Bruntwood SciTech named as £1.5bn ID Manchester joint venture partner

New illustration of ID Manchester

Manchester’s Bruntwood SciTech has been unveiled today as the preferred joint venture partner for the £1.5bn University of Manchester ID Manchester development.

The final agreement is expected to be signed in the autumn.

The university and Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal&General, will form a new joint venture.

ID Manchester has the potential to create more than 10,000 jobs in the next 10-15 years.

Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “The journey to find our joint venture partner to work with us on delivering ID Manchester has been hugely rewarding for everyone involved.

“The quality and calibre of the submissions we received was truly outstanding and I would like to extend our gratitude to those who were unsuccessful.

“Innovation is a core theme for the university as we enter our third century. The opportunity afforded by ID Manchester will provide more chances for our research to have an impact on the real world, it will be a place where we address the challenges facing the world in the 21st century and to explore new ideas to improve the health, wealth and happiness of our fellow citizens.”

She added: “Bruntwood SciTech shares many of the same values and principles as the University of Manchester and throughout our detailed discussions with them their commitment and approach to sustainability, inclusivity and collaboration aligned closely with our vision for ID Manchester.

“We look forward to working together to create an outstanding innovation district which will play a large role in helping the UK to build back better.”

Chris Oglesby, executive chair, Bruntwood SciTech, said: “From the splitting of the atom, to the first isolation of graphene, Manchester has been at the forefront of global innovation.

“The ambition to create an innovation district of this size and scale will help transform the UK’s knowledge economy and cement the UK’s status as world leader in science, technology and engineering.

“Working in partnership with the University of Manchester, we will create a global exemplar that will support national and international investment into science and technology, creating new pathways for the translation of research, and new cultures for enterprise.

“It’s also an opportunity to build something with purpose and a social conscience at its heart from the outset. ID Manchester will champion a more progressive and sustainable model of economic success, one that works for all people and the planet.”

He added: “To be selected to deliver a project of such scale, ambition and international significance is a privilege and we cannot wait to get started.”

Nigel Wilson, group chief executive Legal&General, said: “Universities are a key driver for the growth of cities, acting as a magnet for talent and incubator of growth and innovation.

“They have an integral role in shifting the dial for future success. This partnership is a unique opportunity to invest in, and develop, a significant, long term and patient capital project that is economically viable and socially useful.

“Supporting the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, it embodies inclusive capitalism in one of the UK’s strongest regional cities, as we build back better and help create a more inclusive post-pandemic society.”

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “Genuine levelling up can only be achieved through the city regions of the Northern Powerhouse achieving their full potential, including Greater Manchester securing its place as an innovation counterweight to London as a financial centre.

“Today’s announcement is an example of how businesses and universities can work in partnership to unlock innovation-led growth across Northern towns and cities. The vice chancellor, Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell and her colleagues have outlined a clear role for the university of Manchester, which – with their joint venture partners – will unlock over ten thousand highly-skilled jobs in science and technology.”

Moves to find a partner for ID Manchester were first unveiled at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, Southern France, in March, 2019.

The university’s vision is that 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.

ID Manchester is next 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.

The university announced an international competitive tender process had begun in September, 2019, but paused the process in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having already notified the four highest scoring bidders it would be taking them forward into the detailed dialogue stage. The pause enabled both the university and the bidders to consider and deal with effects of the pandemic.

Then, in July last year, the university resumed the procurement process.

The university has a strong track record in developing long lasting, commercial relationships with global organisations such as Rolls-Royce, the BBC, BP, ARM, Boots, National Grid, Colgate Palmolive, Siemens, Unilever, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Since 2004 the university has contributed more than £746m to the economy through nurturing and developing businesses spinning out of its research and development facilities, and it is on these foundations it seeks to build ID Manchester.

The available development space for ID Manchester of four million sq ft include 2.6 million sq ft of new work space and three acres of high quality public realm.

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 repurposing.