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Manchester Heads Crane Table

Work is picking up in the city centre - on the crane count

Written by . Published on October 15th 2013.

Manchester Heads Crane Table

DELOITTE Real Estate has published its 2013 Crane Survey, revealing that there are 19 new developments under construction in Manchester city centre, over three times more than in 2012. 

The construction industry in Manchester is optimistic and though developers are still quietly cautious, we are already aware of several projects

The total number of projects under construction is 21.

The Crane Survey research assesses construction activity across five major UK regional cities, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with particular focus on a number of key sectors. 

In 2012, there were just six new start projects in Manchester.

Of the 21 developments underway at present, 961 residential units, 1,246 student beds and 342,500 sq ft of office space is being built – of which 33% is already let. There were 19 new starts in 2008,which puts activity levels in the city at their peak since pre economic crisis times. 

There are now spades in the ground at eight new developments located in the Salford Fringe (apparently this is not an arts festival but a district), Northern Quarter and Ancoats areas, representing the largest residential construction volume since 2009.

Michele Steel, director at Deloitte Real Estate said: “It is really encouraging to see that Manchester is building again and leading the way in terms of regional development. Our closest competition in construction terms is Edinburgh where there are nine projects on site in the Scottish capital.” 

Of the office schemes on site, only one is dedicated office space – the other two are part of mixed-use developments. There are no new large speculative developments that will deliver new space to the market but with only a handful of properties offering Grade A floorplates over 10,000sq ft, it is anticipated that demand will start to drive the construction of further projects. 

Steel added: “St Peter’s Square is going to be a key area to watch in the coming months. We expect to see movement on Fred Done’s 2 St Peter’s Square scheme – 162,000 sq ft of new Grade A space; completion of Argent’s One St Peter’s Square with occupation by KPMG by Q2 2014 and full opening of the refurbished Town Hall and Central Library to follow. With consent being given for the Metrolink Second City Crossing, the Square is set to see unprecedented investment that will mark it out as the next prime Grade A city centre location.”

One St Peter's Square under construction


One St Peter's Square under construction


The hotel and leisure sector has remained buoyant with activity levels supporting Manchester’s status as a prime business visitor and tourist destination.

Two new hotels completed construction in the latter half of 2012 adding 343 rooms to the Manchester hotel market and though no new hotel space will be completed in 2013, three new schemes have started construction during this year’s survey. Two of these are standalone sites and the other is part of the First Street North development, bringing the total number of bedrooms under construction to 633. 

“The next 12 months will be extremely interesting as the skyline of the city changes shape. The construction industry in Manchester is optimistic and though developers are still quietly cautious, we are already aware of several projects with planning permission or those being prepared for planning that should see even more space on site come 2014/15.”

 Not these cranes


Not these cranes

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ghostly TomOctober 15th 2013.

Great to see the cranes back and I hope there will be more in the future. But I hope No 2 St. Peter's Square never sees the light of day in its present planned form. It will mean the destruction of Century House.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGOctober 18th 2013.

All too late, Tom.

Alex24October 15th 2013.

Fantastic news - Manchester's central economy seems to be pushing ahead very well, the city centre needs to keep expanding mind.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2013.

Will we end up with buildings & public squares that we can all be proud of though??? Reinforcing/instilling that vital "civic pride" that all successful local societies & economies need???

DavidOctober 16th 2013.

It is great for Manchester central economy,but this is also the problem in Greater Manchester.Manchester is becoming increasingly separate from the towns around it which are not attracting this investment.Too much of the transport investment is focused on the city.The metrolink goes to Manchester suburbs but not to Stockport,Bolton and Wigan.Why no Metrolink between Bolton and Bury?.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2013.

Trafford, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, a big chunk of Oldham, a big chunk of Rochdale, a big chunk of Bury - all boroughs most people (I think?) would "now regard" as an integral part of the Manchester city region & its economy. (Add to that a large part of Derbyshire's High Peak and East Cheshire too perhaps?) But as for Bolton & Wigan, I just don't think so. They see Manchester as separate. Because unlike the others, both are still very much "independently minded" Lancashire towns in their own right.

GimboidOctober 16th 2013.

David you must either be sending your comments in from five years in the past, or just disconnected from reality. The newest lines are to Oldham and Rochdale, completely the opposite scenario to 'becoming separate'. Transport improvements in the city centre will reap benefits to the entire region as services inevitably go through the centre. Wigan and Bolton already have 'proper' train services. Stockport has decent access to three railway lines. Wigan might be a bit far out for a Metrolink service. Is there demand for travel between Bolton and Bury which would justify the investment?

Jonathan MoranOctober 17th 2013.

Why would stockport need the metrolink when the trains are every 5-10 mins anyway?

AnonymousOctober 17th 2013.

Wigan is well served with trains. Old, delapidated trains that are a complete embarrassment to ride on, but trains nonetheless.

mike_aOctober 16th 2013.

What's happening with the old BBC Oxford Rd site? It now looks like it's a car park.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2013.

It's a car park. That's what's happening with the site. 10 points for perception! ;)

mike_aOctober 17th 2013.

Thanks for the clarification! I meant what's happening as in building on the space; when and what? Are you able to expand on that at all?

AnonymousOctober 18th 2013.

Nothing else is on the cards - if anything was due to start the owners wouldn't be making the improvements to the car park. Have a look at the link I posted below for the most recent news.

Alex24October 16th 2013.

Please tell me that carpark is just temporary?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2013.

It's permanent until the owners decide to develop it into something else. Don't hold your breath. Plenty of information here: www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php…

JoanOctober 17th 2013.

Alex24. Yes it's temporary. The car park firm wanted 2 years, planning recommended 1 year and that was agreed. There were also conditions attached about improvements. You can find the report to planning here www.manchester.gov.uk/…/item_17-site_of_former_bbc_oxford_road… and the minutes of the meeting show that the report was agreed. The skyscraper link has old information.

Alex24October 17th 2013.

Thanks Joan

AnonymousOctober 17th 2013.

Of course this could have been avoided if the council had applied the appropriate conditions when granting planning permission in the first place. For example, building has to start within 6 months and completed within 3 years of permission being granted.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnogymousOctober 17th 2013.

What could have been avoided?

AnonymousOctober 17th 2013.

What building?

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