Manchester City Council has approved plans to redevelop a 1960’s University of Manchester building as a home for entrepreneurs and SMEs – as part of ID Manchester.

This marks the initial phase of ID Manchester’s ambitious plan to transform the University’s former North Campus into a welcoming and accessible new £1.7bn innovation district.

Built in the 1960s, the Renold building is no longer needed for its original educational use having been vacated by the university on completion of its engineering campus three years ago.

The new vision for the Renold Building will celebrate its history as an educational hub by hosting the next wave of innovators in science and tech, building a community of businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district.

The redevelopment – by joint venture partners The University of Manchester and Bruntwood SciTech – will retain and protect the faceted facade and stair tower, and the internal mural on the lower ground floor, as well as being sympathetic to the building’s exterior facades.

Redevelopment of the Renold building will create bookable lecture theatres and event space, a cafe, space for roundtables and exhibitions, topped off with basement and roof level plant areas.

Once the work is completed at the end ovf the year, the building will provide a range of coworking, office and meeting facilities to accommodate and support collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, businesses and partner organisations.

The planning application, which was overseen by Deloitte Real Estate, has been approved. When the application was submitted, it was envisaged the building would open in late 2024.

The building will largely operate within the business hours of 8am – 6pm. There is an ambition to host events outside of standard business hours and enable occupiers to continue operating if required on a 24/7 basis.

Bradley Topps, chief commercial officer at Bruntwood SciTech and project director for ID Manchester, said: “We recognise the importance of the Renold Building to many in the local community and beyond, and we are committed to reactivating the building in a way that celebrates the rich heritage and architecture of the building.

“We’re very excited to be creating a new home for the next generation of Manchester innovators.”