Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has today launched Citylabs, MSP’s £25 million redevelopment of the Grade II listed former Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, at a celebratory event alongside its partner and originator, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), and a host of other clinical, commercial, NHS and community partners.
The 100,000 sq ft biomedical centre of excellence is the first new build for MSP since the organisation joined forces with property partner and majority shareholder Bruntwood. Citylabs will provide world-class facilities to attract world-class companies, offering a truly multifunctional space for a range of businesses in the life sciences sector. Its location, in the heart of this innovative and dynamic area of Manchester, will contribute to the growing clinical and scientific ecosystem in the North West.
The project, which has been part funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), with senior debt provided by Lloyds Bank and the North West Evergreen Fund, will create and safeguard 306 jobs and contribute £57 million Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Manchester City Region economy.
The launch event also provided the opportunity for MSP, which will now be known as Manchester Science Partnerships, to unveil its new branding. The company, previously known as Manchester Science Parks, has realigned its brand in recognition of the collaboration which is at the heart of its approach.
Chris Oglesby, Chairman of MSP, said: “Citylabs is the embodiment of the partnerships that drive investment and innovation in this city. It is only by working with partners in the NHS and industry that the right environment for investment, growth and discovery in science can be fostered. Today we are celebrating more than just a building. We are celebrating the idea that through partnership, great innovation can be achieved.
“That is why we have changed Park to Partnerships in our name. This organisation is about more than the bricks and mortar of its buildings, it is about working with partners to deliver the right conditions for world-leading innovation that can drive forward the national and international health agenda.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: “Citylabs is a fantastic initiative and I am delighted to be able to launch this exciting project. This is an excellent example of partnership between academics, clinicians and industry driving innovation and investment in health sciences. Scientific research and development is at the heart of building the Northern Powerhouse and it is initiatives like this that will help drive a resilient recovery and create sustainable economic growth.”
Sir Michael Deegan, Chief Executive of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our major site redevelopment enabled us to bring together specialist clinical and research staff and provided the opportunity to transform the former Royal Eye Hospital into this amazing facility we have here today.
“We worked with a range of partners to develop this research and innovation hub in the middle of the largest clinical academic campus in Europe. Research is at the core of our organisation’s mission and because of our large numbers of patients receiving a vast range of specialist treatments, it provides a great opportunity to work with research and innovation companies to develop devices and products which can be rapidly available to the benefit of patients.”
Attendees at the event heard speeches from Chris Oglesby, Chairman of MSP, and Sir Michael Deegan CBE, Chief Executive of CMFT, as well as a key note speech from Chancellor George Osborne. As part of proceedings, Rowena Burns, Chief Executive of MSP, chaired a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Innovation through Partnership,’ with: George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences; Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester; Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council; and Nick Costa, Director of Nuffield Health.