Manchester Life

Driven by passion for our vibrant and progressive city

Manchester Life Development Company is a home-grown developer that blends a deep connection to Manchester with global real estate development and management expertise.

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Manchester Life Project summary


Manchester Life Development Company

Services provided

Project and programme management, Consult


UK and Europe, UK North

Project timeline


Project story

Manchester Life Development Company is the residential property development company owned by Manchester City Council and Abu Dhabi United Group, which is driving the sympathetic and sustainable redevelopment of Ancoats and New Islington into vibrant and inclusive communities.

The multi-phased Manchester Life initiative combines the best of public and private sector expertise to set a new benchmark for residential property development in Manchester by planning, financing, developing and managing a portfolio of high quality homes that will support the emergence of east Manchester.

Phase one of Manchester Life will provide more than 1,000 predominantly privately rented homes, helping to fulfil the demand for high quality residential accommodation, in line with Manchester’s residential growth strategy to provide tens of thousands of new homes by 2027.

The six phase one developments comprise five new builds (Cotton Field Wharf, One Cutting Room Square, Sawmill Court, Smith’s Yard and Weavers Quay) and the renovation of the Grade II* listed Murrays Mills complex. Consistent in quality, each plot is unique in size and context with commercial space at ground level; phase one will bring variety and an abundance of opportunity to the local area. 

This project profile features in our Northern Powerhouse section.
Manchester Life Apartments - Mace Group

Project stats

1,000 new homes for Manchester
6 developments across Ancoats and New Islington
24/7 Manchester Life concierges will be on hand at each property around the clock

Points of note

Redefining renting

Renting a home in the heart of Manchester is a lifestyle choice that delivers flexibility, freedom and great amenities.

With rising demand for rental accommodation across the city, Manchester Life have made it their mission to redefine renting in Manchester, providing desirable homes and great service in Ancoats and New Islington, two of the city’s most vibrant and attractive neighbourhoods.

Manchester Life Development Company and Mace

Mace has been providing project and risk management support to Manchester Life Development Company since 2014. Having built a solid relationship,  Mace has also been appointed to help Manchester Life Development Company explore the feasibility of phase two and to expand its role to include programme management.   

The world’s oldest to Manchester’s newest

Murrays’ Mills is a beautiful collection of Grade II and II* listed buildings around a central courtyard.

The Murray brothers began construction in 1797, starting with Old Mill then Decker Mill. New Mill followed quickly, and then the mills were connected by linking wings. All but one wing remains, as do the engine houses and the chimney.

Manchester Life’s focus has always been on sympathetically revitalising this irreplaceable heritage site and setting it up for a brand new purpose. From the soaring seven storey Old Mill, to the head-turning façade of the Murray Street Block, the entire site is being painstakingly restored and engineered to return the mill complex to its former glory while delivering cutting edge standards of new build development.

This makes it one of the most exciting residential developments to hit modern Manchester.

“In 2014, Manchester City Council and the Abu Dhabi United Group formed Manchester Life Development Company with the goal of supporting East Manchester’s emergence through developing high quality and well managed residential accommodation. ”

“The opportunity to work alongside Manchester Life Development Company delivering such high profile projects in Manchester is a fantastic one for Mace. The challenge presented by the pace and scale of development is one we absolutely relish. The strength of relationship built with the client is testament to the sustained efforts of the team.”

“Ancoats and New Islington are key areas for residential growth in the city where we can furnish our growing population with high quality homes, in attractive neighbourhoods, that are close to employment opportunities in the city centre.The investment through Manchester Life complements and builds upon two decades of major development and investment in East Manchester – and we are looking to reconnect those areas of regeneration to the economic centre of the city to support the future economic growth of Manchester.”