Citylabs ., Bruntwood Scitech, p Citypress

Citylabs 4.0 will provide 125,000 sq ft of lab and office space. Credit: via Citypress

GMI starts work on Bruntwood SciTech’s £42m Citylabs 4.0

The life sciences joint venture is eyeing a spring 2025 opening for 125,000 sq ft of specialist labs and offices, part of a wider cluster at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s Oxford Road campus.

GMI Construction Group has now started work on the workspace for developer Bruntwood SciTech.

Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 JV between Bruntwood and Legal & General, secured planning permission for Citylabs 4.0 in 2020.

Designed by Sheppard Robson, the project will provide seven storeys of lab and office space. These spaces have been designed to support companies working in precision medicine, including those in diagnostics, genomics, and biotech.

Significantly, those working in the building will have access to specialist infrastructure to accommodate CL2 labs and specialist equipment. This includes increased floor loading, enhanced cooling systems and ventilation provisions, and a large platform lift.

Located in the Oxford Road Corridor, the wider campus also provides a 150-person event space and multiple meeting rooms.

The project is being delivered in partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. This means that businesses will have direct access to the NHS trust, as well as the universities.

Dr Kath Mackay, director of life sciences at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Manchester’s life sciences ecosystem continues to thrive and at Citylabs through our partnership with MFT, we can provide businesses with direct access into the NHS and have tests and treatments adopted at a faster pace and scale here more than anywhere else, resulting in improved healthcare for the people of Manchester and wider region.”

Moreover, Professor Rick Body, group director of research and innovation at MFT, added: “Citylabs provides a unique platform to involve clinicians, patients, and our communities, at the start of the research innovation journey.

“It also meets our ambition to strive for the highest possible standards of sustainability in healthcare for the benefit of future generations.”

Citylabs 4.0 is the third phase in the larger Citylabs masterplan. Completion will take the campus, which is currently home to 20 businesses, from 192,000 sq ft to 327,000 sq ft.

Existing tenants at the campus include Apis Assay Technologies, Takagi, and MAC Clinical Research, as well as Qiagen. The latter occupies the entirety of the 92,000 sq ft Citylabs 2.0.

Citylabs 4.0 will build on this existing health innovation cluster to create more than 300 jobs.

In terms of sustainability, the project is expected to achieve net zero carbon in construction and operation. With a targeted EPC A rating, designs include 2,200 sq ft of solar panels. This will generate enough power to charge an average electric car approximately 1,235 times.

Marc Banks, divisional managing director of GMI North West, said: “There is no doubt that Manchester is the driving force for science, technology, and innovation in the North and for GMI to be a part of that, working alongside Bruntwood SciTech, is something we are immensely proud of.

“Not only will we create a world-class office space, but it will also be one which has sustainability at the heart.”

North West Evergreen Fund has supported the £42m scheme with a £32m senior loan. CBRE’s Investment Advisory team, part of CBRE Capital Advisors, manages the fund.

Andrew Antoniades, head of CBRE Lending said: “The Evergreen Fund has a long history of supporting Bruntwood SciTech in the creation of employment space and associated economic growth in the North West and this advanced lab space will help cement Greater Manchester’s ambitions as a life sciences leader.”

Deloitte is the planning consultant for the scheme. The project team also includes Arup, Hilson Moran, Gardiner and Theobald, and

Want to learn more about the project? Search for application number 125592/FO/2019 on Manchester City Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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One of those companies moved in 2020 from Manchester Science Park, which became a deserted dump, but at least the workers are much closer to Oxford Rd, as was the plan since 2015, with the improved transport links and hubris that scientists need around campus. Particularly as global pharma in business parks are usually out in the sticks.

By Anonymous

MSP is a better location though, traffic on Oxford Road is shocking


Yes another stylish building when it is completed and if you walk along the Hospital boulevard now that all the trees are more mature it compliments the location of the new building.

By Paul griffiths

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