Delayed campus rebuild moves forward in Fallowfield

The University of Manchester is progressing talks with contractors to deliver the first phase of the £250m Owens Park rebuild, which stalled after the university and investor Mubadala Development Company ended their development agreement earlier this year.

According to a statement from the university, it has selected five companies to tender following an evaluation of pre-qualification questionnaire submissions.

The first phase of the scheme 1,122 student bedrooms in eight blocks, warden accommodation, a student amenity block, and construction of replacement facilities for the University’s central catering unit.

Planning permission was granted by Manchester City Council in December 2015 for the Owens Park masterplan, designed by BDP. However, in May the university announced it had “mutually agreed not to proceed” with its deal with Abu Dhabi investor Mubadala, selected in December 2014, after construction inflation prompted a rethink.

The university said it has opted to self-fund phase one of the scheme, and has reset its overall development budget for the project to £245m, compared to £175m in late 2014.

The appointment of a design and build contractor will be under a pre-construction arrangement in early 2017, with a view to starting on site during summer 2017.

The accommodation is now scheduled to complete by September 2019, a year after the previous scheduled finish date of September 2018.

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