COLLABORATION

Citylabs expands with new hub for academic-industry collaboration

SOURCE: Bruntwood UK, MFT, MSP
Citylabs 4.0 is the newest planned phase to expand the Manchester Science Park to become a thriving hub for collaboration.

Manchester’s leading health innovation campus, Citylabs has just received planning approval for a new expansion which will cement the network’s presence as a thriving collaborative hub for genomics, digital health and precision medicine. 

Dubbed Citylabs 4.0, the new development worth £35 million will grow the existing Citylabs campus by 125,000 square feet. 

The health innovation campus development spanning several phases was thanks to a collaboration between business innovation workspace provider Bruntwood SciTech, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP).

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The first phase of the scheme, Citylabs 1.0, has grown to become a thriving hub for diagnostics, medtech, digital health and genomics businesses who are driving the future of medicine and healthcare. The space was developed through a joint venture partnership between MSP and MFT, the UK’s largest NHS provider. 

Meanwhile, in the second phase, Citylabs 2.0 is already underway. The £25 million facilitiy is under construction and the entire space has been already fully pre-let. Due to be completed this summer, it will be home to global diagnostics company Qiagen, who will base their European Hub for Diagnostics Development at the campus. 

As the latest addition in the Citylabs network, Citylabs 4.0 represents another step forward for Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district. 

It will be built at the south of the MFT Oxford Road campus and will be next to Citylabs 2.0, providing seven floors of office and lab space to serve as an avenue for revolutionary research which will be translated into new healthcare diagnostics and treatments which can be quickly adopted into Manchester’s health system. 

Businesses housed at Citylabs have convenient access to clinical and academic collaborators located on the campus as well as an extensive programme of business support including advice on funding sources, new markets, and professional services. 

These businesses will also benefit from the fresh talent pool generated from surrounding hospitals and the UK’s largest student population at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Citylabs
At times like this, more lab and collaborative facilities for medtech are crucial. Source: Thibault Savary/AFP.

“Manchester’s life science sector continues to thrive and continues to make a statement in being the place to be for startups, scale-ups and international companies in the sector to cluster together. We can facilitate direct collaboration with the NHS and the ability for companies to accelerate getting their product or service into the healthcare market faster, something truly unique to our city,” said MSP and Bruntwood SciTech managing director Tom Renn. 

“As evidenced by the current global health challenge, there has never been a more urgent time for strengthening and investing the UK life science sector and so we are extremely pleased that Citylabs 4.0 has had its planning consent approved, and look forward to continuing the creation of a world-leading health innovation hub at the campus.”  

“We welcome the very positive news that Citylabs 4.0 has received planning permission. At MFT, we are all rightly proud that the Citylabs approach has brought together NHS, academic and commercial sectors, completely in line with the UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy,” added Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) Director of Research and Innovation Professor Neil Hanley. 

“In the current trying circumstances, the importance of continual research and innovation becomes ever more obvious as we strive to make the new discoveries that benefit our patients, the public and UK economy.”

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In addition to becoming a new hub for the latest health science, medtech and diagnostics, the development of Citylabs 4.0 will also see sustainability measures being implemented as part of a commitment to becoming net-zero carbon by 2030. 

Citylabs 4.0 is designed by Sheppard Robson and Arup and Hilson Moran, with planning consultancy from Deloitte and cost consultancy by Gardiner and Theobald.