Plans for a new world-class workplace campus in East Manchester for small and medium-sized businesses to form, scale and thrive, have been approved by Manchester City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee.
The development will play a key role in the city’s economic revival from the COVID-19 pandemic, not only creating 3,600 jobs, but unlocking a £5m investment in over two acres of high-quality, accessible and safe green space and delivering significant social value benefits for the local community.
Zero carbon and delivering increased biodiversity with the planting of 55 new mature trees, the development at Pollard Street, New Islington, comprises five buildings surrounded by two acres of public green space with access to the Ashton Canal.
Here at General Projects we have committed ourselves to developing and introducing an unprecedented Community Wealth Partnership programme, as part of its planning application, which will ensure over £8M of social impact value over the next five years.
Delivered in partnership with a number of grass roots organisations, the programme will see over 75 students from local schools mentored every year and, 40 local graduates and school leavers provided apprenticeship placements.
In addition, 25 free workspaces will be provided annually, free of charge, to local residents who are starting new business. All businesses based at the campus will be required to commit to giving back four hours a month to community programmes, in total generating over £1.5m a year of social impact a year.
A broad coalition of business and community groups submitted letters of support to the City Council. These included Greater Manchester Chamber, the CBI, pro.manchester and Forever Manchester, the grassroots charity.
Inspired by the city’s historic cotton and textile mills, the development, designed by architects Hawkins\Brown and landscape architects Planit.IE, aims to set a new standard in the built environment for sustainability.
Underpinned by its car free policy, low carbon transport links and an innovative low-carbon approach to construction and operation, more than 550 bike spaces will be provided as the development delivers a 30% net gain in biodiversity.
We have also adopted a ‘Manchester-first’ procurement policy, with at least 25% of supply chain spend in Greater Manchester. During construction, an estimated £200,000 in social value will be generated from apprenticeships, work experience days, site open days and other voluntary, community and social enterprise commitments.