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Manchester’s new, sustainable, State-Of-The-Art College Campus opens to students

A brand new educational facility that is set to benefit more than one million people in Manchester city centre has welcomed its first cohort of students.   

The new Manchester College City Campus, which is now the officially home of the UK’s largest education institution, has opened its doors as the academic year gets underway. Students are now starting their journey to achieve technical excellence in their chosen course to help train more skilled workers and boost the regional economy.

Following build completion in July, the long awaited 27,000 square metre, four-storey campus, designed by Bond Bryan and Simpson Haugh, offers a range of facilities, creating an exceptional student experience. It becomes the home of the College’s Industry Excellence Academies for Hospitality and Catering, Creative and Digital Media, Music, Computing and Digital as well as its Centres of Excellence for Visual Arts and Performing Arts.

It accommodates a range of Higher Education courses such as the UCEN Manchester’s School of Computing and Cyber-Security, The Manchester Film School and The Arden School of Theatre and the School of Art, Media and Make-up. 


The facilities also provide spaces for student services, separate HE and FE receptions and service counters, finance and enrolment, a learning resource centre, a refectory and a licenced Student’s Union.

Within all of these spaces, BDP designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to tight acoustics guidelines and to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standards. The energy strategy was developed to meet the college and the city councils’ requirements, including an EPC A rating and the provision of onsite renewable energy.

Steve Merridew, Engineering director at BDP, explains: “BDP has a fantastic track record in delivering sustainable education buildings in greater Manchester and the city centre campus is the next step in the evolution of these facilities in the city. The careful design of the building services systems, which splits the building into four quadrants, maximised opportunities for offsite manufacture – in turn reducing programme requirements, installation costs and carbon intensity.  We are extremely proud of our contribution to this ground-breaking building that will create so many opportunities for young Mancunians.”


Situated right next door to the AO Arena, the campus also provides students with industry-standard facilities including two theatres, dance and performance studios, TV, radio, and sound studios, professional art and photography studios, as well as a 40-seat restaurant run by students.  

Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal of The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester, commented: “We are thrilled to be welcoming students into our brand-new City Campus Manchester for the first time today. The opening is a huge milestone as we welcome students to start using these amazing state-of-the-art facilities for the first time to help prepare them for a successful and rewarding career in industry.

“The campus is the result of many years of intensive planning and is the culmination of a collaborative partnership approach across the city.  Manchester is a city that is rich with opportunities in the arts, business and technology, and this fantastic campus will provide the best possible environment for students to work towards achieving their full potential and becoming the next generation of industry excellence - and I can’t wait to see them using all the amazing facilities the campus has to offer.”

BDP provided MEP engineering, sustainability consultancy, acoustics and lighting design for the city campus.