Plans to redevelop a distinctive Manchester building as a home for entrepreneurs and SMEs - as part of the first phase of a new £1.7bn innovation district - have been approved.

The ID Manchester Partnership is behind plans for the Renold Building and has secured permission to convert the building from educational to commercial use.

Built in 1962, the Renold Building was the first of its kind in the UK to be entirely comprised of lecture theatres and seminar rooms. It was designed by W.A. Gibbon of Cruickshank and Seward as the centrepiece of the Manchester College of Science and Technology campus.

The redevelopment - by joint venture partners The University of Manchester and Bruntwood SciTech - will retain and protect the faceted facade and stair tower, and the internal mural on the lower ground floor, as well as being sympathetic to the building’s exterior facades. 

Once the work is completed, the building will provide a range of coworking, office and meeting facilities to accommodate and support collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, businesses and partner organisations. 

The planning application, which was overseen by Deloitte Real Estate, has been approved. When the application was submitted, it was envisaged the building would open in late 2024. 

The building will largely operate within the business hours of 8am - 6pm. There is an ambition to host events outside of standard business hours and enable occupiers to continue operating if required on a 24/7 basis.