Topping out milestone at city centre site once deemed ‘unviable’

Topping out ceremony celebrated

Topping out was celebrated at the New Victoria build-to-rent development in Manchester today (July 6).

Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, urban regeneration firm Muse, and contractor VINCI Building, marked the milestone, along with some of PIC’s policyholders.

Once complete, revenue from New Victoria will help pay the pensions of around three million PIC policyholders over future decades.

PIC invested £130m to fund the construction of New Victoria, its first build-to-rent project, in September 2020. The development has also been supported by Network Rail, Manchester City Council and Homes England.

The scheme has repurposed a former car park next to Manchester Victoria station, generating considerable social value.

The development, once considered unviable due to a Victorian culvert running under the site, showcases what is possible through close collaboration between long term investor, developer, contractor and the local authority.

Around 550 jobs were involved during construction and it is estimated that more than £40m has gone directly into Greater Manchester’s economy through local employment, businesses and material sourcing.

Tracy Blackwell, CEO at PIC, said: “We’re incredibly proud to mark the topping out of our first build-to-rent development. Not only has this development incorporated leading design features including on safety and environmental standards, it has also seen the creation of considerable social value through jobs and education.”

David Burkinshaw, development director at Muse Developments, said: “Our work here is transforming an under-utilised gateway site that needed regeneration into a vibrant place that provides much needed homes in the city centre, alongside some of the best amenities around.”

Garry Bowker, regional director for the North West at VINCI Building, said: “It is a privilege to be delivering New Victoria on behalf of PIC and Muse.

“Working together in partnership we have overcome numerous challenges associated with the site and stand here today on programme, well on the way to completing what will be a truly transformative development for this part of the city centre.

“Not only will New Victoria push boundaries in terms of the quality of the end product, we have strived to push boundaries throughout the delivery stage in terms of social value and considerate constructors.”