Developers of £1.5bn Manchester innovation hub reach key milestone

Developer Bruntwood SciTech has completed a critical step in the creation of a £1.5bn innovation hub in Manchester.

The business, itself a partnership of property group Bruntwood and insurance giant Legal & General, signed legal documents formalising its joint venture with the University of Manchester to bring the huge scheme forward.

Bruntwood SciTech was last summer named as preferred delivery partner for the ID Manchester project to provide 240,000 square metres of commercial space, south of the city centre.

Public realm at the site, which is close to Piccadilly station and the university campus, will be overhauled under the plans to enable events to take place. Construction will also include two hotels along with 1,350 homes.

The partners say the scheme will provide “specialist infrastructure ​​to power the growth of the knowledge economy and unlock the commercialisation of research and development innovation”. It could create more than 10,000 jobs over 15 years, they claim.

Diana Hampson, director of estates and facilities at the University of Manchester, and Chris Oglesby, executive chair of Bruntwood SciTech, said they were “delighted” to reach this latest “milestone” in the project.

“ID Manchester will become the most valuable single-site, city centre, mixed-use development outside of London, and the most connected location in the North of England,” they said in a joint statement.

“ID Manchester will be a cornerstone of the city region and the UK’s innovation strategy, driving prosperous economic and inclusive growth and investment, and becoming one of the most exciting projects driving levelling up and research and development translation.”

A masterplan will be drawn up over the coming months, they said.

Last year, Bruntwood SciTech landed planning permission for a £210m health campus in Birmingham.

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