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NOMA's 1.1M SF Digital Cluster: New Plans, Revealed

Amazon's new Manchester address: the 109K SF Hanover Building

A rethink of Manchester’s 20-acre NOMA office district will mean more emphasis on the digital and creative economy and another 620K SF of office floorspace.

A revised strategic regeneration framework is now being devised for the area that already houses Amazon’s 90K SF Northern HQ, according to council documents.

The report has been inspired by projected growth in the cultural, creative and digital industries, which is forecast to increase 40.5% by 2025. 

The report to the city council's ruling executive by newly appointed council Director of Strategic Growth Louise Wyman plans to add another 620K SF of office space to 568K SF already completed. A site identified for a car park will now be developed for offices. Proposals also include the refurbishment of 97 Shudehill, two blocks of eight and 10 stories on Plot H providing a total of 270K SF, and the redevelopment of the Euro Car Parks site that is not in the council’s control.

The proposals raise questions over the future of Grade II-listed New Century House, whose design “does not reflect modern occupier requirements”.

“This, coupled with technical issues mean that the building is not viable as office space. Finding a viable, sustainable and long term future solution for New Century House is needed in order to secure its future and allow it to contribute fully to the regeneration of NOMA,” the report said.

A total of 1.1M SF of new office floorspace is said to be in the development pipeline.

The original NOMA joint venture was formed by The Co-operative Group and the British Telecom Pension Scheme, with Hermes Real Estate undertaking the roles of asset and fund manager. In 2018, Hermes, on behalf of BT Pension Scheme, acquired The Co-operative Group’s 50% stake interest in NOMA (GP) Ltd and appointed MEPC as a specialist development and asset manager. Federated Hermes acquired full ownership of MEPC in 2020 and there is now an integrated management structure and funding arrangements in place to drive forward the delivery of the NOMA estate.