Property company Bruntwood has celebrated a key milestone in the construction of a new commercial office development being brought forward at Didsbury Technology Park.
The first phase of the wider development plan will house 20,000 sq ft of Grade A space at the park. Although still under construction, Bruntwood has already let over half the space available in the building.
The works are being delivered by main contractor North Midland Construction and the project team has now completed the super-structure of the building – a major construction milestone, which was celebrated with a ‘topping out’ ceremony at the site.
Traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during construction, a topping out ceremony is an historic custom which originated in Scandinavia and is still used to celebrate the progress of work today.
Andrew Butterworth, Bruntwood Sales Director, said: “We’re very pleased to be marking this significant construction milestone. The completed building will be a key element of the wider Didsbury Technology Park development and it’s incredibly exciting to see the building rising out of the ground and taking shape on site.
“The site is ideally located, with outstanding connectivity to key hubs including Manchester City Centre, the Oxford Road Innovation District, and Manchester Airport. Alongside this, a community focus on excellence and growth is also being cultivated in partnership with the Park’s resident industry leaders like Siemens. This collaborative culture creates a vibrant environment where businesses thrive.
“Once complete, the development will provide world-class facilities which will enhance the region’s provision of outstanding science and tech facilities – bolstering the provision of future-fit space to meet the needs of this fast-growing sector.”
Bruntwood, Siemens, and Manchester City Council, have formed a strategic partnership to deliver Didsbury Technology Park, which occupies nine acres of the Siemens Campus at West Didsbury. Alongside the 20,000 sq ft of Grade A commercial space the first phase of works includes the construction of 92 new homes by Manchester housebuilder, PJ Livesey. Once complete, the site will provide over 155,000 sq ft of new purpose-built commercial workspace, as well as a multi-storey car park and high-quality landscaping.
The site will become home to a cluster of high-growth, science and technology businesses which will positively impact both the local and wider regional economy. The entire site is expected to be developed and occupied by 2020.
Robert Moyle, Executive Chairman of North Midland Construction PLC, said: “We are delighted to have been entrusted by Bruntwood to undertake this prestigious contract and it further consolidates our increasing presence in the North West. Progress on site to date is good with the project being delivered to programme. All the parties involved are working collaboratively together to deliver a successful project and build a lasting relationship for the future.”
The first phase of development was supported by a £3.3 million loan, which was secured by Bruntwood from The North West Evergreen Fund and Evergreen 2, a new £45 million fund supported by the 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund. Both the North West Evergreen Fund and Evergreen 2 are managed by CBRE’s Investment Advisory team, part of CBRE Capital Advisors. The loan has enabled Bruntwood to move forward with plans to deliver the Grade A office space, and will also contribute to an element of the infrastructure costs required to enable Phases Two and Three of the development.
The Evergreen model provides funding for projects which will generate a financial return and will then be recycled back into the fund to help support further projects. Key objectives for the fund include creating a high employment region, investing in science, research and innovation, and supporting strong and diverse town centres.
Cushman & Wakefield and JLL are acting as agents for the scheme.