“It literally took a lot of blood sweat and tears to get the Co-op up and running, but we did it with the help and support of a lot of people too numerous to mention.”
New Barracks takes its name from its initial purpose as an army barracks in the 1800’s when Ordsall was mostly countryside. It wasn’t until the Manchester Shipping Canal and the Salford Docks were opened in 1894 that developments of terraced housing were built to home workers and their families, and grew into thriving tight knit communities. The Barracks were transformed into one of the first council housing estates in the North West of England.
From the 1960’s, Ordsall’s Victorian terraces were swept away in favor of high rises (with the exception of the Barracks Estate), and the docks closures in the 1970’s and 1980’s brought even further decline to the area. The toll of mass unemployment combined with the demolitions of terraced housing caused these tight-knit communities to be dismantled, and Ordsall quickly became one of the poorest and most deprived areas in Greater Manchester. The option of moving into more modern dwellings caused many to leave the Barracks’ deteriorating Victorian houses, and by the mid-1980’s the estate was nearly derelict.
In response to increased crime and anti-social behaviour, local residents formed a Tenants Association which engaged with the council. They took on the council’s wish to privatize the estate, and sell it off to developers by proposing that it be turned into a Cooperative.
New Barracks Tenants Management Cooperative was finally founded in 1987 who took on the tremendous task of refurbishing the houses and surrounding area in collaboration with Salford Council. Cooperative members received extensive training as to how to manage day to day activities such as allocations, tenancy agreements, repairs etc. So as to involve as many residents as possible and engage their skills, sub-committees were also established.
Nearly 30 years later, New Barracks has received a British Kite Mark of recognition for its excellent management, and is respected as being a shining example within the Cooperative housing movement.