Vinoly graphene centre on the blocks at Manchester planning meeting
The £60m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, a £75m private hospital next to Manchester Royal Infirmary, a 110,000 sq ft office refurbishment and a 180-bedroom hotel are all expected to be approved next week by Manchester City Council.
At The University of Manchester’s North Campus, Rafael Vinoly Architects has designed a three-storey building on the site of the Faraday building.
The 90,500 sq ft block will be a research and development facility focusing on the practical applications of graphene and other 2D materials.
The GEIC will be one of several buildings in Manchester dedicated to graphene and 2D material research, alongside the £61m National Graphene Institute, which opened in 2015, and the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Materials Research & Innovation, set to be built within the University of Manchester’s Oxford Road campus.
The scheme is set to complete in 2017.
The GEIC will be partially funded by £15m from the Higher Education Funding Council England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, £5m from Innovate UK and £30m from Masdar; the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company owned by Mubadala. The remaining £10m will be provided by other research funds and institutions.
Manchester City Council’s planning committee will meet to discuss the scheme on Thursday 4 February.
At the same meeting, the committee will also consider plans for a 130,000 sq ft Nuffield Health private hospital and wellbeing centre on Manchester Metropolitan University’s former Elizabeth Gaskell campus complex.
Nuffield Health purchased the campus from MMU in July 2015, and took possession of the site in September. The five-acre site will provide scope for a wide range of facilities in the hospital, including rehabilitation and preventative health services.
The facility, designed by Pozzoni, aims to be “one of the most modern and technologically advanced tertiary hospitals in the UK”, according to Nuffield.
Nuffield Health currently operates 31 other hospitals across the country.
The three-storey building will be made up of 30 consultation rooms, 60 patient en-suite bedrooms, eight critical care beds, six operating theatres, and a diagnostic imaging suite. A rehabilitation gym with physiotherapy facilities will also be provided.
The hospital is scheduled to open in early 2018.
Meanwhile, Property Alliance Group’s plans for the redevelopment of 55 Portland Street in Manchester city centre are also expected to receive sign-off.
Designed by Stephenson Studio, the developer has outlined proposals for the refurbishment of the 13-storey office block currently on the site, adding an extra story and an extension to deliver 110,000 sq ft of space. Next door to the tower, Alliance is seeking permission to build a 180-bedroom hotel to be operated by Park Plaza. The development will also include a casino and retail units on the ground floor.
According to a report submitted to the council alongside the planning application, the Park Plaza hotel will deliver an “upscale hotel brand for business and leisure travellers”.