The FINANCIAL -- Bruntwood and The University of Manchester have on March 15 announced the first retail and leisure signings at the recently launched University Green, which forms part of the University’s £1 billion Campus Masterplan and redevelopment.
University Green is sited in a key growth area within Corridor Manchester due to its proximity to major institutions, research facilities and technological and cultural assets including Manchester Science Partnerships and the University’s Alliance Manchester Business School on Oxford Road. When complete next year the scheme will provide 40,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space across 12 units each with double-height glazed frontages.
Academic and general bookshop Blackwell’s is the first retail brand to be confirmed for University Green, taking a 6,300 sq ft store.
Second up is Manchester’s award-winning artisan coffee house, Takk, who will be opening its second site in the city. The 1,500 sq ft café will provide exceptional coffee alongside a breakfast, brunch and bespoke craft beer offer. Takk will be collaborating with the Sheila Bird Group to create a thoughtful design, responding to its unique location and customer experience. Influenced by the owners’ passion for Nordic design, the new site aims to create a beautiful and welcoming space where people can relax and work.
Completing the first wave of signings is a new 2,500 sq ft Pret A Manger. All three will open in Summer 2018 shortly after completion of the scheme, according to the University of Manchester.
Commenting on the first signings, Toby Sproll, Head of Retail and Leisure at Bruntwood, said: “We are thrilled to have secured such quality operators and retailers as part of the first wave of signings for University Green. Our focus is to create an exciting mix of retail and leisure for the significant population that study, work and live in Corridor Manchester.”
Dean Drew, Sales and Marketing Director at Blackwell’s added: “To be able to re-launch our shop in the heart of Corridor Manchester is a great opportunity. We have been providing books to students and the Manchester community since 1991 and are delighted to continue this longstanding relationship with the city and the University. We’ll provide a modern multi-channel space for our customers to enjoy.”
Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities at The University of Manchester, also said: “It is very exciting to have the first brands signed up and to see the University’s Campus Masterplan vision take shape. This landmark development in Manchester will highlight Corridor Manchester as an extension to the city.”
Bruntwood and The University of Manchester’s £50 million Oxford Road regeneration project also includes public realm improvements alongside the newly enhanced and extended 350,000 sq ft Alliance Manchester Business School. Complementing the redevelopment of University Green will be a 210-bed Crowne Plaza Hotel and 116-room Staybridge Suites, both opening at the end of 2017. Over 60,000 people are currently employed in the area and this is expected to grow to over 75,000 by 2020.