The University of Manchester has formally started the hunt for a development partner for the 26-acre former UMIST campus, which will now be known as ID Manchester.
The University has been looking to develop the site for some time having identified the site for disposal in its estate strategy in 2010. A public consultation on its future was held in early 2017, while CBRE was appointed in September that same year to draw up a delivery strategy.
Under the latest plans, the University has launched a prior information notice to drum up market interest before formally launching a tender via OJEU; this is understood to be in March or April this year.
The University’s vision for the site could comprise up to 3.5m sq ft of mixed-use space including large areas of public realm. The focus will be on attracting science, research, development, cultural, and tech companies, as well as providing residential space.
According to the University, the development is projected to generate up to £2bn over the next 20 years and will create up to 6,000 jobs.
The area already benefits from an existing strategic regeneration framework, drawn up by Bennetts Associates in 2017, but the University said “there may be scope to revisit the SRF to reflect recent market changes and to align with the University’s current vision”.
The move could see a large number of buildings demolished; only the Victorian Sackville Building at the edge of the campus and railway viaduct through the centre are listed and the 1960s buildings may or may not be retained. The Sackville Building has already been identified as one that could be repurposed by a development partner.
Diana Hampson, director of estates and facilities of The University of Manchester said: “We are at the beginning of an exciting journey as we look forward to finding a partner to help us deliver our vision for an outstanding new community, on the last site of its size and scale yet to be developed in the city centre.
“ID Manchester will build upon the proud history of bold ideas, discovery and invention established by the University here. It will attract the most forward-thinking, like-minded individuals and businesses with the chance to establish their UK HQ, start up or scale up their company, take on and benefit from disruptive technologies and ideas or simply come and enjoy this inspirational space.”