University looking for investor and developer for £1.5bn project
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The University of Manchester has stepped up its search for an investor and development partner for its expansion plans.
The university has submitted a PIN (Prior Information Notice) to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), to begin pre-market engagement as part of its search to find an investor and development partner to deliver a new £1.5bn innovation district in Manchester city centre to be called ID Manchester.
The university’s vision is the 26 acre (10.5 hectare) ID Manchester will be a dynamic, world-class community with innovation, collaboration and enterprise at its heart, with the potential to create more than 6,000 jobs.
Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “We are looking for the very best joint venture partner to work with us to develop this prime site in the heart of the city which will generate thousands of new jobs and will enhance the reputation of the university and the city as the place where the world’s most valuable ideas are transformed into reality.”
ID Manchester benefits from an adopted Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF).
Current development parameters, which align with the university’s current vision, could comprise around 3.5 million sq ft of mixed use space, including three acres of high quality public realm.
Any revision to the existing SRF should be brought forward in close collaboration with Manchester City Council.
The site benefits from existing green space and the unique feature of the 650,000 sq ft Grade II-listed Sackville Street Building, which offers a fantastic opportunity for re-purposing.
The university occupies the recently-opened £60m Masdar Building, home to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, and the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at the south end of the site, and is looking for a partner to develop the remaining 16.4 acres (6.64 hectares) of the site.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The potential of ID Manchester is huge.
“There are tremendous opportunities to regenerate this distinctive part of the city and we welcome the university’s growth, investment and job creation ambitions for the development.”
ID Manchester is adjacent to Manchester’s main public transport hub, Piccadilly railway station, and future HS2 station, and is a 20-minute train journey to the international airport.
ID Manchester is another piece in the jigsaw of the major regeneration taking place in that area of the city, including Mayfield, London Road Fire Station, Kampus, Circle Square and the £1bn investment already being made into its main Oxford Road campus by The University of Manchester.
Diana Hampson, director of estates and facilities of The University of Manchester, said: “We are at the beginning of an exciting journey as we look forward to finding a partner to help us deliver our vision for an outstanding new community, on the last site of its size and scale yet to be developed in the city centre.
“ID Manchester will build upon the proud history of bold ideas, discovery and invention established by the university here.
“It will attract the most forward-thinking, like-minded individuals and businesses with the chance to establish their UK HQ, start up or scale up their company, take on and benefit from disruptive technologies and ideas, or simply come and enjoy this inspirational space.”
CBRE is the property advisor on ID Manchester for the university.
Colin Thomasson, executive director, CBRE, said: “ID Manchester is an exceptional opportunity for the right partner to work with one the world’s leading education and research institutions, in one of the fastest-growing, most dynamic cities in Europe.”