Options study for the University of Manchester’s North Campus
Steer Economic Development was appointed by the University of Manchester to develop options for repurposing the University's North Campus site. North Campus is a strategically important site in Central Manchester, with a footprint of approx. 4.5m sq.ft.
Steer Economic Development’s work examined the extent to which the space might, over time, become a hub or focus for innovative science and/or technology activities. Involving close work with CBRE, the University's retained property adviser, our work involved:
- Quantitative analysis of the University’s research strengths
- Consultations with informed innovation and technology stakeholders
- A series of interactive workshops with Staff, Board Members, and Students; and
- A review of best practice in repurposing higher education assets in locations elsewhere.
Following successful completion of this initial phase of work, which produced a report highlighting the most desirable options for redevelopment, Steer Economic Development was commissioned to undertake an economic impact analysis of the potential benefits for repurposing the site as an Applied Innovation District.
This work, completed with economic forecasting inputs from Cambridge Econometrics included the following workstreams:
- Economic forecasting to determine the future prospects of sectors in which the University has research strengths;
- Economic impact analysis of the potential benefits to the University and wider area of creating a cluster of high-value innovation activity; and
- Continued dialogue with the project’s leadership, including Dame Nancy Rothwell. The output from this work was a prospectus for the site as an Applied Innovation District, which was presented to the Board of Governors. Following on from this, the repurposing scheme has now progressed to the next stage, where a Joint Venture partner is being sought to assist with funding and development for the plans.