Manchester Co-working Revolution

At least 200,000 sq ft of new co-working space is expected in the city centre before the end of 2017 – and it will mean big changes.

The co-working revolution , which has changed London’s office market, is about to blow a massive hole in Manchester’s city centre property scene.
At least 200,000 sq ft of new co-working space is expected in the city centre before the end of 2017 – and it will mean big changes.

So says Jonny Rosenblatt, managing director at Headspace Group, which is to take its first co-working site outside London. They signed up for a 15,000 sq ft unit at Mount Street, Albert Square.The new co-working space is due to open in January after the deal with landlords LJ Partnership.

The 160-strong working community will be managed by a dedicated on-site team and will curate a range of social and business events for local start-ups and scale-ups, ranging from panel discussions and workshops to yoga and social events.

Co-working space is shared and is more informal than serviced offices. It has been growing fast in London over the last two years, and now accounts for several million sq ft.

“A revolution is absolutely on its way to Manchester. There is a changing dynamic in the way small tech businesses work and want to use office space. They need floorspace without commitment, and that’s what the property market will have to provide,” said Rosenblatt.

“We can expect to see several hundred thousand sq ft of new co-working floorspace in Manchester before 2018. The higher end of the co-working market – of the kind we’re providing – could be as much as 30-40% of the total.”
Headspace says Manchester has a lot to offer tech start-ups, yet it’s commercial property market must evolve and cater better for start-ups and scale-ups if the city is to rival other European tech hubs.
They also claim Manchester’s commercial property market remains quite traditional. Whilst tech businesses are invariably young, entrepreneurial and speculative, office space in Manchester tends to be let on a five-year lease, with stringent parameters.

“The property business has an inherent problem with small tech businesses. These businesses don’t know what they will be doing or how big they will be in two years time – we’ve clients who have grown from three staff to 80 in that time – and traditional five to 15-year property leases are not what they need. They need flexibility,” said Rosenblatt.

Data from the British Property Federation suggests that tenants want shorter leases. The UK’s average lease length is now just seven years and is shrinking further in London.

Headspace predict lease lengths will shorten in Manchester, too. As many as 54% of tech start-ups want short term leases.

“Manchester is catching up with London,” said Rosenblatt. “We’re starting to see the London tech businesses send big teams to Manchester and yes, we’re aiming to get some of them as occupiers.

“But we’re also looking at creative businesses that maybe in more mainstream serviced offices, or in raw co-working spaces on the city fringe, and now want somewhere more grown up to help attract the right talent to their business.”

The Silk Works sits on the edge of Spinningfields, Manchester. The innovative 50,000 sq ft new office accommodation will take around 12-18 months to complete the build includes a co-working space on the ground floor with booths, break out spaces and meeting rooms.

Situated on Atkinson Street and Scott Place, the eight-storey Silk Works scheme will comprise the refurbishment and extension of Invicta House, adding a further 35,000 sq ft onto the existing 15,000 sq ft building with 6,000 sq ft office floorplates.

The new extension will sit behind the existing façade on Atkinson Street.

Tomorrow is a new exciting and imaginatively designed workspace for digital and creative businesses in MediaCityUK.

The stunning building, a £20m hotel and office development, will also act as the gateway to MediaCityUK.

The creative workspaces, set within an industrial design, cover the first six floors of Tomorrow, and agreements have been reached with several companies, including digital and tech agencies to occupy space.
The ground floor co-working space will provide a place for relaxed meetings and hot-desking, and will also be available to freelancers visiting MediaCityUK.

Quirky pay-as-you-stay coffee house Ziferblat has also confirmed it will occupy 6,000 sq ft over Tomorrow’s ground floor and mezzanine levels

Commercial property giant Bruntwood is creating ‘neo’, its most evolved collaborative workspace to date.

Development at the 15-storey, 52,000 sq ft building on the corner of Portland Street and Charlotte Street, formerly known as Bank House, is nearing completion.

The £8m redevelopment will be called ‘neo’ deriving from the Greek word ‘neonate’ meaning a fresh, new, revived form.

Led by a surging demand for innovative workspace in the UK, the scheme is designed to reflect the impact of new technologies on the changing nature of work.

This will be a collection of co-working spaces in Allied London’s St John’s neighbourhood.

It will comprise of OGS Works, based within Old Granada Studios Manchester, currently a thriving community of businesses from the world of media, technology, fashion, music production and recording and retail.
It will sit alongside Hello Work, a social enterprise brand funded by Allied London.

The team will provide business and marketing support to people with a genuine vision to create or develop their business idea.

Watch This Space has announced it is to move to new offices at 31-33 Princess Street in Manchester city centre, where the urban regeneration company will launch the UK’s first property co-working space.

The concept, called ‘That Space,’ will offer a flexible co-working environment exclusively for organisations operating in the property sector.

Watch This Space has taken 1,800 sq ft on a five year lease and can house up to 20 in total.

Companies of up to four employees can sign up to the scheme for an all-inclusive monthly fee.

A co-working FinTech hub will become part of XYZ, the landmark workspace building currently being developed by Allied London in Spinningfields.
The Vault will be a 20,000 sq ft new enterprise space for innovative companies and start-ups in the financial technology industry.
Launching at the end of this year, The Vault will be integral to the Fintech incubator vision being fostered at XYZ, where Allied London is aiming to create the north’s primary ‘melting pot for tech innovation, media and entrepreneurs.’

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