Over the past 15 years, construction jobs in Manchester have been booming, and this has contributed to its status as the city with the highest number of skyscrapers in the UK outside of London.
As a new decade-long skyscraper construction scheme is granted planning permission in the city, we look at Manchester’s construction renaissance, what the new project entails, as well as the new construction jobs that will be created as Manchester battles to become the Manhattan of the UK.
Manchester’s relentless rise
Since the completion of the 170m-tall Beetham Tower (Hilton) in 2006, Manchester has undergone something of a vertical revolution. At the time of the Beetham’s completion, it was the tallest building in Manchester and the tallest in the UK outside of London. This was a major milestone for Manchester and seen as a stand-out symbol of its decade-long transformation and reinvention following the 1996 IRA bombing.
However, a little over ten years later, this structure would ultimately be dwarfed by one of a new collection of buildings to regenerate the Deansgate area of the city. The Deansgate Square South Tower was completed in 2018 stands some 30m higher than the Beetham tower, taking away its crown of being the tallest building in the UK outside of London. The Deansgate Square project is of a collection of four structures, all of which feature in the top 10 tallest in Manchester.
New York City has undergone a similar transformation. For a city famed for being the home of majestic old skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building (the tallest building in the world upon completion in 1931 and the tallest in New York for a total of over 50 years), 70% of the top 30 tallest buildings in the Big Apple have been completed within the 20 years since the September 11th attacks. Many of these were completed within the last decade. One World Trade Centre, built to replace the Twin Towers, is one of these and is the tallest, completed in 2014.
Similarly, only three of the top 20 buildings in Manchester stood prior to 2012, with only three of the top 10 prior to 2018.
All this has meant that it has been a boom time for construction jobs in Manchester, a city which is becoming a hotbed for exciting construction projects and the true home of the skyscraper outside of London. And it isn’t stopping there.
A new project dawns
Construction company Renaker, the organisation behind the Deansgate Square project, has unveiled a fresh scheme to build four towers in the city from 39 to 60 storeys in height.
Known as the Trinity Islands scheme, the project is set to cost around £530million, creating more than 4,000 construction jobs and 9,400 supply chains across a nine-year period.
The new project will consist of two pairs of towers, with designs that seek to give each pair their own visual identity, designed by SimpsonHaugh. Consultant WSP is supporting both the M&E and structural design of Trinity Islands.
Renaker bought the site from rival developer Allied London back in 2018. The site, which consists of two areas of land, lies next to the River Irwell to the north and west, Liverpool Road to the east and Water Street and Regent Street to the south.
On site C, the buildings are conceived as diamond forms with a crystalline facade, while site D will emphasise the taller height of the buildings with curved facades. The project will create almost 2,000 apartments for the area.
What construction roles will be needed and how can I be part of it?
Large scale construction projects like this will require a huge array of construction talent. From Project Managers to Quantity Surveyors, to labourers and Site Managers, the amount of talent required is substantial and workforce planning will already have begun. By September 2021, construction vacancies had already hit a 20 year high, and projects like the Trinity Islands scheme will do little to reduce that.
With so many construction roles, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Ahead of the start of the project, it might be time to reinvigorate your credentials and gain a new qualification. Within the ever-changing construction industry, keeping up to date with the latest innovations and regulations is essential to continued development, as is gaining the relevant construction qualifications necessary for your specialism.Here is a handy guide to the professional construction qualifications that can take your career to the next level
As well as being qualified for the roles, standing out in an often-competitive interview is crucial. Take a look at the top interview questions for jobs in construction and how to answer them here
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