Manchester College set to start £100m campus this year

The college has completed a deal for 3.3 acres of land at the former Boddington’s Brewery and is looking to choose a contractor for the 215,000 sq ft first phase later this year.

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 will be brought forward on a phased basis; the first will focus on an area bounded by Great Ducie Street and Trinity Way; this will include a building of between six and eight storeys and totalling 215,000 sq ft.

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.

While the college is fully committed to this first phase, a second phase totalling 107,600 sq ft could also come forward, depending on the college’s longer-term needs and requirements, on a site to the north of the first phase.

Manchester College is already looking for a construction partner for the first phase with tenders due to be returned this month; a construction partner is likely to be announced following the tender process with works to start later this year.

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. An addendum to the SRF, including the plans for the college, are due to be signed off by the council’s executive next week; a public consultation on the plans will follow in the coming months.

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.

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