Manchester Life, Sawmill Court, Manchester

Exclusive high-quality apartments in the upcoming area of Ancoats
Manchester Life Development Company
15,209 sq m, 158 Apartments
June 2018
Chapman Taylor


Eric Wright Construction has been appointed as the main contractor on the Manchester Life Sawmill Court project. This development involves the demolition of all existing industrial buildings on the site which is located within the Ancoat's conservation area.

The Sawmill Court development involved the demolition of all existing industrial buildings on the site which is located within the Ancoats Conservation Area.

The new building is an eight storey, concrete framed, mixed use development with retail units to the ground floor, car parking to the 1st floor and 158 apartments on the upper floors.

To the ground floor, 8 commercial units have been created providing a total floor space of 1,253 sq m.  The car parking facilities offer 69 car parking spaces including 4 disabled spaces at first floor and up to 128 cycle parking spaces.

This exciting development wraps around a landscaped pedestrianised courtyard area at ground floor level.

00_hard-hat_one   2,453 Work opportunity weeks created                     waste-recycled   98.8% Waste recycled                      A screwdriver and a wrench. Vector icons for video, mobile apps, Web sites and print projects.   592 Apprentice weeks created

ccs-score   41/50 Considerate Constructors score                      local-workforce   80.2% Local workforce

Key Challenges

The main challenges on this development involve the city centre location of the site.  We were also working adjacent to other contractors, making planning and communication of the upmost importance.

The site is of historic interest with pre-construction archaeological surveys and ongoing monitoring throughout the build.

There have also been complex disconnections and diversions of existing services requiring close liaison with the statutory authorities.

A further challenge consisted of stopping up of existing highways.


Added Value

Value has been added to this scheme through value engineering opportunities such as an alternative façade solution.

A scheme of this scale, complexity and design required creative thinking from the whole team. During detailed design development we improved the specification to provide more robust solutions to benefit Manchester Life throughout the lifetime of the rental apartments.  These included changing the roof to a Bauder system which has tougher properties for withstanding completion of services on the roof and ongoing maintenance of services.  The bedroom vanity unit design was changed from a plasterboard finish to a laminate to provide better durability.  These have been included on our approved products listing to be utilised on future projects.

Our team investigated opportunities for value engineering and cost savings and we worked with the other contractors and their design teams.  Following a series of workshops, the teams developed standard design solutions for kitchens, windows, doors, internal finishes and floor covering.

These were adopted by all contractors leading to efficiencies in design and standardisation of installation.  A benefit for Manchester Life is that the standard solutions are consistent from building to building, leading to more efficient facilities management through consistent maintenance requirements, servicing and cleaning methods.

Client Feedback

“Sawmill Court is going to be a transformative development for Ancoats. The residents’ courtyard and onsite facilities & services will make this a flagship rental property for the area, and the anticipated commercial tenants will provide exciting new options for Ancoats residents. Eric Wright have a track record of delivering sophisticated urban developments, and we’re looking forward to completing this special development for Ancoats.”
Marty Edelman
Executive Chairman, Manchester Life Development Company

“Sawmill Court is a significant development in the heart of Ancoats, just off the historic Cutting Room Square. It is a mix of one, two and three bedroom rental homes with resident amenities including a gym, club room, parking, and cycle storage. Sawmill's ground floor commercial spaces are an important addition to the community and are now home to independent businesses, including Mana, Trove, Sugo Pasta Kitchen, and soon to open Erst and Hip Hop Chip Shop. Eric Wright delivered the scheme to our exacting standards, on time and to budget.”
Manchester Life Spokesperson

Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.