North West Evergreen fund has committed £9.5m of investment into Manchester-based biomedical centre Citylabs.
The centre is a specialised space that provides laboratories and offices to the biomedical sector, and will be home to NHS spin-outs, providers to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, as well as The Manchester College and The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity.
Citylabs will open in Spring 2014, and is expected to create 440 new jobs and add approximately £60m to Manchester’s annual income (GVA). North West Evergreen Fund joined with Lloyds Banking Group to invest in the centre, located on Oxford Street in Manchester city centre.
Made up of 16 local authority partners, the fund was set up to offer investments to real estate projects in the North West, that would support growth and prosperity in the regional economy.
Money is allocated from the European Regional Development Fund and under the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA), managed by the European Investment Bank in the North West.
Citylabs has also received support from Manchester City Council and the EDRF prior to the Evergreen Fund’s investment.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, commented: “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.”
The Evergreen 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.
CBRE’s head of investment advisory,Tony Martin, 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.”