Manchester has seen a massive level of development over the last decade. In the process the city centre has expanded both outwards and upwards, and land uses have changed considerably from those in the city’s past. So now might be a good time to look at the type of scheme that might be pursued over the next ten or twenty years, and which might shape the city’s future. In this report we will look more closely at one major scheme which is currently being proposed – ID Manchester.
ID Manchester is a University of Manchester proposal to redevelop its North Campus site on the south east corner of the city centre. The university is proposing to create a new innovation district – or what the university calls a ‘dynamic, world-class community with innovation, collaboration and enterprise at its heart’. Their vision is to attract technology and science-related businesses in specialities which combine the research and industrial strengths of the university. Bearing in mind the strengths of the university these are likely to be in areas such as advanced materials, applied health innovation, artificial intelligence and digital technology, and industrial biotechnology.
ID Manchester is estimated to be a project of £1.5bn value overall. It is suggested that the 10.5ha site could provide 3.5m sq.ft. of mixed use space, plus public realm, and ultimately support 6,000 jobs.
Location is one of the key aspects of this scheme. It is one of the very few development sites of this scale so close to Manchester city centre. It is highly accessible, being just a few minutes walk from the city centre and Manchester’s Piccadilly main railway station – where HS2 will connect in future. It also bounded by major routes including the A57(M) Mancunian Way urban motorway, the A6 and A34.
To the east of the site is the Mayfield area, currently largely run down but scheduled for major regeneration over the next
10-20 years. Proposals for the £1.1bn development at Mayfield include 75,000m² of commercial space, hotels and retail, 1,300 homes and a new public park. To the south west of the site is Circle Square, a redevelopment of the former BBC site which is already well underway for completion in 2023. This project is providing 1.1m sq.ft. of residential and commercial space, a hotel and public realm. Beyond that is Oxford Road where the majority of Manchester’s academic buildings are located.