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MECD - full opening postponed to September 2022

04 Jun 2020

A message from Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities


As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the University's Capital Planning Sub-Committee has taken the decision that the full operational 'go-live' of the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) will be postponed to September 2022 - 12 months later than originally planned.

This decision has been taken to alleviate the current pressures on the University’s finances.

However, the move itself is a complex undertaking that will see over 6,500 students, 1,250 colleagues and some 60+ research groups move from North Campus into MECD, so we have also taken into account a number of other key issues, including:

  • An acknowledgment that colleagues are facing unprecedented challenges in the coming academic year around the delivery of teaching and learning and in maintaining research activity.
  • In line with guidance on COVID-19 from the UK Government, construction of the MECD has continued through the lockdown period.  However, the construction process has inevitably slowed down.
  • Continuing uncertainty regarding the full extent of COVID-19 which could potentially, further impact the construction programme - the deferred full 'go-live' date incorporates some additional time buffers to mitigate against this risk.

Providing clarity to current and prospective students on the timeframe for teaching and learning activity to take place in MECD. 

  • The opportunity to incorporate new measures into the workspace design that will develop our thinking around future campus operations e.g. more online delivery and potential increases in homeworking.

As we all adapt to the unprecedented circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we remain committed to the delivery of a new world-class innovation district, ID Manchester, following the move to MECD.  Our vision for the North Campus will see the creation of the innovation capital of Europe in Manchester, providing the perfect conditions for organisations of all sizes and from different sectors, to share knowledge and work together turning incredible ideas into reality.

In the meantime, the extended move timeframe provides an opportunity to better understand and react to any longer term impacts of COVID-19 on our teaching, research and other work, and what this will mean for MECD and the wider campus operations. 

We will provide colleagues with regular updates.

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities