The Base MSP

MSP advances plans for 80,000 sq ft tech hub

MSP has moved forward with plans to redevelop the Base building at Manchester Science Park into an 80,000 sq ft hub for materials science, engineering, and energy tech.

Designed by architect Russell Bridge, the plans will see the existing Base knocked down and replaced with a five-storey, 80,000 sq ft building, providing workspace targeted at computer engineering, energy technology, light manufacturing, and materials science businesses.

This will include workshop space, meeting rooms, co-working and serviced offices, along with larger office suites on the upper floors. The area around Base will also be redeveloped to provide green space and enhanced public realm, connecting the building with the other elements of Manchester Science Park.

MSP, a partnership including Bruntwood SciTech, Manchester City Council, and the University of Manchester, is behind the plans, which have now been put forward to the council.

These are expected to go before committee in December, and subject to approval, the scheme is set to complete by the end of 2021. The project is described as a £21m investment by MSP.

Manchester Science Park benefits from a strategic regeneration framework, which was signed off by the city council earlier this month.

MSP has already acquired several plots to bring forward future development around the science park, including the City South Storage Depot and the Rippon Street car park. Future phases include a multi-storey car park, commercial labs and workspace, along with purpose-built student accommodation on the vacant McDougall Centre site.

Tom Renn, managing director of MSP, said: “Our planned investment of £21m is a clear statement of our commitment to creating sustainable, future-focused workspaces that support, enable, and nurture innovative businesses.

“We have a fast-growing cluster of ambitious, highly-innovative businesses already based at the campus, and there are some brilliant products, services and devices that have already been created. We wait in anticipation of the next generation of companies and innovations that will be created in Manchester and exported to the world.

“The engineering, energy technology, and light manufacturing sectors have not yet had their workspace design revolution with spaces specifically designed to their needs, so they’ll be able to find these at Base together with the specialist business support required to help them grow their businesses.

“In further advancing our deployment of new technology at Manchester Science Park, our campus continues to be a test bed for new innovation, boosting the region’s standing as a leader in the field of smart cities and implementation and evolvement of new technologies, and cementing the park’s position as an outstanding location to start and scale a tech company.”

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Fantastic! I’d love to see the redevelopment of the site happen a bit quicker! It would also be good to see it become more publicly accessible and less like a business park. A couple of cafe/restaurant units perhaps.

By Bif