Manchester Science Park
The Russell Bridge-designed building has won planning permission from the council

MSP to start building Base tech hub

Sarah Townsend

The partnership behind Manchester Science Park has been granted consent to build an 80,000 sq ft technology hub, and plans to start on site in the coming months.

MSP, which comprises Bruntwood SciTech, Manchester City Council and the University of Manchester, plans to knock down the existing Base building at Manchester Science Park and replace it with a five-storey building providing workspace targeted at computer engineering, energy technology, light manufacturing and materials science businesses.

The project forms the second phase of the planned redevelopment of the science park between Princess Road and the A34 from Manchester city centre, a regeneration framework for which was signed off by the council last September.

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.

The Base project is described as a £21m investment by MSP. Designed by Russell Bridge architects, the five-storey scheme is expected to be delivered by the end of 2021.

The scheme will provide a dedicated ‘MakerSpace’ on the ground floor, comprising workshop space to produce prototypes or modify existing products, along with a lounge and other break-out spaces, meeting rooms and a roof terrace.

The area around Base will be redeveloped to provide green space and relaxation areas. There will also be secure bike storage and electric charging points, under the plans.

Thomas Renn, managing director of MSP, said: “Base forms the next phase of our masterplan to expand Manchester Science Park to 1 million square feet, and is testament to our confidence in the ongoing expansion of Manchester’s knowledge and innovation economy.

“We are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, with growing need from [companies] for specialist workspaces that meet the requirements of their product creation and business growth.”

Manchester Science Partnerships has completed the first phase of the science park, including its flagship 70,000 sq ft Bright building designed by BDP and developed by Bruntwood, in 2017.

The Bright building sits at the heart of the park and features a ground floor given over to communal space to serve as a central hub for the 150-plus science and technology businesses within the park and wider Manchester Corridor enterprise zone.

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