COMMERCIAL: A major acute trust in Manchester is seeking a strategic estates partner to transform an Edwardian hospital building into a facility for biomedical research.

Following a shortlisting process, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust has started discussions with three bidders for the contract, which would require an investment of more than £100m.

lab, research, medical research,

Central Manchester wants to develop a biomedical research centre

About half of this would be earmarked for redeveloping the grade II listed Old St Mary’s Hospital, with the rest spent on other parts of the estate.

Services still hosted by the 1909 building, including some gynaecology services and a specialist sexual assault referral centre, will need to relocate.

Michelle Humphreys, of property consultancy the Mace Group, which is managing the tender process, said the FT will retain ownership of the site.

The estates partner would provide the initial investment and then operate the site under a lease arrangement with the trust. The partner could then retain rent income from companies using the facility.

Ms Humphreys added: “The trust has a lot of estates work coming up, and given the size of the estate, and vision and ambition of the trust, it wants to look for a partner.

“We invited three bidders after a prequalification questionnaire, and have just entered the negotiation period.”

She said the project will look to build on the successful redevelopment of the former Manchester Royal Eye Hospital site, which is now home to the Citylabs biomedical centre.