GMI starts £42m Manchester laboratory

Citylabs 4.0 has been designed by Sheppard Robson

Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General, is investing in specialist lab and office space at the Citylabs cluster within Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s (MFT) Oxford Road campus.

With the site having undergone enabling works since early this year, contractor GMI Construction Group has been appointed to build the Sheppard Robson-designed development. The project team also includes Arup, Hilson Moran, Gardiner & Theobald and Layers.

Citylabs 4.0 will offer space designed to support companies working in precision medicine, including those in diagnostics, genomics, biotech, medtech and digital health. It is expected to open in spring 2025.

The £42m seven-storey development incorporates infrastructure to accommodate CL2 labs and specialist equipment, including increased floor loading, enhanced cooling systems and ventilation provisions, and a large platform lift.

The development of Citylabs 4.0 is the third phase in the Citylabs masterplan and takes the campus from 192,000 sq ft to 327,000 sq ft.

Citylabs 4.0 is expected to achieve net zero carbon in construction and operation in its shared spaces and will be 100% electric. It is targeted to be EPC A and have 208 sqm of solar panels. The building’s cladding system will be made from 75% recycled end-of-life aluminium (post-consumer scrap).

The development of Citylabs 4.0 is supported by a £32m senior loan from the North West Evergreen Fund, managed by CBRE’s investment advisory team.

GMI North West divisional managing director Marc Banks said: “There is no doubt that Manchester is the driving force for science, technology and innovation in the north and for GMI to be a part of that, working alongside Bruntwood SciTech, is something we are immensely proud of. Not only will we create a world class office space, but it will also be one which has sustainability at the heart.”

Bruntwood SciTech life sciences director Kath Mackay 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 under way 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.”

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