January 2013

The North West Evergreen Fund, jointly with Lloyds Banking Group, has invested £9.5 million into Citylabs through the provision of a loan. Citylabs is the flagship redevelopment of Manchester’s former Royal Eye Hospital led by developers Bruntwood.

Forming part of Corridor Manchester, the city’s knowledge quarter, Citylabs is a new 100,000 sq ft biomedical centre of excellence featuring high-specification flexible office and laboratory space. Located on Oxford Road, it sits within Europe’s largest clinical and academic campus, made up of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. The development is expected to create 440 new jobs and add £60 million per annum to Manchester’s income (gross value added).

Citylabs will open in Spring 2014 and has already secured pre-lets to The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity, The Manchester College, NHS spin-out TRUSTECH and Icon Developments – the global provider of development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.

The North West Evergreen Fund, which is made up of 16 local authority limited partners was established to provide funding to support real estate projects which are critical to the region’s economy, generating jobs and growth. It is capitalised through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and other public money allocated under the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (or “JESSICA”) initiative, which is managed by the European Investment Bank in the North West on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency. The application to the EIB was led by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

The Evergreen model provides loan funding to be invested in projects which will generate a financial return and will then be recycled back into the fund to help support further projects. The fund is advised by CBRE Indirect Investment Services Limited, the FSA regulated arm of CBRE, and co-chaired by Manchester City Council and Lancashire County Council.

The Evergreen/Lloyds investment follows recent investments in the project by Manchester City Council and the ERDF.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“This is another example of an innovative use of public funding to support private enterprise in these challenging times and deliver jobs and growth in the area. The Evergreen Fund is investing in priority schemes which unlock opportunities and stimulate the success of the region and Citylabs will make an important contribution towards this goal. Biomedical research is an exciting growth area which has the potential to make a very important contribution to Manchester’s economy.”

Tony Martin, Head of Investment Advisory at CBRE said:
“Citylabs is Evergreen’s second investment, having already provided a £6 million loan to The Carlyle Group’s Soapworks redevelopment.

Evergreen was established to provide developers with an opportunity to secure much-needed finance for strategic sites that will make a significant contribution to the success of the North West’s economy and Citylabs meets all our criteria. Evergreen’s investment portfolio has already grown since we launched and we are in advanced negotiations with a number of other parties on schemes of differing sizes and focus, and hope to announce further investments shortly.”

Lord Peter Smith, chair of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, added:
“The Evergreen Fund in Greater Manchester is helping to drive research and innovation in the region. This is the second major investment the fund has made and demonstrates its commitment to investing in major projects which promote economic growth.”

Chris Oglesby, Bruntwood Chief Executive said:
“The availability of Evergreen funding is a key element to Citylabs’ success, enabling our vision for creating an environment that will foster scientific innovation in the biomedical sector.”

Sir Howard Bernstein, Vice Chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund Local Management Committee said;
“It is pleasing to see the Evergreen Fund investing in such a worthy project. The Citylabs facility will be a key driver for both the local and wider economies, helping to push Manchester to the forefront of the biomedical sector, supporting vital research and innovation, boosting local businesses and creating jobs.”

Deborah McLaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA, said:
“The HCA is committed to supporting economic growth by helping communities realise their aspirations for prosperity. Investment in major schemes like Citylabs plays a crucial role in bringing new, high value jobs to Manchester and the North West. I look forward to continuing our work with partners and watching the development progress over the coming months.”

Eric Day, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Real Estate, said:
“Citylabs is an exciting project that will enhance Manchester’s reputation in the biomedical sector and Lloyds Bank is delighted to have been able to support Bruntwood in this exciting venture and to have worked closely with Evergreen in this investment. The role that Evergreen can play to support schemes that will enhance the local economy is incredibly important and the Citylabs project in particular will bring a number of long-term benefits to Manchester.”