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BusinessBruntwood SciTech gets go ahead for £6M transformation

Bruntwood SciTech gets go ahead for £6M transformation

Bruntwood SciTech – a joint venture between Bruntwood, Legal & General and Greater Manchester Pension Fund – has had £6 million plans for its historic 117-119 Portland Street building approved by Manchester City Council.

The Grade II listed building is set to become the gateway into Manchester’s innovation district – the Oxford Road Corridor.

It is hoped that the project will encourage innovation-led businesses to access to talent from both Manchester universities, research opportunities, finance and mentorship, as well as collaboration opportunities with start-ups, scale-ups and global businesses.

The new workspace will be a central hub for collaboration, wellness and events, creating a vibrant social community for businesses in the building and joins its collection of converted Victorian warehouse spaces at 113-115 Portland Street, 127 Portland Street and Oxford Place.

The 35,000 sq ft 117-119 Portland Street will be refurbished into a multi-let workspace, providing a mixture of offices for up to 80 people. Nine fully-fitted workspaces will be created, including a kitchen, meeting room and breakout areas, allowing new customers to move straight in once the works are complete, which is anticipated to be in Spring 2025.

Many original features, such as exposed bricks and beams, will be retained. Dating back to 1886, the building was formerly home to merchants Schill Seebohm & Co, who sold Manchester-made textiles and used it as a warehouse to showcase, sell and ship their goods.

State-of-the-art shared facilities and amenities will also be incorporated into the new-look 117-119 Portland Street as part of reimagining the ground and lower ground floors, including breakout spaces and lounge areas, an on-site gym, boutique gym-quality shower and changing facilities, and an auditorium for events.

To support the building to be net zero in operation in common areas the building will be fully electrified, with heating and cooling provided through new air conditioning and a new air source heat pump. Additionally, new LED lighting will be installed throughout, along with  secondary glazing to minimise heat loss.

Richard Roper, associate director – asset management for Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Receiving planning approval for 117-119 Portland Street marks the next exciting phase in our plans to enhance and improve our workspaces across Manchester city centre, where we already have major new developments underway at both our campus locations and other city centre innovation hubs.

“This cornerstone of the city has been lacking investment into creating workspaces that galvanise collaboration, creativity and ingenuity and offer like-minded communities to connect with, so we hope to deliver that at 117 Portland Street.”

These plans, alongside work commencing to redevelop nearby King’s House and Pall Mall, mark Bruntwood SciTech’s latest commitment to Manchester since it announced a further £500 million of funding in October 2023 to support the growth of the science, technology and innovation sectors, and welcomed Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) to the joint venture.

Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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