20 Feb, 2020

Two major Manchester office developments progress

Axis 18

One of the keys for any rapidly developing city is the construction of high quality office space for existing firms to expand into, and for attracting international businesses to relocate. Manchester is no exception to this rule, and its current rate of office development points to a successful future.

The latest Manchester Crane Survey from Deloitte shows that more than 400,000 sqft of office space was completed over 2019, and a huge 2.1 million sqft remains under construction. Of the space still being built, 40% is pre-let to businesses of all sizes who will join the likes of Amazon, BT and GCHQ – some of the most recent arrivals to Manchester.

It is anticipated that the scale of office development in Manchester will create an additional 15,500 jobs by the end of 2021 which will be worth more than £570m to the city’s economy.

Two of the most impressive masterplans – Mayfield and Central Retail Park – saw significant progress made in February, and will provide a major economic boost to the area surrounding Manchester Piccadilly Station in the near future.


The Mayfield Partnership is responsible for the transformation of one of Manchester’s most important development sites. This £1.4bn project is one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration projects and will completely renew the area directly opposite Piccadilly Station – the city’s main railway hub. In the process, it will create thousands of jobs and a new 6.5-acre public park right in the heart of Manchester’s key economic development area.

Now, the first phase of the scheme has received unanimous planning approval from Manchester City Council, and work can commence on 319,000 sqft of office space and the city’s first new public park for a century.

Over the course of the next decade, Mayfield will eventually be home to a total of 1.6 million sqft of offices, a 650-bedroom hotel and a residential offering – although the latter is a long way off at present.

Richard Upton, chief development officer at U+I who are behind the Mayfield scheme, said: “Mayfield is already making a major impression, welcoming 330,000 people through its doors in 2019 and generating over £10m for the local economy.

“Mayfield has lain derelict for over 30 years; this resolution to grant planning is the first step to realising the potential of this iconic site as we create an inclusive, diverse and socially and economically productive neighbourhood for businesses, residents and visitors. The scheme will create over 10,000 office, retail, leisure and construction jobs.”

For more information about the Mayfield redevelopment, please click here.

Central Retail Park

One of Manchester’s most intriguing sites, Central Retail Park is located directly opposite Oxygen and new plans released this month demonstrate its enormous potential.

Manchester City Council bought the site in between the popular Ancoats and New Islington areas in 2017, initially earmarking it for a major residential development. However, over time this focus has changed as the needs of the area became more apparent.

Office space began to dominate the plans in response to the demand from the large number of technology, media and telecommunications companies which are attracted to the area. The initial plans were amended to include 500,000 sqft of office space instead of the residential offering.

Now, the latest plans released this month show that the City Council have gone even further with this idea, expanding the office space planned at Central Retail Park to a total of 1 million sqft spread out over 10 buildings. Additionally,

Alongside the plans came rumours that Barclays may choose the site for their new office. The bank’s hunt for 600,000 sqft of premium office space is one of the largest in the Manchester market, and bringing them to Central Retail Park as the anchor tenant would be a big statement of intent.

It would also instantly turn the area into one of Manchester’s top business districts, and create thousands of jobs – leading to an inevitable boom in the population and demand for luxury housing in the area.

Want to know more? Get in touch with our property experts today

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