New Base For Materials Science, Engineering And Energy Tech Announced For Manchester
Plans have been announced for the next phase of the masterplan at Manchester Science Park which includes the development of a new building that will expand and enhance the facilities on offer for highly-innovative companies working across computer engineering, energy technology, light manufacturing and materials science.
Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) is re-developing the Base building to provide 80,000 sq ft of world-leading, purpose-built space to address the industry-specific needs of these sectors, following the successful development of the Bright Building which is fully let to 24 digital technology businesses. The announcement comes as the updated Manchester Science Park Strategic Regeneration Framework masterplan was endorsement by the City Council earlier this month.
Designed by Russell Bridge architects and set over five floors in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, companies will be able to access a dedicated MakerSpace on the ground floor with workshop space to produce prototypes or modify existing products, along with a welcome lounge, break-out spaces and informal meeting spaces.
Coworking and serviced space will also be available for startups in materials science, engineering and energy technology, whilst larger, more flexible and private spaces are available on the upper floors which also include a roof terrace.
The area around Base is also to be redeveloped to provide green space and areas to relax, socialise or host informal meetings. Customers locating to Base will be able to access wider facilities and amenities within Manchester Science Park, including meeting rooms, event space, Friska café , the Old Abbey Pub, sport and cycle drying facilities, secure bike storage and electric charging points.
The Bright Building has led the way in the North West in terms of sustainability, proptech and collaboration and Base will equally be committed to these three themes. The first new building to be submitted for planning since Bruntwood SciTech joined the UKGBC commitment to become a net zero carbon built environment by 2030, Base’s design embraces the latest innovations in building materials and environmental technology.
These include the installation of a 700 metre square solar panel, demand side response technology, occupancy and utilisation sensors, smart BMS, Multi Gigabyte connectivity and infrastructure for future battery reliance capabilities.
Businesses moving to Base will be joining Manchester Science Partnerships’ community of over 300 like-minded, fast growth digital health, digital technology, biomedical and life sciences companies as well as Bruntwood SciTech’s network of over 600 companies. These companies include SteamaCo who have revolutionised energy management in Africa, Phagenesis who pioneered the Phagenyx treatment for Dysphagia, Zilico who are developing the next generation of diagnostic devices for cervical cancer, rapid prototyping and 3D printing companies such as DiceyTech, and other light manufacturing companies like Lucid Innovation who offer their services on the campus to enable those who make and create.
Businesses will also be able to access MSP’s specialist business support programme which includes R&D support, finance, funding and professional services advice, and direct access to the world-class talent, research and capabilities of both the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University which are both adjacent to the campus.
Thomas Renn, Managing Director, Manchester Science Partnerships said: “We are incredibly excited to reveal our plans for Base, which underlines our confidence in the future growth of Manchester’s innovation-led economy, and is the next step in our expansion of the Manchester Science Park campus on its journey to grow to 1m square feet.
“Our planned investment of £21m is a clear statement of our commitment to creating sustainable, future-focused workspaces that support, enable, and nurture innovative businesses. We have a fast-growing cluster of ambitious, highly-innovative businesses already based at the campus, and there are some brilliant products, services and devices that have already been created. We wait in anticipation of the next generation of companies and innovations that will be created in Manchester and exported to the world.
“The Engineering, energy technology, and light manufacturing sectors have not yet had their workspace design revolution with spaces specifically designed to their needs, so they’ll be able to find these at Base together with the specialist business support required to help them grow their businesses.
“In further advancing our deployment of new technology at Manchester Science Park, our campus continues to be a test bed for new innovation, boosting the region’s standing as a leader in the field of smart cities and implementation and evolvement of new technologies, and cementing the Park’s position as an outstanding location to start and scale a tech company.”
The new scheme is subject to planning approval by Manchester City Council and will represent another step forward for Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, one of the North of England’s most important commercial areas, generating around £3bn in GVA per year. Manchester City Council is due to decide on the plans by mid-December. If approved, the project is expected to be delivered by the end of 2021.