Manchester College October 2019 6
The plans include a centre of excellence on Great Ducie Street

LTE Group secures £140m campus funding

Chloé Vaughan

Developer LTE Group has secured finance on behalf of The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester for the redevelopment of the college’s Great Ducie Street campus on the former Boddington’s site, and the Openshaw Campus regeneration.

The scheme is funded by between LTE Group, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and Manchester City Council, with bank funding from Santander.

LTE Group is the parent of both The Manchester College, a further education provider, and UCEN Manchester, and the higher education provider, but the two projects will be shared spaces.

Following the signing of funding agreements between the parties and LTE Group, the developer will now commence plans for the opening phase of the project – the construction of a centre of excellence for the creative and digital industries on Great Ducie Street, facing Manchester Arena. This will be a shared space for both academic institutions.

The site is planned to hold around 200,000 sq ft of education space focused on the creative and performing arts. It will include facilities such as a theatre, film studios, music practice rooms, student hubs, IT suites, a hair and beauty training salon, and a photography studio.

Avison Young is planning consultant for the SimpsonHaugh and Bond Bryan-designed campus, and Wilmott Dixon is main contractor for the first phase. The project is set to be delivered in 2022.

Meanwhile, the overhaul of The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester’s Openshaw campus, designed by Reiach & Hall, includes a four-storey sports hall, gym, exercise studio, strength and conditioning studio, and classrooms, along with an artificial turf football pitch and extension to the existing Whitworth House.

Other existing properties, including the Westlands Building, Nursery Building and a single-storey engineering workshop, will be cleared to make way for the scheme.

BDP, Hoare Lea, Scott Hughes Design, Rider Levett Bucknall, Pearson Fraser, Brookes Ecological, Orion Heritage and SK Transport Planning are working on the Openshaw campus.

PwC’s debt advisory team oversaw the funding process and Addleshaw Goddard advised LTE Group on future debt facilities.

John Thornhill, chief executive of LTE Group, said: “Our £140m investment into the region’s future generations will transform education and skills, benefiting one million Mancunians over the course of its lifetime.”

“This is one of a series of investments the group is making to support local industrial strategies, inclusive of growth and local communities.”

Cllr Luthfur Rahman, executive member for culture, leisure and skills at Manchester City Council, said: “It’s also great to know that a site that once housed an iconic part of Manchester’s past, the Boddington’s Brewery, will make such an important contribution to [the city’s] future.”

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