Next step of world-leading genomics hub takes shape at Citylabs 2.0

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) has announced that work has started on Citylabs 2.0, the first phase of its £60m extension of the Citylabs campus, which will be at the heart of Greater Manchester’s new globally-leading genomics campus for innovation, precision medicine, translational science, and molecular diagnostics.

Principal contractor Sir Robert McAlpine has been awarded a £22m contract for the 92,000 sq ft development, a Joint Venture partnership between MSP and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) which is due for completion by the end of 2020.

As part of this partnership, Health Innovation Manchester has been working with global diagnostics firm QIAGEN, who have agreed a 100% pre-let move into Citylabs 2.0, on a joint project which will create and support up to 1,500 jobs – adding almost £150m to Manchester’s economy over a decade.

QIAGEN’s expansion and move from their existing base at Manchester Science Park will see the company become the anchor industrial partner in the global genomics campus where they will connect with a diverse community of businesses including those working in medtech, clinical trials, data management, gaining access to the MFT’s specialist clinical resources and expertise from researchers, clinicians and procurement teams.

The collaboration will also bring fast-tracked real health benefits to Manchester and Greater Manchester residents, and ultimately people nationally and internationally, through access to new tests and targeted treatments developed through pioneering research.

Tom Renn, Managing Director of Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “We’re delighted to have appointed Sir Robert McAlpine as the main contractor on this project and to be announcing the start of works on Citylabs 2.0 with our Joint Venture partner, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

“This is an important milestone in our journey to create a world-leading precision medicine campus in Manchester, strengthening the region’s standing as a global centre of excellence in life sciences and diagnostics, bringing real health benefits to millions of people, and supporting the creation of thousands of high-quality jobs.

“We look forward to supporting our long-standing customer QIAGEN as they continue with their ongoing growth and expand into Citylabs 2.0 once it completes at the end of 2020. We’re incredibly proud to be working with QIAGEN and be part of the partnership which is creating a globally-leading genomics hub in Manchester, and look forward to working with other life sciences and medtech businesses as they join our cluster at Citylabs.”

Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said: “Securing and expanding QIAGEN’s future on the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust site is a pivotal component of our vision to create an internationally-leading research and innovation campus focused on integrated diagnostics leading to better care for our patients. Modern healthcare requires us to handle massive arrays of data from a huge range of technologies in order to come up with the right answer for patients. This has never been clearer than with genomic medicine, QIAGEN’s immediate focus, which holds the power to deliver transformative clinical benefits at the level of individual patients–the heart of precision medicine.”

Citylabs 2.0 is being developed by Bruntwood as part of a 10 year Strategic Property Partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust to support the delivery of clinical care, research and innovation, as well as the development of MFT’s estate. A £18.5m loan from Evergreen 2 has been secured, a fund supported by 2014-20 European Regional Development Fund, and the North West Evergreen Fund, which will be used to finance construction costs, professional fees and expenses.