Guest Blog: Paul Pavia, Head of Development - MEPC

Written by Paul Pavia

If Manchester was the world’s first modern city, then NOMA is the place where it all began.

It is where entrepreneur James Sadler flew one of Britain’s first hot air balloons, and the site of Sir Richard Arkwright’s first steam powered cotton mill.

By embracing the area’s past, NOMA is inspiring its future, creating a new 20-acre mixed-use neighbourhood where you can live, work, create and innovate.

We’ll be offering a mix of new homes, offices, hotels, shops, restaurants and bars around vibrant urban spaces and public realm right in the heart of Manchester. It is this mix that saw NOMA named as one of the UK’s first ‘innovation districts’ by the Brookings Institute, a leading US think-tank.

All of this is underpinned by a forward-thinking, community-led approach to placemaking that champions the idea that places are better when people are involved in making them. You only have to visit the Pilcrow pub, which was hand-built by locals, in Sadler’s Yard, whose name was crowdsourced through social media, to see how true this is.

We’re also bringing local, regional and even international connections closer than ever.

Manchester Victoria and Shudehill Transport Interchange being just a short walk away allows unparalleled access to trains, Metrolink and bus connections that serve the city, North West and beyond. Manchester Piccadilly, only a short tram ride away, is two hours from London by train, with three trains per hour.

MEPC has been appointed as development manager by Hermes Investment Management to drive forward the master plan and use our proven expertise in community engagement and placemaking to ensure that NOMA fulfils its full potential.

The 2.5m sq. ft of renovated and new build office space we’re delivering will go some way to meeting soaring occupier demand in Manchester, which has been driven by the booming local economy as major employers flock to the city.

It’s not hard to see why they’re attracted to Manchester. There’s a growing pool of talent, world-leading universities, thriving culture and leisure scene and of course strong civic and political leadership provided by Manchester City Council and metro-mayor Andy Burnham.

At NOMA we’ve already welcomed global e-commerce giant Amazon to Hanover. What was once an Edwardian-era drapery warehouse will now be home to Amazon’s first UK headquarters outside of London, creating 600 highly skilled jobs to join the established community of businesses, innovators and disruptors already at NOMA.

We’re anticipating similar interest in the rest of the listed estate, which includes Redfern, where construction work has just started on-site, and Dantzic, which is due to complete this Spring. Blending carefully restored and preserved heritage features with contemporary workspace, we expect them to appeal to the growing army of tech and creative firms increasingly powering Manchester’s economy.

We will also be delivering over 1,000,000 sq. ft. of new build offices, 400,000 sq. ft. of which already has planning consent and is ready to go.

Sensitively designed to complement the existing architecture with significant areas of new public realm, these buildings will contribute to Manchester’s future heritage while also demonstrating our commitment and confidence in the city and adding much needed high quality office space.

International in vision, but grounded in Manchester’s unique identity, NOMA will be a destination unlike any other.