Plans include a nano-brewery, coffee house, street food traders and container-style retail units close to the universities

As Manchester’s fancy for artisanal caffeine, craft beer and street food continues unslaked, it’s perhaps unsurprising that property giant Bruntwood is ready to hop on the bandwagon with its latest offering - a new food, drink and retail project under Mancunian Way.

Forming part of the wider £750m Circle Square masterplan on Oxford Road, plans submitted to Manchester City Council include twelve units which will occupy the vacant courtyard area adjacent to Manchester Technology Centre. These include three retail concession stands, three ‘container-style’ retail units and six food and beverage outlets - one of which has been earmarked for a nano-brewery, another for an independent coffee house operator. There will, naturally, be street food too.  

Due to launch in late September, the project will be curated and managed by the team behind Northern Quarter's indoor market institution, Afflecks - which is also run by Bruntwood.

The developer says the project will aim to attract 'aspiring entrepreneurs and established traders looking to try something new' with flexible, affordable leases.

Afflecks Bruntwood
The new food, drink and retail destination will be run by the team behind Afflecks in Northern Quarter

Toby Sproll, Head of Retail & Leisure at Bruntwood said: “Creating a sense of place is essential to our vision for Circle Square. We want to attract a mix of makers, operators, innovators and start-ups, providing them with the opportunity to expand their existing offer or even try something a little different.

“Ever-evolving, this scheme will provide a much needed boost to the existing retail and leisure offer on Oxford Road - not only to support the thriving 130,000 strong population of students, workers and residents on Corridor Manchester, but also to make this a destination for people to visit when out and about in the city... The twelve units will provide new spaces in which to socialise, dine and shop and complement this exciting offer at Circle Square.”

University Green Retail 1 Copyright Of Bruntwood
Bruntwood is overseeing Manchester University’s £1bn campus redevelopment and the new 'University Green' which includes multiple new food and drink venues
Bruntwood Circle Square
Circle Square will include offices, apartments, retail and leisure units and green spaces

On completion, the flagship Circle Square development - located on the old BBC Oxford Road site - will include over 1m sq ft of commercial office space, 1281 new homes, 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space for shops, studios, bars and restaurants - plus a multi-storey car park and two hotels.

Buildings will be centred around 250,000 sq ft of public realm, which - as part of Bruntwood’s commitment to greening - will be home to over 1000 plants and flowers, 180 semi-mature trees and green space the size of four football pitches. The scheme is co-managed by Bruntwood and Select Property Group.

With work now underway, 60% of Circle Square is expected to be complete by 2020. Select Property Group’s Vita Student development of 604 high-quality student apartments, meanwhile, is on course to be ready later this year.