Citylabs 4.0 Gets Green Light

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The expansion of Manchester’s leading health innovation campus, Citylabs, was given the green light today following the approval of the recently submitted planning application, cementing the campus’ presence as an international hub for genomics, digital health and precision medicine.

The new £35m development, which will grow the existing Citylabs campus by 125,000 sq ft, is a collaboration with Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) on behalf of Bruntwood SciTech and marks the next phase of the scheme.

The Joint Venture partnership between MSP and MFT, the UK's largest NHS provider Trust, was the first of its kind and the first phase - Citylabs 1.0 – is already home to a thriving cluster of diagnostics, medtech, digital health and genomics businesses who are driving the future of medicine and healthcare.

The second phase is underway to create the £25m Citylabs 2.0 which is currently under construction and 100% pre-let. Due for completion in summer 2020 it will be home to global diagnostics company QIAGEN, who will base their European Hub for Diagnostics Development at the campus. 

The new development Citylabs 4.0 represents another step forward for Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, Europe’s largest clinical academic campus and one of the North of England’s most important commercial areas, generating around £3bn in GVA each year.

Citylabs 4.0 will be built at the south of the MFT Oxford Road campus, adjacent to Citylabs 2.0, and provide seven floors of office and lab space where brilliant research will be translated into new healthcare diagnostics and treatments which can then be quickly adopted into Manchester’s health system. 

Businesses at Citylabs have access to clinical and academic collaborators located on the campus, and an extensive programme of business support including advice on funding sources, new markets, and professional services. They also benefit from the brilliant talent pool generated from the surrounding hospitals and the UK’s largest student population at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Tom Renn, managing director of MSP and Bruntwood SciTech - Manchester, said: “Manchester’s life science sector continues to thrive and continues to make a statement in being the place to be for startups, scale ups and international companies in the sector to cluster together. We can facilitate direct collaboration with the NHS and the ability for companies to accelerate getting their product or service into the healthcare market faster, something truly unique to our city. 

“As evidenced by the current global health challenge, there has never been a more urgent time for strengthening and investing the UK life science sector and so we are extremely pleased that Citylabs 4.0 has had its planning consent approved, and look forward to continuing the creation of a world-leading health innovation hub at the campus.”  

Professor Neil Hanley, Director of Research and Innovation for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), said: “We welcome the very positive news that Citylabs 4.0 has received planning permission. At MFT, we are all rightly proud that the Citylabs approach has brought together NHS, academic and commercial sectors, completely in line with the UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.

“In the current trying circumstances, the importance of continual research and innovation becomes ever more obvious as we strive to make the new discoveries that benefit our patients, the public and UK economy.”

The development of Citylabs 4.0 will also see sustainability measures being implemented as part of a commitment to becoming net zero carbon by 2030. The development of Citylabs 4.0 follows the recent planning approval announcement of the next phase of the Manchester Science Park masterplan which includes creating a 91,000 sq ft hub for materials science, energy technology and advanced manufacturing businesses as part of the redevelopment of Base. 

Citylabs 4.0 is designed by Sheppard Robson alongside Arup and Hilson Moran, with planning consultancy from Deloitte and cost consultancy by Gardiner and Theobald.