GMI Construction and Bruntwood SciTech celebrate major milestone as No.3 Circle Square tops out


Libby Whitaker-Keating

Construction of No.3 Circle Square – the latest phase of specialist, cutting edge workspace to be developed at the Circle Square neighbourhood within the Oxford Road Corridor knowledge quarter – is continuing at pace, as leading contractor GMI Construction Group and developer Bruntwood SciTech celebrates its topping out.

Led by GMI Construction Group, the £87m, 267,000 sq ft brick clad building design will pay tribute to Manchester’s Victorian and Edwardian architecture and provide 15 floors of cutting-edge workspace designed to support creativity and innovation.

The development is being brought forward by Bruntwood SciTech, a joint venture between Bruntwood, Legal & General and Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the largest dedicated property platform serving the growth of the UK’s knowledge economy to become a global science and technology superpower.

This latest milestone was celebrated at a ceremony on Wednesday 26th June hosted by Bruntwood SciTech Chief Development Officer, John Marland, alongside Lee Powell, CEO of GMI Construction Group. Guests were able to get a first look at the progress on site since construction began in July 2023 and mark the milestone by adding photos of the teams involved into a time capsule that will be buried within the No.3 site.

Circle Square is one of Manchester’s fastest growing digital tech communities – and one of the city’s largest new developments – which brings together forward-thinking innovation-led businesses looking to benefit from access to highly-skilled talent at The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, funding and finance support, and access to a like-minded, large ecosystem and network for growth and collaboration opportunities, all of which Bruntwood SciTech provides.

Circle Square’s existing workspaces – No.1 and No.2 Circle Square – are both fully let to global tech brands including Roku, Bosch, HPE and Autocab, which was acquired by Uber, as well as disruptive startups and scale-ups in the Tech Incubator.

No.3 Circle Square, which is anticipated to open in Spring 2025, will offer flexible office space designed for a range of different businesses, from global names to emerging tech scale-ups. Alongside this exciting new workspace, customers will also benefit from a large shared roof terrace with expansive views across the city, breakout space and lounge, a ‘grab and go’ food and drink offer, 24/7 access with superfast connectivity, dedicated onsite security, bookable private meeting rooms and access to all facilities at neighbouring Circle Square buildings. Wellbeing and active travel have also been prioritised, with secure bike storage, high-quality shower and changing facilities also included.

No.3 Circle Square will open onto Symphony Gardens, a newly landscaped space designed to complement the neighbouring Symphony Park, to promote biodiversity and provide access to shared green space at Circle Square. Two retail stores will also be located on the ground floor for businesses and the general public to enjoy, joining the likes of Manchester-favourite Onda Pasta Bar, North Tap Room and Federal Cafe Bar.

Businesses locating to No.3 Circle Square will also benefit from access to an exciting in-house events programme providing a range of growth support opportunities, connecting them with neighbouring businesses and key stakeholders in the city; ideal for identifying new opportunities for collaboration. They will also be connected into Bruntwood SciTech’s large citywide ecosystem in Manchester, including those based at Manchester Science Park, Citylabs, ID Manchester, and their city centre innovation hubs such as Bloc, Bond, and 111 Piccadilly, as part of the business’ UK-wide community of 1,100 start-ups, scale-ups and global businesses.


Sustainability is one of the core principles in the design of No.3 Circle Square as part of Bruntwood SciTech’s net zero carbon commitments. It will be net zero carbon in construction and, operationally in its shared spaces and is expected to achieve BREEAM Excellent status, NABERS 5-star rating and an EPC A rating. Its innovative features to maximise energy efficiency and improve fresh air and climate control, for those within the building, include an all-electric heating and cooling system with highly efficient air source heat pumps, smart metering, roof mounted solar panels, a smart building management system (BMS) and a state-of-the-art ventilation system that maximises efficiency and fresh air control to customers.

John Marland, Chief Development Officer, Bruntwood SciTech, said: “It’s fantastic to see No.3 Circle Square coming to life, with construction having moved at pace over the past 12 months. With No.1 and No.2 fully let, we know there is a real appetite from innovative businesses of all sizes to be based in a fast growing, like-minded ecosystem which has beautiful, state of the art workspaces, where they can gain access to opportunities to collaborate, build their networks, and succeed. No.3 Circle Square will be the next addition to scale this ecosystem even more.

“Throughout the design process, our sustainability ambitions and provision of first-class amenities were prioritised to provide a place where people want to spend time and can ensure  a positive work-life balance.

“We’ve had lots of interest already and are looking forward to sharing updates on this as we near completion.”

Lee Powell, CEO of GMI Construction Group, commented: “Today’s topping out ceremony represents a significant milestone in a project that underlines the continued expansion of Manchester’s vibrant tech and innovation community. This collaboration with Bruntwood SciTech showcases GMI’s commitment to excellence and our shared vision in delivering dynamic business ecosystems.”

No.3 Circle Square is one of several developments by Bruntwood SciTech currently underway in Manchester as part of their commitment to providing world-class workspace, communities, and support to assist the growth of the science, tech and innovation sector. Other developments underway are Citylabs 4.0, Pall Mall, King’s House, and Greenheys at Manchester Science Park as well as approval of plans recently gained for 117-119 Portland Street.

Bruntwood SciTech’s team for No.3 Circle Square includes Bridge Architects, Richard Boothroyd Associates, Curtins, CWC and Planit-IE.