Planning application submitted for £60m Citylabs expansion

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The UK’s leading science and technology park operator Manchester Science Partnerships has submitted a planning application to Manchester City Council seeking approval for its proposed £60m expansion of the Citylabs campus, its biomedical centre of excellence.

If approved, the proposed developments – taken forward in a joint venture partnership with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) – are expected to boost Manchester’s economy by more than £100m and bring 750 jobs to the city by 2020.

Located on the CMFT campus in the heart of Manchester’s Innovation District, Corridor Manchester, Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will be targeted at health and medical technology companies.

MSP and CMFT have already received a number of expressions of interest from potential occupiers after showcasing Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 during a recent trade mission to the US, which included meetings at the important global AdvaMed conference.

Thomas Renn, Managing Director of Manchester Science Partnerships said: “After consulting with the local community and other stakeholders last month, we’re pleased and excited to be bringing this ambitious development forward.

“The success of Citylabs 1.0 – which was fully let within 15 months of opening – has given us the confidence to invest in phases two and three, and we are sure demand will be strong for these high quality facilities located in a great physical and intellectual environment.”

Keith Chantler, Director of Innovation at CMFT explained: “This joint partnership with MSP offers a fantastic opportunity for our patients, staff and our hospitals, to further develop the successful Citylabs cluster. Citylabs brings together NHS, university and industry partners to co-develop new healthcare technologies.

“By involving clinicians and patients from the start of the development and testing process, products are more likely to meet our future needs, and be rapidly adopted by the NHS and other health services across the world.”

Chris Roberts, Development Director at Bruntwood, which has submitted the application on behalf of MSP, said: “The planned expansion of Citylabs is a great vote of confidence in Manchester and alongside the existing major developments on the city’s Innovation District – such as Circle Square and the Alliance Manchester Business School - will reinforce its credentials as a world class location for science and technology businesses.”

The submission of the planning application follows a public exhibition and consultation in November at Citylabs 1.0.

Phase 1, the £25m Citylabs 2.0 development will comprise 92,000 sq ft of lab and office space. Subject to planning permission being granted, construction work will begin in autumn 2017, with completion expected in late 2018.

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 planned to start in summer 2018 and is due to be completed in 2020.

The £35m project includes the restoration of a currently unused former chapel on the site, which is ear-marked for 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 and other users of the hospital facilities. It comprises both new build and redevelopment of the Old Saint Mary’s Hospital building on the corner of Oxford Road and Hathersage Road.

If approved, Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 would be the first to be delivered through the Strategic Property Partnership between Manchester Science Partnerships, Bruntwood, and CMFT.

Announced in March 2016, the partnership supports the delivery of clinical care, research and innovation through the strategic development of CMFT’s estate.