HM Treasury

Newsroom & speeches


12 April 2011

New investment boost for Manchester industry

The site of the Former Royal Eye Hospital is set to become a new centre of excellence in Manchester’s biomedical cluster, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced today.  The announcement forms part of a multi million pound cash boost for Manchester industry from the Government’s new £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.

The funding for the Former Royal Eye Hospital will go towards the building’s restoration and the construction of new research, laboratory and education space. It was one of a number of projects in the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Area that were successful in applying for Regional Growth Fund cash in this round. These include:

Allocations are conditional and subject to the outcome of the due diligence process. Final allocations of funding will be announced when this process is complete.

The Chief Secretary today met with developers at the site and discussed the critical role that the biomedical centre will play in developing the North West’s life science sector.

Visiting Manchester today,  Danny Alexander said:

“This new centre will build on Manchester’s tradition of excellence in life sciences and will sit at the heart of a world leading biomedical centre of excellence. It will also create and sustain hundreds of jobs in the construction and science sectors.

“Bringing balanced, sustainable growth back to the UK economy is the Government’s overriding priority.  By supporting developments such as Manchester’s Former Royal Eye Hospital, which I visited today, the Government is helping the private sector lead the economic recovery.”

Notes for editors

1. The Regional Growth Fund is a £1.4 billion fund which is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector, particularly in those areas that are dependent on the public sector. The first round of the Regional Growth Fund will support 50 bids  by companies and partnerships, with over £450 million being invested.

2. Further detail on the Regional Growth Fund, including a full list of successful bidders, is available on the BIS website. Allocations are conditional and subject to the outcome of the due diligence process.

3. The second round of the Regional Growth Fund opens to bids today. This round will aim to allocate the remainder of the fund, nearly £1 billion. The closing date for round two is noon on 1 July 2011.

4. The Former Royal Eye Hospital (FREH) is a new biomedical centre in Manchester. The FREH will be part of one of the UK’s top three biomedical clusters, focusing on healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and science related industries. The North West’s rapidly expanding biomedical sector includes a diverse range of specialist research and development facilities, with a strong specialism in translational medicine. There are 280 core biomedical companies located in the North West, with 120 from the medical device and healthcare technology sub sector.

5. Further information regarding the FREH can be found on their website.

6. Bruntwood Limited is a privately owned commercial property company who offer office space, serviced offices, virtual offices, retail space and meeting rooms.

Further information regarding Bruntwood Limited is available on their website.

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