stopped at the eleventh hour:
Salford Crescent police station saved from demolition
"A 1950s Salford landmark has been saved from demolition at the 11th hour because of its historic frontage. Salford council wanted to knock down the former police headquarters as part of its master-plan for The Crescent. It had begun negotiations to sell the site to Salford University for an ‘ambitious’ development as part of the transformation of its Peel campus. Officers had been due to apply to the government for funding last week. But two days before the deadline, the council’s deputy leader David Lancaster stepped in and blocked the move. He wants the frontage of the 1950s building, which is in a conservation area, to be preserved. The council and university have now gone back to the drawing board. Coun Lancaster said: “I am keen to do all I can to preserve the facade of this building and I will be meeting with the University of Salford to see if we could work with them to preserve this. The building itself is not suitable for renovation, but I would like to see a new building make use of the frontage to preserve the history of The Crescent."
Salford Council - thankfully - want to keep the facade and incorporate it into any redevelopment which may occur in the future. In 2012 they stated:
"When considering their proposals, interested parties should be aware that the vendor, Salford City Council, has a clear preference for a high quality and imaginative scheme that, if possible, retains the former police station, or as much of that building as is feasible. Major elements of the existing facades, in particular, those fronting onto Crescent and Albion Place, are considered to be of particular merit. The property would suit a range of potential uses, subject to planning consent".
More recently, The Manchester Evening news featured an article dated April 5th 2017 on its redevelopment and reported that the building could be transformed into a plush housing development of more than 100 new flats and 20 townhouses. Article below link:
As of late 2019 the building still stands as it was, decaying and looking a little tired.