Bidders battle for £100m Manchester College

Five contractors have made the shortlist for the 215,000 sq ft building at the former Boddington’s Brewery in Manchester, after the college secured a £27.6m loan for the scheme last year.

Place North West understands Bam, Bouygues, Bowmer + Kirkland, Vinci, and Willmott Dixon have all been shortlisted for the job. Wates is understood to have bid but was unsuccessful.

The college kicked off its search for a construction partner for the 3.3-acre site last year, and is looking to start the first phase, covering a building of between six and eight storeys, later in 2019.

The entrance to the first phase will be on the corner of New Bridge Street and Great Ducie Street, with the proposed design due to create a “distinctive identity” for the college. This also provides the opportunity to create active frontages along both Great Ducie Street and New Bridge Street.

This first phase forms part of a wider development which could feature another 107,600 sq ft of education space, depending on the college’s longer-term needs and requirements; this would sit to the north of the first phase.

Place North West first revealed the college had chosen the Boddington’s site for its city-centre campus last summer, while Manchester City Council agreed to support the move with a £27.6m loan, agreed in December.

The college’s move will free up other buildings in its estate; the council said these sites could be used to provide housing, offices, hotels, or mixed-use developments.

The Boddington’s site was acquired by a joint venture between Yousef Tishbi’s Realty Estates and Ask, which no longer has an interest, in 2006.

The site has since seen the development and sale of a Travelodge by Marcus Worthington Properties, but has mostly been used as surface parking. Prosperity Capital Partners has this year secured consent for 556 apartments, billed as Old Brewery Gardens.

Prosperity maintains its ownership of around 2.8 acres of the site; Deansgate Securities, a Realty Estates company, owns the remainder of the site, amounting to around three-fifths of an acre.

The council adopted a strategic regeneration framework for the wider site in 2015; this still contains an ambition to deliver a multi-storey car park, likely to be on the northern part of the site, accessed via Francis Street.

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