University of Manchester names partner in £1.5bn project

The deal encompasses over 370,000 square metres of land adjacent to Piccadilly station, 65% of which will become a new commercial workspace

The University of Manchester is to partner with Bruntwood SciTech to deliver a £1.5 billion innovation district that will, it says, “provide more chances for our research to have an impact on the real world”.

The ID Manchester project will provide up to 10,000 jobs over the next 10-15 years and “play a vital role in the future of the UK science and technology sector”, the university said.

Announcing the news during a press conference on 3 June, vice-chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell said the ID Manchester project would aid university knowledge exchange. “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.

The university’s preferred bidder, Bruntwood SciTech, is a 50:50 joint venture between commercial property specialists Bruntwood and pensions firm Legal and General, which has to date invested in nine regeneration programmes with universities including Oxford and Newcastle and local authorities in Cardiff and Sunderland.

The deal encompasses over 370,000 square metres of land adjacent to Piccadilly station, 65% of which will become a new commercial workspace on the Oxford Road corridor. The space became available as the university moves some teaching and research to a new £400 million engineering facility, part of the nearby Manchester Engineering Campus Development, on which construction finished last month.

Their commitment and approach to sustainability, inclusivity and collaboration aligned closely with our vision for ID Manchester
Dame Nancy Rothwell

“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,” Dame Nancy added.

Bruntwood SciTech executive chair Chris Oglesby said the team would “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” with the University of Manchester. ID Manchester “will champion a more progressive and sustainable model of economic success, one that works for all people and the planet”, he continued.


Related news: Greater Manchester universities and FE colleges pledge to create ‘world-leading ecosystem’

Read more: Greater Manchester universities announce Civic University Agreement

Image via Flickr. 

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