UK Biobank eyes Manchester Science Park move
The biomedical research company plans to take half of a proposed 133,000 sq ft new-build R&D facility at Bruntwood SciTech’s innovation campus, Place North West understands.
Late last year, Manchester City Council announced it was updating the Manchester Science Park Strategic Regeneration Framework due to interest from an “internationally significant” anchor tenant.
The updated SRF proposes the demolition of the Greenheys Building and the creation of a new-build six-storey facility.
It is understood that UK Biobank is now in talks to occupy the building.
The company is currently based in Stockport and announced last year that it intended to move to Manchester.
Having secured around £30m from UK Research and Innovation in June 2022, UK Biobank chief executive Sir Rory Collins said: “This transformative funding will help create a state-of-the-art facility, based in Manchester, and enable UK Biobank to meet the exponential demand from UK and international researchers and unlock further industry investment.”
Since 2006, UK Biobank has been collecting genomic data from 500,000 volunteers as part of a long-term study into disease development and population health.
In a 2020 report, the government described this project as one of its headline initiatives as the UK bids to be a global leader in the field of genetics and genomics.
The updated MSP SRF states: “The company needs to relocate from its existing premises due to the need for more modern storage, more specialist laboratory facilities, and to be closer to the University of Manchester for collaborative research opportunities and talent attraction and retention.”
If the move to MSP goes ahead, the company would work with the University of Manchester, Health Innovation Manchester, and the Medicines Discovery Catapult, according to the updated SRF.
Bruntwood SciTech, UK Biobank, and Manchester City Council declined to comment.
At present, MSP comprises 320,000 sq ft of office and lab space and is 97% let. The complex generates £3bn GVA a year, according to the council.
The Greenheys redevelopment would be the latest phase of MSP to come forward. Earlier this year, work completed on the 91,000 sq ft Base Building.