NETWORK Rail and Manchester City Council have today announced Bruntwood as the preferred developer for the £400m Oxford Road Station redevelopment scheme.

Earlier this year Bruntwood gained approval for the first phase of its £750m Circle Square scheme, located just 200 metres from Oxford Road Station...

The announcement follows a ‘competitive’ eighteen month tender process in which all competing developers, including Muse and Capital & Centric, are believed to have dropped out.

Proposals for the 11.5 acre scheme include office, residential, retail, hotel and leisure use alongside ‘significant improvement to the Grade II-listed Oxford Road Station’.

READ: Oxford Road's Northern Hub Revamp

Though future plans for the triangular station site, bordered by Oxford Road, Whitworth Street West and New Wakefield Street, have already become the subject of controversy and confusion after plans (pipedreams, really) surfaced involving the demolition of the former Cornerhouse buildings and The Salisbury pub.

A subsequent petition to save the Cornerhouse buildings - after the arts venue moved operations to HOME - gained nearly 5,500 signatures, while a petition to save the pub gained over 2,500.

Meanwhile, Manchester Metropolitan University have made temporary use of the Cornerhouse as a base for their School of Theatre - read here.

Though no such demolitions have been confirmed by any party, the buildings are conspicuous by their absence in the below statements.

The Cornerhouse before the gallery and cinema was moved to HOMEThe Cornerhouse before the gallery and cinema was moved to HOME

A statement from Bruntwood reads:

'The vision for the site is to create an exciting mixed use district that supports the growth of Manchester’s knowledge-based economy and the Northern Powerhouse.

'Bruntwood, Network Rail and the Council are aligned to ensure that the redevelopment of this scheme and the Northern Hub proposals are developed strategically to both improve access to, and increase capacity of the station.'

Stuart Kirkwood, Director of Development at Network Rail, said:

“We know that investing in stations provides a major catalyst for wider regeneration in our towns and cities. By working with Manchester City Council we can unlock valuable land around Manchester Oxford Road Station and dramatically improve the experience for passengers whilst delivering much-needed new homes, jobs and economic growth.”

Chris Oglesby, CEO at Bruntwood, said: “The redevelopment of Oxford Road Station offers remarkable scope to create a mixed-use development of retail, commercial and residential accommodation. The site benefits from access to skills due to its location at the gateway to Corridor Manchester and the Central Business District, its transport connectivity and exceptional footfall.

“We’re also interested in the impact that the redevelopment will have in enhancing Oxford Road’s position as a gateway into the city, connecting people to the places that we’re creating, such as Circle Square, MSP Central and Citylabs and ultimately supporting Corridor Manchester in its aim of being a top five European Innovation District.”

Earlier this year Bruntwood gained approval for the first phase of its £750m Circle Square redevelopment of the former BBC site, located just 200 metres from Oxford Road Station. Whilst in February the property giant unveiled plans for two new 33 and 16 storey towers comprising 506 apartments close to the Lowry Hotel on the banks of the River Irwell.