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Life Sciences Really Will Be The Pulse Of Post-Pandemic Manchester Property


You must hunt very hard to find it, but the newly fanfared strategic redevelopment framework for North Manchester’s huge general hospital includes a 16-acre plot that will include 'commercial accommodation for innovation and enterprise.'

The framework majors on rebuilding plans for the vast elderly hospital, a focus of long-term discontent in a key Labour heartland in the city that has suffered chronic underinvestment. The emphasis is on voter-pleasing ideas like a village green and updated hospital accommodation along with a community wellbeing hub and lots of pledges about sustainable development.

Largely out of sight, and not mentioned in the official council publicity, are plans for 16-acre Zone 4, described as: “A mixed-use neighbourhood which could incorporate a mix of housing (including extra-care/elderly, step down housing, key worker housing and intergenerational living) and commercial accommodation for innovation and enterprise."

The document adds that this “may include a combination of new buildings and (where appropriate) refurbishment and reuse of existing buildings” up to three storeys.

The definitely not upfront commercial element accompanies plans to build 860K SF of new hospital and care buildings, with site clearance from 2021-23 and the main rebuild from 2022-25. Zone 4 will come out of the shadows toward the end of the build period, phasing plans suggest.

The hospital site, about 2 miles north of the city centre but well connected to the growing Northern Gateway area, is owned by Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.


The commercial prospects at North Manchester hospital come as Bruntwood once again demonstrates the real possibilities for life sciences property in the North West.

Bruntwood SciTech and Cancer Research UK are backing startup oncology projects with funding from Innovate UK. Their goal is to bring forward viable oncology projects much more quickly in order to significantly increase their likelihood of commercial success.

A collaboration by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre will support researchers and startups aiming to develop their early stage innovations.

“It’s no secret that while the life sciences sector and indeed the wider world has understandably been focused on the pandemic, funding and research into beating cancer has suffered,” Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park Managing Director Kath Mackay said. 

“By leveraging the best-in-class infrastructure and expertise at Alderley Park and the wider Bruntwood SciTech network, we can help the participants stay hands-on, doing what they do best, rather than having to down tools and focus on running a business.”

Bruntwood SciTech has a portfolio of more than 1.8M SF including Alderley Park in Cheshire; a cluster in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district; Circle Square, a joint venture with Vita Group; and a development pipeline of 850K SF.