Vision for former Manchester Eye Hospital gets go-ahead

Posted on by John Cronin

Conversion plans for the former Manchester Eye Hospital have been given the go-ahead by Manchester City Council.

Manchester Eye HospitalPlans for a speculative, commercial scheme to convert the former eye hospital in Oxford Road, Manchester were submitted just before Christmas 2010.

The scheme is a joint venture between commercial property developer and office provider Bruntwood and Manchester Science Parks (msp). The companies plan to convert the Grade II Listed building into a 100,000 sq ft centre for biotech and medical technology companies with the aim of creating 450 jobs and adding £61m to the city’s economy. The scheme is already generating pre-let enquiries from biomedical companies.

The speculative development, branded as FREH, will include teaching rooms, wet labs, research facilities and flexible office space with shared services. The existing building is to be converted and a new 5-storey extension is to be constructed. Consent for the demolition of 3 existing rear wings of the building was also granted.

Floor space within the project will be specifically marketed at startup biotech firms. The proposed scheme includes a “MedTech Centre” that will offer flexible office space, a shared reception area and serviced office facilities. There will also be a communal area offering breakout areas, meeting rooms and a cafe.

Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood said: ‘The development of the former Royal Eye Hospital is a great project for Bruntwood. We’re looking forward to working with msp and using our development expertise to help the city fulfil its potential’.

Architects for the scheme are Sheppard Robson. Construction is expected to commence this spring and a completion date of summer 2012 is expected.

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