General Projects gives 350,000 sq ft Manchester office scheme a makeover
Approved in 2020, the proposed five-building Electric Park in New Islington has undergone a drastic rethink in terms of its aesthetic, while more amenities have also been added to the scheme under revised plans.
General Projects is seeking fresh planning consent for the 350,000 sq ft all-electric office campus, having opted to swap out the modern industrial aesthetic – originally proposed through the use of coloured aluminium cladding, glazed windows, and expressed structural elements – for a more traditional look.
The facades will now be brick to “complement the local vernacular and remove external circulation”, according to General Projects.
While the appearance of the buildings is the biggest departure from the original consent, other changes have been made following an evaluation of current customer trends and workforce needs that are driving market demand in office space.
- Changes to the location of main entrances to each building to provide greater diversity of ground floor amenities for the public, visitors and customers
- Alterations to the internal layout, including the building cores, to enhance flexibility
- Addition of new amenity offerings, including an auditorium, customer lounges, coworking provision, cafes, and an on-site gym.
The project team for the development remains unchanged with Deloitte advising on planning and Hawkins\Brown leading on design.
Ben Cross, development director at General Projects, said: “The updated plans demonstrate our ongoing commitment to deliver a people-centric and planet-friendly development at Electric Park with a revised approach that delivers greater benefits to the local area.
“Adopting this approach has influenced not only the design of the buildings at Electric Park, but also what they will provide for the people of New Islington. At a time when the way we think about the future of work is changing rapidly, we need to continue to push exemplary standards in terms of experience and efficiency.”
This is not the first time tweaks have been made to the Electric Park proposals. In 2022, General Projects made a host of changes to the approved scheme to make the project more “adaptable and commercially robust”.
General Projects, which recently acquired Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool in partnership with NEO, wants to be on site this year.
The developer has adopted a ‘Manchester-first’ procurement policy, with at least 25% of supply chain spend in Greater Manchester.