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The Manchester Buzz Round The U.K.'s First Purpose-Built Co-Living Scheme

Co-living is coming to Manchester — and it is creating quite a buzz. It will be the U.K.'s first purpose-built co-living scheme.

The co-living concept — flourishing in the U.S. and now growing in London's Old Oak Common — is heading north, as Manchester City Council edges close to a decision on plans for 403 co-living units and 93 student flats in three towers at Granby Row, part of the former UMIST campus.

The towers will be 14, 20 and 25 stories, according to paperwork submitted by the Manchester office of planning consultants Turley on behalf of IQ Student. IQ plan to retain ownership of the Echo Street project once it is built, which will contain a mix of studios, twodios, and one, two, three and four-bed shared apartments.

Named Cottonopolis, the 1.5 metres high, 3D bee construction is being designed and painted by York-based artist Leah Pendleton to adorn the site of Far East Consortium's £200M Meadowside development, Manchester

Co-living is a new and radical answer to housing shortages. In London's Old Oak Common development, which was not purpose built for co-living, a mix of small rooms and large shared communal spaces including kitchens, bathrooms and dining rooms, cost between £200 and £360 a week.

"Experience from major cities in North America such as in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and other European Cities such as Berlin suggests that the provision of co-living accommodation is playing a significant role in meeting the requirements of the millennial generation who often place a higher premium upon flexibility and an all-inclusive experience with access to high quality shared amenity spaces in which they can develop their social and professional networks and who are happier with smaller areas of private space," a supporting document prepared by Turley said.

"The provision of co-living presents this target market with the opportunity to realise a ‘step-up’ in quality of accommodation following graduation before progressing into home ownership or more typical PRS offerings," the document adds.

Tenants will pay only one week's rent as deposit, tenancies will be for up to 12 months, and tenants can trade up or down to different styles of space. There will be no additional charges.

The application comes as more traditional city centre residential development takes a leap forward with Far East Consortium's decision to start work this summer on the £200M Meadowside development of 756 units in two towers close to the NOMA commercial development on the city's northside.