University of Manchester seeks partner for £1.5bn innovation district

WCN Editorial Team 13 Mar 2019 EUROPE BUILDINGS

The University of Manchester, which has unveiled plans to create a £1.5bn innovation district on the site of its North Campus near the planned HS2 station, has launched a bid to secure a partner for the new proposals.

In February 2019, the university submitted a Prior Information Notice (PIN) to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) to begin pre-market engagement as part of its search for an investor and development partner to deliver the innovation district in Manchester City Centre, to be called ID Manchester.

The vision for the 26-acre initiative is for the development to be a world-class community with collaboration and enterprise at its heart. It would also have the potential to create more than 6,000 jobs.

Currently, a 650,000ft² Sackville Street Building and green space occupy part of the site.

Presenting the opportunity at MIPIM, where more than 150 property professionals from across the globe participated, the university said that the joint partner will have to create a new neighbourhood, which will nurture the next generation of game-changing businesses and bring huge economic benefits to Manchester.

University of Manchester president and vice-chancellor Professor Nancy Rothwell said: “We are looking for the very best joint-venture partner to work with us to develop this prime site in the heart of the city which will generate thousands of new jobs and will enhance the reputation of the University and the city as the place where the world’s most valuable ideas are transformed into reality.”

In an announcement in February, University of Manchester director of estates and facilities Diana Hampson said: “The project, which we are calling ID Manchester (the name represents Innovation District (ID) Manchester and is for the purposes of marketing – the name may change once a development partner is on board) will build upon the proud history of bold ideas, discovery and invention established by the University.

“It will attract the most forward-thinking, like-minded individuals and businesses with the chance to establish their UK HQ, start up or scale up their company, take on and benefit from disruptive technologies and ideas or simply come and enjoy this inspirational space.”

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Image: The site of the proposed Innovation District in Manchester. Photo: Courtesy of StaffNet / The University of Manchester.

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