Manchester moves forward with Noma extension

The council is consulting on proposals to expand the office component of the mixed-use scheme north of the city centre to 1.6m sq ft from 1m sq ft currently, by bringing forward additional plots for development.

In particular, three plots named H,K and Q are earmarked to provide a further 620,000 sq ft of office space to meet future demand and “strengthen Noma’s position as an emerging commercial, creative and digital hub”, Manchester City Council said.

The council’s cabinet approved an updated strategic regeneration framework for the 20-acre Noma close to Victoria station at the end of June and will now consult with the public until 29 September.

“Optimising underutilised areas is a key priority with the focus on bringing forward commercial development supported by new and integrated public realm on Plots H, K and Q which have the potential to deliver 620,000 sq ft of office floorspace collectively,” the consultation prepared by planning consultancy Deloitte Real Estate said.

Plot Q was originally earmarked to house a multistorey car park, but Noma’s “high levels of connectivity, particularly being situated next to Victoria Station” renders the car park less crucial, the document states.

Plot K has been being tipped for offices in the updated masterplan, but the document notes that a hotel and/or multistorey car park could also be feasible on this site.

Meanwhile, an additional pedestrian crossing is proposed on Miller Street, deemed “absolutely key” to delivering the planned 4 and 5 Angel Square office blocks at the heart of the Noma estate.

Noma has been masterplanned previously to provide 2.5m sq ft of new-build and renovated office space, together with housing – including Moda Living’s under-construction 36-storey residential scheme Angel Gardens – as well as public realm, retail and leisure.

The scheme is being delivered by Federated Hermes, an entity of asset manager Hermes Investment Management.

So far, around 563,000 sq ft of office space is either build or in construction, including the refurbishment of the Dutch modernist-style Redfern building, Hanover House, where Amazon has opened its first UK headquarters outside of London, the Dantzic building, and the 1 and 2 Angel Square office building. A contractor was appointed for the latest office block, 4 Angel Square, last month.

In addition, 7,500 sq ft of leisure space has been provided, 458 homes to rent, and a new public square in Sadler’s Yard.

“The updated strategic regeneration framework will look to build on opportunities to improve the connections to adjacent areas, including the Green Quarter, New Cross and Ancoats, as well as the emerging neighbourhoods of the Northern Gateway and links to Victoria Station,” the council said.

Cllr Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The updated plan for NOMA is to build on the success of the area and meet the potential of a key gateway site into the city centre.

“The neighbourhood has already brought about some incredibly exciting, sustainable architecture in No1 Angel Square, as well as bringing back into use some important heritage buildings.

“The challenge will be to emulate that success and drive the ambition for future investment to create new commercial space, new homes and continue the goal of excellent place making –  at a crucial time for the city’s economic recovery following Covid-19.”

Lyons Thompson Letts Property Consultants and Colliers are joint retail and leisure agents for Noma, while JLL and Colliers are the office agents. Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture is heritage consultant.

The consultation document can be found here.


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