Developer submits revised planning bid for New Islington campus scheme
Real estate developer General Projects is submitting an amended office scheme for its Electric Park campus at New Islington, between Manchester’s Piccadilly East and Ancoats; two of the city’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods.
Over 350,000-sq-ft of workspace is proposed across the five buildings on the five-acre site, alongside a substantial public amenity offer of restaurants, cafes and two and a half acres of high-quality public realm with, it is claimed, a 30% net gain in site biodiversity.
General Projects achieved full planning consent in 2020, but following an evaluation of current customer trends and workforce needs that are driving market demand in office space a new plan was put together by architects Hawkins\Brown, with landscape architect Planit.
Changes to the scheme include: Updates to the façade treatment of the buildings; changes to the location of main entrances; alterations to the internal layout including the building cores to enhance flexibility and the addition of an auditorium, customer lounges, coworking provision, cafes and on-site gym.
Ben Cross, development director at General Projects, said: “The updated plans demonstrate our ongoing commitment to deliver a people-centric and planet-friendly development at Electric Park with a revised approach that delivers greater benefits to the local area. Adopting this approach has influenced not only the design of the buildings at Electric Park, but also what they will provide for the people of New Islington. At a time when the way we think about the future of work is changing rapidly, we need to continue to push exemplary standards in terms of experience and efficiency. We’re excited about the opportunity to bring local businesses and entrepreneurs onto the campus and to provide high-quality green space to this thriving part of Manchester.”
General Projects has adopted a ‘Manchester-first’ procurement policy, with at least 25% of supply chain spend in Greater Manchester. During construction, an estimated £200,000 in community wealth will be generated from apprenticeships, work experience days, site open days, and other voluntary, community, and social enterprise commitments.
Electric Park will be delivered through a collaborative partnership with Manchester City Council. It received planning approval from the City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee in December 2020, with a projected start on site date in 2024.