Pre-lets lined up for Mayfield Quarter

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

London & Continental Railways is in talks with government tenants to take up to 430,000 sq ft of offices around Piccadilly Station in Manchester.

LCR revealed that talks were ongoing with the Government Property Unit as part of an announcement that it would be pooling land with Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester in order to unlock regeneration in the Mayfield area of the city.

David Joy, chief executive of LCR said: "We have made good progress up to this point, including discussions with Government Property Unit about government tenants taking pre-lets of up to 430,000 sq ft of office space, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure the successful delivery of a scheme which brings long term benefits to the local area."

The agreement will support plans for a mixed-use development known as the Mayfield Quarter, with 800,000 sq ft of offices, 1,300 homes, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a six-acre city park centred along a remediated River Medlock.

The partnership said it would be talking to a number of significant potential private sector developers and investors to bring around £750m of private sector expertise and finance to the project, prior to launching a procurement process.

The Mayfield Strategic Regeneration Framework, endorsed by Manchester City Council in January 2014, set out a vision for the 20-acre site to become "a distinctive urban quarter that defines a gateway into Manchester and extends the high quality environment of the city centre".

LCR owns a 6.2-acre site next to Piccadilly Station, including the former Mayfield railway depot.

The plan for the site fits alongside Network Rail's Northern Hub scheme which is scheduled to complete in 2018, and the proposed HS2 station at Piccadilly, which would be open by 2033 if plans to extend high-speed rail to the North West go ahead.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "The location and size of this site make it a sustainable location for growth and development and a logical progression in the growth of the city centre. Mayfield will complement the regeneration of the wider Piccadilly area, building on the opportunities created by HS2 and the Northern Hub, and act as a catalyst for further benefits."

The Mayfield Strategic Regeneration Framework was created by a professional team led by Bennetts Associates Architects.

LCR is wholly owned by the Department for Transport.

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