Manchester Civil Service Campus Masterplan, Building, Project, News, Design, Property, Image
Mayfield Campus Manchester
Civil Service Site Masterplan, northwest England, UK – design by Bennetts Associates
29 Mar 2010
Independent government report supports Bennetts Associates’ Manchester civil service campus masterplan
An independent review last week highlighted a North West scheme as an example of the sort of 21st century public service campus which will help relocate
Ian Smith’s review said plans for a civil service campus in the Mayfield area of Manchester could result in significant taxpayer savings if treated as a cross government asset.
Mayfield aims to provide an additional 3,500 jobs for Manchester City Region and the North West.
Mr Smith’s report and recommendations, which include provision of relocation funding to support schemes like Mayfield, are published alongside last week’s Budget and have been accepted by Government.
He said: My recommendations should help realise the Mayfield project as they will improve the incentives for Departments to relocate outside of London and strengthen regional influence over Departments’ location decisions.”
And he urges all regions to make better cases for relocation – not just lobbying for jobs but identifying how they can create “clusters” that build regional competitiveness
The Mayfield proposals envisage the civil service campus as centrepiece of a wide-ranging regeneration of that approach to the city-centre.
It is estimated that 2,500 civil servants would be relocated from the south with a further 2,500 moving to the campus from existing accommodation within the M60 ring.
The new campus would also help create a further 1,000 jobs in support services in the wider economy.
In his report, Mr Smith said the campus was too large for any one single department so should be viewed as a strategic asset for the whole civil service.
The business case for Mayfield highlights the benefits of a “cross department” facility as being:
– Efficiency gains achieved by sharing functions and facilities and lower building maintenance costs. An estimated investment of £250-£300m would generate net benefits (discounted over 30 years) of £700m
– Improved career opportunities, lower recruitment costs and increased knowledge sharing
– Creation of one of the UK’s most sustainable office complexes
– Enabling new ways of working and collaboration
– Helping regeneration of the Eastern Gateway area of Manchester, currently an area of high deprivation
But Mr Smith said there was an urgent need to identify a cross-government approach at regional and departmental level so that the scheme could proceed.
Today’s findings were welcomed by Regional Minister Phil Woolas.
Mr Woolas said: “The Smith report acknowledges the benefits of clusters for civil service relocation, which is good news not just for Manchester and the Mayfield proposals but for the region as a whole.
“I am currently working closely with Liverpool City Region to put together a proposition which I hope will be similarly attractive to Whitehall based departments and would welcome similar ideas from other areas of the North West.”
Liz Meek, Regional Director of Government Office for the North West, said: “We are here to serve the people of the North West and the Mayfield proposals – and others like them elsewhere in the region – provide a blueprint of how we can do that better at less cost to the taxpayer.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Mayfield is a fantastic opportunity. Not only could it create up thousands of jobs for Manchester, with many coming from Whitehall, it will act as a catalyst to accelerate the regeneration in this area of the city centre.
“We will look for environmental excellence alongside the creation of a new park and Mayfield will be another attractive location for companies and another opportunity to bring the jobs to the city we still very much need.”
“This independent report confirms what we have been saying about this excellent development and I welcome the priority it has been given by central government.”
Manchester Civil Service Campus Masterplan – Further Information
A masterplan, prepared for BRB (Residuary) by Drivers Jonas LLP and architects Bennetts Associates, was approved by Manchester City Council earlier this month. This covers the wider Mayfield quarter and sets out how the area around Manchester’s Piccadilly Station could be transformed to include the new civil service campus as its centrepiece. The campus would be built to the highest architectural and urban design standards and provide an exemplar development in terms of sustainability. The plan also includes the creation of a new public park focused on a remediated River Medlock that will create a major new public amenity in a largely neglected area close to the city centre.
A feasibility study into the Mayfield project has demonstrated the viability of bringing 5,000 civil servants together into one campus development. The campus would, if approved, help deliver efficiency benefits through better use of space and co-location, as well as promoting opportunities for closer working and collaboration between civil service organisations. Based on this, work has now started on how best to deliver the campus. The overall aim is to have the campus ready for occupation by 2014/15.
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