• Third Phase of Life Sciences Infrastructure Plan commences
    Citylabs 4.0 (Credit: Bruntwood SciTech)

News & Views

Third Phase of Life Sciences Infrastructure Plan commences

Oct 16 2023

Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General dedicated to growth of the science and technology sector, has started work on a £42 million lab and office workspace project at the internationally significant Citylabs health innovation cluster in Manchester.

Citylabs 4.0, a seven-storey development located within Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s (MFT) Oxford Road Campus, will offer highly specialist space to support companies working in precision medicine, including those in diagnostics, genomics, biotech, medtech and digital health. It is the third phase in the Citylabs masterplan taking the campus from 192,000 sq ft to 327,000 sq ft; it is expected to achieve net zero carbon in construction and operation in its shared spaces and will be 100% electrical.

As well as providing an infrastructure with CL2 labs, specialist equipment and enhanced environmental provision, companies have access to 100GB superfast connectivity, shared breakout and event spaces as well as café and supermarket facilities.

As a joint venture between Bruntwood SciTech and MFT, Citylabs life science and healthcare businesses can have direct access to and collaboration with the UK’s largest NHS Trust. Support packages include R&D and funding support, opportunities to participate in joint clinical trials, sample supply schemes, diagnostic collaborations and medtech adoption. They can also access the world-class talent and research capabilities of MFT, the University of Manchester, and Manchester Metropolitan University.

As well as being surrounded by some of the UK’s most eminent teaching hospitals including the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary, world-class research centres including Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, The University of Manchester Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre are nearby.

Citylabs is located in the heart of the Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, home to 50% of the city’s life science businesses and is Europe’s largest clinical academic campus, generating around £3bn GVA each year.

Dr Kath Mackay, Director of Life Sciences at Bruntwood SciTech said: “There has never been a greater opportunity for the UK and Manchester to support the life science sector as there is currently by investing in the much needed specialist lab space and infrastructure companies need to scale and collaborate. Manchester’s life science ecosystem continues to thrive and at Citylabs through our partnership with MFT, we can provide businesses with direct access into the NHS and have tests and treatments adopted at a faster pace and scale here more than anywhere else, resulting in improved healthcare for the people of Manchester and wider region.

“As the Citylabs campus approaches its 10th anniversary, we’re excited to get underway with Citylabs 4.0 and look forward to welcoming new businesses to this community and world-leading hub for health innovation, and continuing to enhance the city’s knowledge economy and private, academic and clinical collaboration opportunities.” 

With enabling works already in place Contractor GMI Construction Group has been appointed to build the Sheppard Robson-designed development. Local teams also working on the project include Arup, Hilson Moran, Gardiner and Theobald, and Layers. It is expected to open in Spring 2025. The development is supported by a £32m senior loan from the North West Evergreen Fund, managed by CBRE’s Investment Advisory team, which is part of CBRE Capital Advisors. 

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