Plans in for £350m engineering campus

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The University of Manchester has submitted its planning application for an extensive engineering campus within its Oxford Road site, designed by architect Mecanoo.

The 837,000 sq ft Manchester Engineering Campus is due to be built on Upper Brook Street next to the Manchester Aquatic Centre, by main contractor Balfour Beatty. The development is the largest project in the university’s ongoing £1bn masterplan programme.

MEC campus MecanooThe campus will encompass the University’s four engineering schools from engineering and physical sciences, including chemical engineering and mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering.

Plans includes the Manchester Engineering Campus Hall, a new-build Upper Brook Street Building, and a new-build York Street Building, as well as a corridor connected to the James Chadwick building, which is being reconfigured internally as part of the proposals.

The project also features outdoor event space and lawns.

When complete, four engineering schools and two research institutes from the faculty of engineering and physical sciences will be based at the new site.

Part of the scheme is being built on the former site of the Grosvenor halls of residence, which were demolished last year.

Completion is due in 2020.

MEC is believed to be one of the largest, single construction projects ever undertaken by a higher education institution in the UK.

According to the design and access statement submitted with the application, the vision is to “develop a campus which acts as both a gateway to the city and to the university, and which inspires future generation of engineers that pioneer discovery”.

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