A £25 million biomedical centre of excellence called Citylabs has opened its doors in Manchester.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has launched the redevelopment of the Grade II listed former Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, backed by Manchester Science Partnerships and property partner Bruntwood. Citylabs will provide “world-class facilities to attract world-class companies, offering a truly multifunctional space for a range of businesses in the life sciences sector”, MSP notes.

It sits within Europe’s largest clinical and academic campus, made up of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester. The project, which has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with senior debt provided by Lloyds Bank and the North West Evergreen Fund, “will create and safeguard 306 jobs and contribute £57 million” gross value added to the city’s economy.

The 100,000 square feet includes wet laboratories, facilities for clinical trials and evaluations and a centre for healthcare-related R&D, plus “hub space to encourage collaboration”. It also offers teaching facilities, as well as offices and a café.
Mr Osborne said Citylabs is “a fantastic initiative” and “an excellent example of partnership between academics, clinicians and industry driving innovation and investment in health sciences”. He added that “scientific R&D is at the heart of building the Northern Powerhouse”.__

Sir Michael Deegan, chief executive of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said “we worked with a range of partners to develop this research and innovation hub in the middle of the largest clinical academic campus in Europe”. Because of “our large numbers of patients receiving a vast range of specialist treatments, it provides a great opportunity to work with research and innovation companies to develop devices and products which can be rapidly available”.