Building: Student CastleArchitect: Hodder + PartnersLocation: Manchester

Bruntwood wins Oxford Road station brief

Bruntwood has been named preferred developer for the site around Manchester Oxford Road Station, following an 18-month tender process in which all other competitors dropped out of the race.

Network Rail and Manchester City Council launched the search for a developer in August 2014. The site has the potential for up to 500,000 sq ft of development including offices, hotel and residential, together with leisure and retail, on the Oxford Road and Whitworth Street West frontages.

A shortlist made up of Bruntwood, Muse Developments, Capital & Centric backed by Carillion, First Step and Valad emerged by December 2014, but by May 2015 only Bruntwood and Muse remained in the competition, and Muse dropped out in September.

Since the start of the tender process Bruntwood has been tipped as the likely winner, due to its involvement in various sites along Oxford Road, including the £750m redevelopment of the former BBC site which it is delivering in partnership with Select Property.

Bruntwood will now work with Network Rail and Bruntwood to agree a development framework for the site, which according to Bruntwood will “create an exciting mixed-use district that supports the growth of Manchester’s knowledge-based economy”.

Sheppard Robson is the architect for the project.

Proposals are expected to include improvements to the grade two-listed Oxford Road Station.

A statement from the development partners said: “Bruntwood, Network Rail and the Council are aligned to ensure that the redevelopment of this scheme and the Northern Hub proposals are developed strategically to both improve access to, and increase capacity of the station.”

Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, said: “The redevelopment of Oxford Road Station offers remarkable scope to create a mixed-use development of retail, commercial and residential accommodation. The site benefits from access to skills due to its location at the gateway to Corridor Manchester and the Central Business District, its transport connectivity and exceptional footfall.

“We’re also interested in the impact that the redevelopment will have in enhancing Oxford Road’s position as a gateway into the city, connecting people to the places that we’re creating, such as Circle Square, MSP Central and Citylabs and ultimately supporting Corridor Manchester in its aim of being a top five European innovation district.”

Your Comments

Yet another major redevelopment for a Manchester station.

Wonder if Liverpool Lime Street will get some replacement floor tiles any time soon, or before at least the station gets sold to private interests.

It would be fascinating to see the amount spent per person on transport in Manchester, versus elsewhere in the north.

By Mike

Great station…bags of character and some nifty history, too. Some scenes from the 1999 film The Matrix were filmed here and then CGI’d for effect.

By Lilt

I expect any improvements to the station will be cross-subsidised by the commercial development.

By PNW reader

Mike- you are comparing different sizes of crumbs when the south east get big slices of the cake!

By Gene Walker

i hope they don’t balls up the cobbled bit and the Salisbury pub.

By james graham

@Mike: That info is probably available. However, the real comparison is how much is spent per capita in London versus the rest of the North of England combined.

By Matt

@Matt, no, that isn’t the real comparison at all. The real comparison is how much has been spend on transport infrastructure in Manchester over the past thirty years, versus how much has been spent in Liverpool. And from there, the real comparison is how Manchester’s economy is doing today, after all that investment, versus how Liverpool’s economy is doing today. The real comparison is two neighbouring northern cities, each very much alike in size and history, one being encouraged and supported to thrive, while the other one receiving kick after kick after kick.

By Mike

Investment in the station complex itself is long overdue. While a beautiful modernist building, it’s shrouded from view by clutter and the geography of the concourses / platforms (such as they are) are sub-optimal. The station is already over capacity and can be quite unpleasant in a crush. With the Northern hub extensions and the extra trains p/h – including Liverpool (currently 5 p/h), expansion is not only warranted but vital.
That Network Rail, Bruntwood and MCC are digging in to get this done is to be applauded. They will also unlock a huge tranche of prime development land in a district of the city that is already going stratospheric. As any honest regular commuter on the Liverpool branch would be able to testify.
Either side of the track from Old Trafford / Pomona / Castlefield / Whitworth West /Owen Street / Great Jackson Street / Cambridge Street right through to the station stop, money is begetting money – they would be fools not to make the most of the opportunity

By Intercity

No Mike, that is not the real comparison. The real comparison is how every single regeneration programme over 80-odd years has disproportionately favoured Merseyside and the economic benefit they undoubtedly had on the city; how Liverpool had its hugely expensive underground loop and link lines paid for, not because they made economic sense but as an extra ordinary example of government largesse when the comparable Picc-Vicc scheme in Manchester was cancelled; how Merseyrail remains the most heavily subsidised franchise in the country when Metrolink more than covers its own operating costs; how Merseytram was killed by bad planning, incompetence and political infighting whilst GMPTE got on and worked out how to deliver its Metrolink extensions even jumping through the imposed congestion charging hoop to arrive at a better and substantially locally-funded solution.

You’re barking up the wrong tree here. What were talking about is a commercially-led and cross subsidised refurbishment. Not, the grant-seeking model they are institutionally pre-disposed to in Merseyside.

By Mavis

@Mavis, if you think all of Manchester’s transport infrastructure investment has been earned by the people of the city, rather than funded by government, then all that can be said about you is that you are believing your own hype. The only think people in Liverpool want is a level playing field and help attract private investment to our own economy, rather than deterring it through skewed investment decisions. If Oxford Road development is at all private sector funded, that in itself is only as a result of decades of central government support for the Greater Manchester economy, in the form of billions of pounds of continuing investment, providing impetus and attraction for any such private monies. It’s not rocket science.

By Mike

I think in fairness to point out that all the Merseyrail Stations in Central Liverpool have or are being refurbished in the past 5 years and in 17/18 Lime Street will have a major upgrade with more platforms and improved layout.

In the same way Metrolink was achieved and Merseytram wasn’t the same can be said for the loop/link and Picc-Vicc. Merseyside got their scheme through before funding dried up in the late 70s. To critise the subsidy for Merseyrail is out of context with the changes to population, economy, planning and Public Transport (de-regulation) espcially in the 80s which justified its constuction in the 70s, something that hasn’t happend to the business case of Metrolink which is why it still stacks up.

It might be subisided but its very well used, the most outside London and is vital for the City Centre economy and brings wider benefits economic and non-economic which is surely what subsidy is for.

The question is NW v SE investment in transport not Liverpool v Manchester.

By stating the obvious

Mike Manchester’s infrastructure pays for itself, though Merseyrail is heavily subsidised.

By Academic

I guess the billions to pay for it all came out of council tax… I guess the millions to maintain it and renew it will all come out of council tax and fares… Comments coming only months after your city was awarded yet more for a £300 million plus additional line.

You’re masters of making two faced arguments based on parochial supremacism, and this is the only accolade you merit.

By Mike

Merseyrail is “subsidised” by Merseytravel’s own tunnels

By syntax

That’s a fallacy. Simply money coming out of different pots.

What is also not considered in that calculation is that Merseyrail has to pay substantial track access charges. In effect the vast majority of that “subsidy” goes straight back into a government department.

By Mike

Sorry I’m not quite sure what Mike is complaining about specifically. If it’s a general moan about the competence of the authorities in Merseyside to deliver then fair enough. Otherwise, moaning about investment in Manchester makes little sense since the same pots of funding with the same criteria apply to Manchester, as they do to Liverpool, as they do to anywhere else, the difference being any European funding component (and any government matched funding) disproportionately benefits Merseyside due to its greater deprivation and Objective 1 status. Moreover, that the city benefitted enormously in the 70s and 80s when infrastructure investment was less rigorous and more arbitrary, is conveniently ignored!

Metrolink more than covers its operative costs through fare revenue. It is not subsidised by the government, unlike Merseyrail. The Trafford Park line is being funded via a loan agreed through the devolution deal and paid back via an Earn Back mechanism. This method is open to anywhere else. Mike’s comments not only make no sense, they come across as sour grapes.

By Mavis

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