MIPIM 2015: Uni earmarked as Alderley tenant

Jessica Middleton-Pugh in Cannes

The University of Manchester is in talks with Manchester Science Partnerships to take space within the 400-acre Alderley Park in Cheshire to establish research facilities for its science students.

According to Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of Manchester University, "the University is almost certainly going to invest some of our facilities out at Alderley."

The space would be in addition to the university's current office within the park.

Rothwell was speaking alongside Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein at an event at the Manchester Villa on Tuesday 10 March, which focused on the impact of Manchester's successful bid to host the Euro Science Open Forum in 2016.

Creating what Rothwell called a "critical mass" in places such as Alderley Park and the Oxford Road corridor were deemed to be essential to attract the best scientists from across Europe to Manchester and the surrounding area.

Alderley Park is AstraZeneca's former R&D base site, which was acquired by a joint venture between Bruntwood and MSP in May 2014 after the pharmaceutical giant announced it was relocating operations to Cambridge.

Bruntwood and MSP announced a £30m capital investment into the park for the next three years at the earlier in the day at the morning Manchester MIPIM stand event, with a 300,000 sq ft innovation centre scheduled as the first development. The masterplan for the whole site is currently out for public consultation.

Speaking to Place North West after the event, Rowena Burns, chief executive of Manchester Sciences Partnerships confirmed talks were ongoing with the university although nothing was finalised yet. She described the prospect of the university taking space in the park as "significant for both the university and the businesses that could work alongside it".

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