Former BBC site earmarked for 1.2m sq ft of offices

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Bruntwood's plans for the former BBC Oxford Road site will be anchored by the 400,000 sq ft £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Materials Research & Innovation, according to a report set to be endorsed by Manchester City Council's executive committee.

A revised masterplan submitted to the council outlines plans for the nine-acre BBC site alongside Bruntwood's other landholdings next to the Mancunian Way and council sites around Upper Brook Street.

The scheme will be centred around two development zones, with an office core along Oxford Road including the Sir Henry Royce Institute and a further 800,000 sq ft of offices and research space. There would also be a 1,000-space car park.

The executive is due to meet on Tuesday 14 April.

The report to the executive said: "The Institute's development would provide 400,000 sq ft of cutting edge research space providing a major anchor at the site. Its location alongside the newly opened National Graphene Institute on Booth Street and the planned Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester, creates ideal conditions for collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas and development of commercial concepts."

The second development area would have a residential focus, with 650 apartments delivered across four towers, and two blocks earmarked for international student accommodation.

The site is set to include 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Bruntwood's acquisition of the nine-acre site from Realty Estates for an undisclosed sum was confirmed last month.

According to the report, a detailed planning application is due to be submitted in July 2015, with main works on site by the beginning of 2016. Bruntwood is expected to brand and hoard the site in the next two months.

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