Bruntwood to take over Manchester Science Parks

Bruntwood used Mipim to announce it is in advanced talks to acquire a controlling interest in Manchester Science Parks and plans to double the size of the 240,000 sq ft corridor campus in the next five to ten years.

The main shareholders in MSP are the two city councils of Salford and Manchester and two universities, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester. There are also several minority stakes with less voting rights held by private sector companies: chemicals giant BASF, broadcaster ITV, National Westminster Bank, developer and contractor Pochin's and Quiros, a company associated with MSP and Pochin board member Michael Chadwick.

MSP owns and operates 11 buildings and an Internet exchange. Currently MSP has 160 tenants in ICT, digital, biotechnology and industrial sectors. In 2010, MSP had a turnover of £3.2m and produced a pre-tax profit of £721,000. Its net assets were valued at £13.3m.

Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, said: "Growing the science sector in Manchester is vital to the growth of the city region. Bruntwood is delighted to be partnering with Manchester and Salford city councils and the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to significantly step change the region's science base."

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, added: "Manchester and Salford welcome the opportunity to work with Bruntwood on the next phase of the development of MSP across all of its locations."

Manchester Science Parks was founded in 1984 as a means of encouraging and developing the fledgling knowledge economy of the time. It offers office and laboratory space as well as business support.

Jane Davies, chief executive of MSP, said: "Bruntwood is the obvious partner to take MSP to the next phase of its development. We are excited about the opportunities arising from their investment and look forward to pooling our expertise to deliver a great outcome for the city region."

Bruntwood is already active in the MSP heartland of Oxford Road, Manchester, where it is developing Citilab, the new name also announced at Mipim for the former Royal Eye Hospital development, a 100,000 sq ft biomedical centre.

Oglesby confirmed the project team for Citilab would be Lend Lease as lead contractor; Sheppard Robson, architect; Arup, engineers; Sweett Group, quantity surveyors and Drivers Jonas Deloitte for planning advice.

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