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TECH SPECIAL: What Happens Next As Bruntwood Grab The Tech Moment

Circle Square, Manchester, under construction today

More than 1M SF of new Manchester development will come as part of an accelerated building programme following the formation of a £360M joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General.

Nationwide, the new science and technology development platform will grow Bruntwood's portfolio from around 1.3M SF today to 6.2M SF in the next 10 years.

The deal, which will create a £1.8B portfolio and represents the largest investment made in science and technology property assets in Europe, will pay particular dividends for Bruntwood's home town.

“This deal gives us the capital to build out our development pipeline at a pace that can support the opportunity that now exists in the Manchester science sector,” Bruntwood-owned Manchester Science Partnerships Chief Executive Tom Renn said.

“We have the appetite to move at a pace, and without this deal we would have had to go out looking for funding, so the deal has firmed that up.”

“In the first five years we’d be looking to see 1M SF developed in Manchester, because we’re at a place in the cycle where there is great opportunity in the city.”

Circle Square, as it will look on completion

The portfolio will extend from Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds into Liverpool.

The physical assets in the Bruntwood SciTech portfolio include Manchester Science Park, Citylabs 1.0, Manchester Technology Centre, Circle Square, Alderley Park, Platform (Leeds) and Innovation Birmingham along with two specialist incubators focussed on digital technology and innovation (one based at the Manchester Technology Centre and one at Platform in Leeds).

Also include are the Mi-IDEA lab based in the Bright Building at Manchester Science Park and a bioscience accelerator at Alderley Park.

The business will be chaired by Bruntwood Chief Executive Chris Oglesby and led by current Bruntwood Chief Commercial Officer Phil Kemp as chief executive.

“Although the U.K. is a great place to do business, years of chronic underinvestment have led to poor productivity, inadequate real wage growth and muted economic growth," Legal & General Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said. Science and technology will be key to revitalising the U.K. economy and driving job creation. We need to keep investing to support the development of our U.K. regional cities."

Bruntwood's Manchester Science Corridor developments include the 230K SF building at 2 Circle Square, Oxford Road, due for completion in 2020.