Manchester Science Partnerships, which operates science and technology campuses, has been awarded an £18.5m loan for the Citylabs 2.0 development in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district.
Building on the success of the Citylabs 1.0 biomedical centre of excellence, Citylabs 2.0 is a 92,000 sq ft laboratory and office facility. It is being developed for Manchester Science Partnerships by Bruntwood, its majority shareholder, and is a joint venture partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).
The development, alongside Citylabs 3.0, is part of a £60m further expansion on Europe’s largest clinical-academic campus. It offers laboratory workspace for health and medical technology businesses, focusing on creating a UK hub for innovations in predictive and preventative medicine.
The location of Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will enable health and medical technology companies to develop and co-create new therapeutic and diagnostic health products in collaboration with the NHS and academic research facilities.
The funding includes £12.5m from Evergreen 2, the first loan facility to be made from the new £45m fund which is supported by the 2014-20 European Regional Development Fund programme. The balance was provided by the original North West Evergreen Fund, and will be used to finance the construction costs, professional fees and expenses of Citylabs 2.0. The deal was announced during a presentation on the evolution of the Citylabs campus at the Manchester pavilion at MIPIM, the international real estate event in Cannes, France.
Tom Renn, managing director of Manchester Science Partnerships said: “At Citylabs 2.0 we are committed to creating a world-leading hub for biomedical innovation and discovery and this funding from Evergreen 2 means we can soon begin construction work on the first stage of our plan to expand the campus in partnership with MFT.
“The success of Citylabs 1.0 has underlined the strong demand from global biomedical and precision medicine companies to locate and grow in Greater Manchester. The city region’s £6bn devolved healthcare budget, its world class universities, skilled talent pool and strong track record of academic, clinical and commercial partnerships has made us a gateway for healthcare entrepreneurs, which we are looking to support with this development.”
Sir Michael Deegan, group chief executive of MFT said: “The development at Citylabs 2.0 will further increase the interaction between our hospitals, staff and patients with industry to help to develop the diagnostics and treatments of the future. It is essential that the NHS and industry work closely together, co-creating solutions to address real gaps in the technology and services we need to constantly improve the treatment outcomes for our patients.”
Andrew Antoniades, senior director, CBRE Investment Advisory, added: “We are delighted to have provided the funding for this strategically vital scheme, the first for Evergreen 2. Traditional clearing banks remain averse to lending outside of core areas or where significant pre-lets have not been agreed. There is therefore an opportunity for alternative lenders like Evergreen 2 to achieve attractive returns whilst simultaneously acting as the catalyst for developments that will have wide reaching socio-economic benefits for the region in the long-term.”
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