Search begins for partner to develop ID Manchester

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The University of Manchester’s hunt to find its development and investment partner to deliver the new innovation district, ID Manchester, worth £1.5bn has begun

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: ”ID Manchester will create a new, world-class innovation district situated in the heart of Manchester and alongside the University, where we will nurture the next generation of game-changing businesses and bring huge economic benefits to our city region and beyond.”

Together with the right partner, the University will leverage the global reach of its commercial partnerships and research institutions, while matching it with the significant and connected innovation ecosystems already formed around the Oxford Road Corridor.

ID Manchester will be a trailblazing neighbourhood that will be an engine for economic growth with the potential to create over 6,000 new jobs.

Since 2004 the University has contributed £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.

Since it was presented at the international property exhibition MIPIM early this year, as part of its pre-market engagement, the University has increased the available development space for ID Manchester to 4 million square feet (370,000 square metres) and updated.

Development plans include:

  • 6m square feet (240,000 square metres) of new workspace
  • Three acres (1.2 hectares) of high-quality public realm

Diana Hampson, director of estates at The University of Manchester, said: “Our vision for ID Manchester was warmly received at MIPIM and since then we’ve hosted several open days, attended by around 120 people representing developers and investors.

“We have taken time to refine our proposition to enable interested partners to really understand the extent and scale of our ambition.”

The site benefits from existing green space and the unique feature of the 650,000 square feet (60,000 square metres) Grade II listed Sackville Street Building, which offers a fantastic opportunity for re-purposing.

The University occupies the recently opened £60m Masdar Building, home to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, and the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at the south end of the site and is looking for a partner to develop the remaining c.18 acres (7.3 hectares) of the site.

ID Manchester is adjacent to Manchester’s main public transport hub, Piccadilly Railway Station and is a 20-minute train journey to the international airport.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council said: “Manchester City Council look forward to this exciting next step for ID Manchester.

“Not only will it lead to the regeneration of this distinctive part of the city but will further the city’s reputation as a place for pioneering innovation while creating thousands of jobs.”

It is envisaged that the process will take around 12 months, with a partner announcement being made in autumn 2020.

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