David Blake with an explanation of the city's weirdest new property name

As far as names for new property developments go, it's pretty out there.

The Anaconda Cut.

Weird eh? Even weirder than Circle Square. It sounds like a sequel to that crap horror film from the 90s... the one with Jennifer Lopez. Or perhaps it's a riff on that Nicki Minaj track, or maybe something a bit more explicit.

It's the new name that's been given to 100 Greengate, formerly Exchange Court (how many names?), that lanky, kinda ugly greenish tower that's gone up right by Trinity Way in Greengate, close to the arena.

The 'Cut' in the name refers to a pretty remarkable but little-remembered feat of engineering

The OMI Architects-designed and Renaker-built 44-storey (131m), 349 apartment tower - now the tallest building in Salford - has just been acquired by Europa Capital and Atlas Residential, who presumably paid some branding agency a wedge to spend a week coming up with that.

But why name an apartment block after a stocky, tropical, semiaquatic snake? Because it's long and a bit green? No, actually.

Anaconda Cut Greengate
Anaconda Cut, formerly 100 Greengate, formerly Exchange Court, formerly a grey car park

If you're interested by such things (and let's be honest, you're probably not, but it's either this or the spreadsheet), 'Anaconda' refers to a stretch of the River Irwell between Springfield Lane and Broughton Bridge - hence the nearby Anaconda Drive.

The 'Cut' in the name refers to a pretty remarkable but little-remembered feat of engineering to prevent flooding in Salford, carried out in the sixties.

Here's Confidential's editor-at-large and in-house history boff Jonathan Schofield to explain in more detail...

Anaconda Cut Work
Work underway on the Anaconda Cut in 1968 www.researchgate.net

'Manchester’s river, the Irwell, is particularly snake-like. It meanders giddily across the conurbation as uncertain about its direction as the House of Commons. In the city centre, close to Manchester Cathedral, it completely changes course. Moving down through Salford, north-west to south-east, at the confluence with the River Irk, it abruptly swivels from north-east to south-west.

'Manchester occupies the high ground above the Irwell and Salford the low ground. Thus, in the past, Salford flooded frequently. The erratic twists and turns of the river exacerbated this, narrowing and widening seemingly at will, and also trapped by man-made walls as industrialisation exploded on the region.

'In the fifties and sixties the river’s course was dramatically altered in Lower Broughton and Strangeways to ease the flooding problems. A huge meander of the river was bypassed, drained and the river course rationalised and straightened. That’s why the boundary between the twin cities, and the street pattern around here is all messed up. The Private White menswear factory, for instance, used to be on the other side of the river from its present location.'

'This huge, forgotten, project was called the Anaconda Cut, the name maybe convenient nod to the snake-like Irwell, but more importantly because the Anaconda Copper Works stood where the river was diverted. 

So there you have it. The River Irwell was snakey like an anaconda and a cut was made to prevent flooding. Perhaps then the name for the new tower is not as ridiculous as it first sounds... even if it's still a bit crap.