Manchester Metropolitan University has selected Kier to deliver 491 student apartments on the final plot of its Birley Fields masterplan with work set to get under way next spring, Place North West understands.
The contractor has been chosen by MMU to build the blocks which range between 16 and six storeys, and is set to start in spring 2019 and complete a two-year build programme in 2021.
The site, known as Plot E, sits close to the Hulme Arch on Stretford Road and has already been cleared. Plans for the project were given the green light by Manchester City Council last week.
Designed by architect GWP, the project features a series of connected blocks wrapping around the site’s perimeter. The tallest elevation will overlook Princess Road at 16 storeys, while the Stretford Road elevation will be the smallest at six storeys.
The elevation facing Stonelow Close will be around 11 storeys, and there will also be a central core accessed from the Bonsall Road side; this will house shared social spaces.
A £27.5m tender was issued by MMU in summer 2017 for the delivery of the Plot E building, at which point it was intended to comprise around 475 units. The enlarged scheme went before a Places Matter design review panel last autumn then underwent public consultation between March and July this year.
The professional team includes Deloitte Real Estate as planner, Curtins as structural engineer, CPW on M&E and environmental services and Altor Fire as fire engineer. GWPA is also responsible for the scheme’s landscape architecture.
The £139m Birley Fields campus was opened in 2014, following the decision by MMU to streamline its estate from seven sites to two.
The land was donated by Manchester City Council, with the 15-acre campus designed to accommodate 6,000 students and 500 staff, with 1,200 student accommodation spaces. The main building is the 250,000 sq ft Faculty of Education & Health, Psychology & Social Care, designed by Sheppard Robson.
So far, the University has delivered nearly 1,000 bed spaces at the site. MMU confirmed the project’s delivery timescales when contacted by Place North West.