The city council’s executive will meet next week to formally accept cash from the government’s Levelling Up Fund to pave the way for the conversion of two former market buildings on Liverpool Road into workspace for media and tech companies.
Last year, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities awarded Manchester City Council £19.8m from its £4.8bn Levelling Up fund.
A total of £17.5m will be passed on to developer Allied London to deliver the Campfield project, part of a wider council scheme called Culture in the City.
A report to the city council’s executive said Culture in the City will deliver “high-quality, affordable tech and creative work and production space in under-developed parts of the city centre.”
The Campfield development will see the grade two-listed Lower and Upper Campfield Market buildings revamped to provide 80,000 sq ft of flexible workspace for tech companies.
Campfield House, a 32,000 sq ft office block between the two listed buildings, also features within the proposals although plans to revamp this element will be paid for by Allied London directly.
In total, the Campfield project will see around 117,000 sq ft of workspace delivered.
The project is part of Allied’s wider St John’s neighbourhood, which includes Enterprise City.
Manchester City Council owns the two market buildings and has agreed to acquire Campfield House from Allied London on completion of the project.
All three buildings will then be leased back to the developer, which will operate Campfield under its All Work and Social brand.
“The project aims to broaden the creative and cultural infrastructure, which will support both the re-purposing and recovery of the city centre, and business start-up and skills development opportunities for local people within the creative sector,” the city council said.
The remaining £2.3m of Manchester’s Levelling Up Fund award will be used to redevelop three disused railway arches at HOME on Whitworth Street West into a talent development centre.
While Manchester’s Campfield Levelling Up bid was successful, another bid for £13.5m to revamp Withington Baths and create a new public square in the suburb was rejected.