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Green light for £60m Citylabs campus expansion

MANCHESTER City Council has today [April 27] approved plans from leading science and technology park operator Manchester Science Partnerships for a £60m investment in a two-phase expansion of its Citylabs biomedical campus.

The Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 development that is to be delivered by Bruntwood, on behalf of the joint venture between MSP with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), is expected to create 750 jobs and boost Manchester's economy by more than £100m following completion.

Designed by architects Sheppard Robson, and aimed at health and medical technology companies, Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will provide high-specification, flexible office, laboratory, and clinical space.

Thomas Renn, Managing Director of Manchester Science Partnerships said: "We are delighted to have obtained planning consent for this important development which will meet market demand from health and medical technology companies who want to be part of Manchester's internationally-important and dynamic Innovation District.  Having unveiled our plans at ESOF last year, we have conducted a thorough consultation exercise and are pleased to have reached this key milestone.

"The success of Citylabs 1.0, which was fully let within 15 months, gives us great confidence that demand will be strong for the high quality scientific and commercial space Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will provide. Being located on the CMFT campus at the heart of Corridor Manchester ­ a unique environment for discovery, research, collaboration and commercialisation - makes the proposition truly compelling."

Professor Bob Pearson, Medical Director at CMFT added: "We are delighted to have been granted planning permission to expand the Citylabs cluster on our hospital campus.  As one of the UK's leading healthcare providers, we are committed to improving patient care through our research and innovation.

Citylabs offers a unique platform to involve clinicians and patients right at the start of the medical technology development and testing process, an approach that we believe is more likely to result in products that meet our needs. We are excited about the opportunities that technologies developed at Citylabs will eventually bring for patients across Manchester, as well as those receiving care through the wider NHS and other health services across the world.

Chris Roberts, Chief Development Officer for Bruntwood, which submitted the planning application on behalf of MSP said: "We are excited to move forward with the Citylabs expansion project, using the experience we gained with Citylabs 1.0 in giving an historic Grade II listed hospital building a new lease of life.

"Alongside Circle Square and the Alliance Manchester Business School developments, the expansion of Citylabs reinforces Bruntwood's commitment to the growth of Corridor Manchester."

Corridor Manchester's status as an Enterprise Zone means that occupiers of Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will be able to access significantly reduced business rates and super-fast connectivity.

The development of Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will be the first to be delivered under a Strategic Property Partnership between CMFT, Bruntwood and Manchester Science Partnerships. Announced in March 2016, the partnership supports the strategic development of CMFT's estate to deliver leading edge clinical care, research and innovation.

  • Phase 1, the £25m Citylabs 2.0, is all new-build and will comprise 92,000 sq ft of Grade A lab and office space. Construction work will begin late 2017, with completion expected in 2019.
  • Phase 2, Citylabs 3.0, will span 128,000 sq ft and integrate the development of new buildings with the Old Saint Mary's Hospital, an existing listed Victorian building. Construction is due to be completed in late 2021.

The £35m project includes the restoration of a currently unused former chapel on the site, which will be transformed into a café/ dining area with the potential for meeting room facilities.

The scheme also includes extensive external landscaping and the provision of new gardens for the enjoyment of Citylabs customers, patients and hospital visitors. It comprises both new build and redevelopment of the Old Saint Mary's Hospital building on the corner of Oxford Road and Hathersage Road.

A team from Deloitte in Manchester advised Bruntwood and Manchester Science Partnerships on the successful planning application.