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125K SF Manchester Health Sector Development Gets Timely Go Ahead

Citylabs 4.0, the latest addition to the Oxford Road science corridor

There’s timely, and then there’s timely, and the award of planning permission for a new 125K SF extension to Manchester’s health innovation campus is chillingly on point.

The £35M extension to Citylabs is intended to reinforce the campus’s presence as an international hub for genomics, digital health and precision medicine. Citylabs is already home to a thriving cluster of diagnostics, medtech, digital health and genomics businesses that are looking to drive the future of medicine and healthcare.

The development is a joint venture between Manchester Science Partnerships and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, the UK's largest NHS provider Trust.

“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,” MSP Managing Director Tom Renn said.

Approval for Phase 4 comes as the £25M Citylabs 2.0 is under construction. The 92K SF block is already fully pre-let to Qiagenone of the leading suppliers of coronavirus test kits.

Qiagen will base its European hub for diagnostics development at the campus. 

The development may do much for world health, and is sure to enhance the appeal of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, now hailed as Europe’s largest clinical academic campus. The corridor generates around £3.6B GVA each year, according to Manchester Science Partnerships.

The corridor is likely to grow by another £2B a year GVA thanks to a cluster of sites added to the area’s development profile in September 2019.

Existing corridor sites like the University’s ID Manchester (North Campus) Manchester Science Park, Circle Square and First Street will be joined by an Upper Brook Street site immediately next to the ID Manchester North Campus Site; the former Salvation Army site at Wilmott Street; the former Elizabeth Gaskell Campus at Hathersage Road next to St Mary’s Hospital/MRI; and a site at Birchall Way. 

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.