Manchester Metropolitan University has outlined proposals to extend the former student union building on Oxford Road into a 50,000 sq ft Institute of Sport, a project previously proposed to sit alongside Manchester City FC’s Etihad campus.
The four-storey red-brick building, next to Sidney Street and the Mancunian Way flyover, was vacated in 2015 when the university completed its new student union on Higher Cambridge Street.
Proposals designed by BDP would see the building partly demolished and refurbished, extending the size from its current 47,000 sq ft to 50,000 sq.
The scheme is near to MMU’s science and engineering campus on Oxford Road, which is also seeing a BDP-led refresh. Last month designs were revealed for a £45m science and engineering campus, set to replace the John Dalton West building next to Mancunian Way, with a planning application due in the New Year.
According to documents submitted to Manchester City Council, the location of the proposed Institute of Sport next to the Mancunian Way “has the potential to act as a visual gateway for the university”.
The scheme had been earmarked as part of the council’s Eastlands masterplan, as part of the creation of a sports campus around Manchester City FC’s arena. However the university announced earlier this summer it was looking at more affordable options within its existing campus in the city centre.
Internally, the refurbishment would see an expansion of research facilities already housed in the building, with a focus on biomechanics, physiology and anatomy, and musculoskeletal research.
There would also be offices, labs, and break out spaces. Access to the building would still be from Sidney Street.
The refurbishment of the Oxford Road site is part of the university’s planned expansion of its teaching within the sports sector, according to the application “more ambitious long term proposals will thereafter be accommodated within the university’s campus”, leaving the site open for potential further development.
Curtins and Deloitte are also advising on the application.