Manchester Uni resumes £1.5bn innovation district

Professor Nancy Rothwell

The University of Manchester announced on Tuesday it has resumed the procurement process to find its development and investment partner to deliver the new £1.5 billion innovation district ID Manchester.

ID Manchester is adjacent to Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station.

The University paused the process in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having already notified the four highest scoring bidders it would be taking forward into the detailed dialogue stage.

The final partner selection will now be made in Spring 2021.

ID Manchester will be a new neighbourhood that will be an engine for economic growth with the potential to create over 6,000 jobs.

Professor Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester, said: “The university is committed to the delivery of ID Manchester and our ambition to create the innovation capital of Europe is unwavering.

“Having paused, reviewed and reflected, we now have a way forward to resume the final stage of the selection process to find our joint venture partner.”

Diana Hampson, the university’s director of estates and facilities, said: “We look forward to beginning the detailed dialogue with the selected bidders.

“Pausing the process has allowed ourselves and the bidding teams space to deal with the immediate impact and challenges created by the pandemic.

“ID Manchester is an incredibly exciting project and we are looking forward to progressing to the next stage.”

The university said that since 2004 it has contributed more than £746 million to the economy through nurturing and developing businesses spinning out of its research and development facilities “and it is on these foundations it seeks to build ID Manchester.”

Hampson added: “ID Manchester will be a unique new neighbourhood.

“Our vision draws on Manchester’s ecosystem of ideas, discovery, research and development, and ID Manchester will provide the canvas on which all those strands can come together to take urban regeneration to a whole new level.

“ID Manchester will be where our most valuable discoveries today, are tried, tested and developed into the technology, buildings and commerce of tomorrow.”

The available development space for ID Manchester is up to four million square feet (370,000 square metres) and updated indicative development plans include:

  • 2.6 million square feet (240,000 square metres) of new work space
  • Three acres (1.2 hectares) of “high-quality public realm.”

The site benefits from existing green space and the unique feature of the 650,000 square feet (60,000 square metres) Grade II-listed Sackville Street Building.