ISSUE Nº 1 N OV 2 01 7 MANCHESTER
FEATURING: OFFICE MARKET REVIEW FOOD FOR THOUGHT
CONTINUING TO MIX IT UP
INTRODUCING…MAHIKI INTERVIEWS WITH: CHRIS OGLESBY, BRUNTWOOD
AN OBI PROPERTY PUBLICATION
JOHN ROBERTS, AO.COM
W W W.O B I P R O P E RT Y.CO.U K
It gives us great pleasure to bring you the first edition of OBI. This might seem an unusual thing for a property consultancy to do, but those of you who’ve worked with OBI before will know that we’re always prepared to look at different ways of doing things that will ultimately be to the benefit of our clients, whatever their line of business. As we see things, OBI are here to provide you with the best of our knowledge in the real estate sphere: you’re good at what you do, and we’re good at what we do. Being able to provide end-to-end real estate solutions for you — the OBI Difference — is what sets us apart. And this journal is an extension of that. The intention is to provide you with informative, useful and hopefully entertaining content about what’s going on in our key market of Manchester. Some of this is the kind of information we provide as a matter of course — take-up stats, projects in development — other parts are a little more leftfield, included to keep you up to speed on matters around food and drink, say, or the retail situation. There are reports from OBI events, and we’ve rifled through our contacts book to bring you insights from top business leaders, from the property world and wider business world alike. We hope you enjoy the journal. Let us know your thoughts, on social media, if you see us out and about, or if you’d like to know more about what we can do for you, come in and see us. We’re always keen to talk.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
To everyone who has given their time to be interviewed, or has spoken at an OBI event.
Ashley Ashcroft CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Neil Tague DESIGN
Márcio Sá PHOTOGRAPHERS
David Lake Photography Paul Wilson CONTRIBUTORS
ISSUE NO. 1 NOV 2017 OBI Journal is published bi-annually BY OBI PROPERTY obiproperty.co.uk @obiproperty © 2017 OBI PROPERTY All rights reserved.
Welcome This is an incredibly exciting time for Manchester, with a vibrant, multi-faceted economy and a confident, diverse population. This publication will help to bring people up to speed on the changes taking place both here in the city in a physical sense, and how the world of work is changing in a global sense. OBI as a business is growing amidst this, expanding in new directions and working with some inspiring, pioneering businesses. It’s important to us to support our partners and clients in every way we can, and to us that’s not just about being at the end of the phone occasionally, but being a constant source of intelligence and information, whether digitally through OBI Insights, at our events, or here in print. In a million miles-per hour world, each of us sometimes forget to pause, take stock and think about the bigger picture. It’s our pleasure to help you do that with this first edition of OBI Journal. We would like to thank Ashley Ashcroft and Márcio Sá, two valued members of the talented OBI team, for their efforts in putting together this first edition of OBI. We’re sure our clients and readers will agree it looks fantastic, and presents some vital insights and information in a constantly engaging way.
office market review
interview: chris oglesby
THE BIG DEALS, THE STATS, WHAT’S COMING IN 2018: YOUR UPDATE ON MANCHESTER OFFICES
THE BOSS OF BRUNTWOOD ON CUSTOMER-FOCUSED THINKING AND EVOLVING A COMPANY BRAND
tech round table report
MANCHESTER’S LATEST HOT DESTINATION FOR INDEPENDENT FOOD AND CRAFT ALE
FORWARD-THINKERS FROM THE SECTOR OFFER INSIGHT INTO MANCHESTER’S “MUST-DO” LIST
food for thought
RESTAURANT EXPERT THOM HETHERINGTON ON THE BIG LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK STORIES
HOW THE OBI DIFFERENCE CREATED THE PERFECT SOLUTION FOR LAW FIRM MYERSON
introducing…mahiki TOP OF THE RANGE TIKI BAR COMES TO MANCHESTER
interview: john roberts THE FOUNDER OF INTERNET POWERHOUSE AO.COM SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON GETTING RIGHT IN BUSINESS
suits you sir THE ‘RETAIL IN DETAIL’ Q&A WITH ADAM DOOLEY OF ICONIC TAILOR FRANK ROSTRON
enterprise city uk CAN ST JOHN’S GIVE MANCHESTER A WORLD-LEADING DIGITAL CITY WITHOUT BOUNDARIES?
heritage focus: canada house
THE LJ PARTNERSHIP HAS BIG PLANS FOR THIS MANCHESTER ICON. WE TOOK A LOOK INSIDE
THE BITE-SIZED UPDATES ON WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
obi white paper: tech sector
HOW WELL EQUIPPED IS MANCHESTER TO BECOME A TOP DIGITAL CITY? WE CRUNCH THE NUMBERS
SOME OF THE CITY'S UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS
entrepreneurs event SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING YOUNG BUSINESSES IN THE CITY GO UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
united we stand JUNIOR FOOTBALL TEAM OBI UNITED FIND INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
meet the team OBI'S JESSICA ENGLAND
OFFICE MARKET REVIEW
reach for the sky THERE’S BEEN A CHANGE IN CIVIC LEADERSHIP, WITH SIR HOWARD BERNSTEIN STEPPING DOWN FROM THE TOP JOB AT MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL, BUT MANCHESTER CONTINUES TO MERRILY ROLL ALONG AS THE UK’S MOST VIBRANT REGIONAL PROPERTY MARKET.
very month, it seems, brings news of further hotel and restaurant brands entering the city, while on the residential side 2017 has been typified both by announcements of deals to fund development in the build-to-rent asset class, and the presence of massive cranes as ever-taller apartment towers make Manchester feel more and more like a “world city” every day.
The office market too has continued to perform extremely well. Breaking the 1 million sq ft mark has become the annual target for the city centre office market, and Manchester looks to be well on course to achieve that in 2017. Over the first three quarters of the year, close to 900,000 sq ft was let, with highlights including the Department for Work & Pensions’ 77,000 sq ft at Two St Peters Square, WeWork’s second Manchester deal, in which it signed for 41,000 sq ft next door at One St Peter’s Square, and PwC’s taking an additional 25,000 sq ft at No.1 Spinningfields. Although Manchester’s final take-up statistics for 2017 will in all likelihood be highly impressive, a note of
caution is advised. The Q3 boom includes within it a glut of public sector requirements, some of which had been around for some time, all coming to fruition at once.
two large requirements totalling a combined 500,000 sq ft-plus, with U+I’s Mayfield likely to land one and a number of contenders jockeying for the second requirement.
The DWP deal mentioned above, along with the Parliamentary Services Ombusdman taking 35,000 sq ft Citygate mask to some extent a possible slowdown in other sectors. There is some worry and frustration in many parts of the business community over the government’s lack of clarity over Brexit.
Looking forward to 2018, the city has much reason to be cheerful. Before 2017 is out, work will start onsite at the 188,500 sq ft Two New Bailey Square, where Salford City Council is to take an underlying 25-year lease. The council is also investing at 100 Embankment, with a forward-funding deal that will allow work to start on a 164,000 sq ft office building.
Financial services in particular, along with any sector where the UK’s relationship with the EU would affect strategic planning for the future, can be forgiven for exercising caution, and this will of course come into play when real estate strategies are being developed. None of that should be taken as painting a gloomy picture for Manchester. Unlike other cities, it is yet to feel the benefit of a bumper deal through the Government Property Unit’s rationalisation into regional super-hubs. In time, Manchester is expected to land
Other projects that will reach completion or make substantial progress over the course of the coming months include No. 8 First Street and Hanover at NOMA, while Boultbee Brooks Real Estate is behind two of the more imaginative refurbishment projects, Hyphen on Mosley Street and the redevelopment of 30 Brown Street into the 48,000 sq ft The Core. H
OFFICE MARKET REVIEW
KEY DEALS… AND WHY THEY MATTER KELLOGG’S The iconic cereal maker has signed for 46,000 sq ft at the Orange tower in MediaCityUK. Kellogg’s will move from early 2018, with its vacant space next to Emirates Old Trafford set to become University Academy 92, a sports and businessfocused educational institution. Kellogg’s chose MediaCity to be close to the digital and creative firms it works alongside. CLYDE & CO The law firm already occupies 11,000 sq ft within Manchester’s Royal Exchange complex, but has reaffirmed its commitment in upsizing dramatically, taking a further 69,0009 sq ft as it relocates from Chancery Place. The deal highlights the value inherent in modernised heritage buildings with a central location. WEWORK Co-working spaces have become the buzzword of recent years in London, following the US trend, and Manchester had seen a few smaller-scale operations. But the announcement by industry leader WeWork that it would take 60,000 sq ft at No. 1 Spinningfields, the city’s best new building, was a line in the sand. WeWork will also now open a further facility at One St Peter’s Square.
AO WORLD The parent group of online electricals phenomenon AO.com has elected to bring together a collection of Manchester-based teams by signing for the whole of the 37,000 sq ft at Bruntwood’s Baskerville House. The deal shows the appeal of mid-size buildings as HQs and the trust placed in both quality refurbishments and landlord Bruntwood. DISTRELEC The ten-year lease on the 16,500 sq ft seventh floor of Deutsche Asset Management’s Two St Peter’s Square signifies Swiss electronic distributor Distrelec’s first move into the UK, and is thus an inward investment coup for the city. It will be known internally as the Enterprise Hub, housing product, supplier, inventory management, e-commerce and marketing, consolidating operations from Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Italy and creating 100 new jobs.
THE COLLABORATION GAME WeWork signing for two Manchester spaces is confirmation that the co-working revolution has very much arrived. Many of Manchester’s newer buildings and reinvented spaces now include an element of co-working or collaboration space. Bruntwood’s Neo, The Vault at XYZ, and Barclays’ Rise centre are all examples of this trend. Is there enough demand for all to pay off? PROFESSIONAL DEMAND Lawyers and accountancy firms account for a decent chunk of Manchester’s lettings activity, but with each of the Big Four accountancies now settled on new or new-ish space, and with several big legal players similarly satisfied — Weightmans, DLA, Addleshaw Goddard — where will the deals come from? Freshfields could be a signifier of things to come in this respect. THE INTERNATIONAL ASPECT The first quarter of 2018 will see completion of Enterprise Way, a link road that will allow the start onsite of office development at Airport City, one of the city’s banner projects since 2010. With the airport itself now undergoing a £1bn transformation, this could give the whole South Manchester market fresh impetus.
QUAYS TO THE FUTURE MediaCityUK at Salford Quays is growing up. Space within its Orange, White and Blue workspace offers has been reimagined in response to demand for smaller, more flexible spaces. Further development in the area, with eyecatchers such as the Alchemist bar, plus improved links to the city centre, mean this is now an established business location. OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH The Northern Quarter has for years been the heart of the city’s night-time economy, also being home to large buildings with character-packed workspace owned by some of the city’s savviest landlords. The feelgood factor is spreading beyond the inner ring road into Ancoats. Could the Express Building be the hit of 2018?
NO.1 SPINNINGFIELDS — TIMELINE TO SUCCESS Allied London, advised by OBI Property, is about to open Manchester’s tallest commercial workspace, the world-class 300,000 sq ft No. 1 Spinningfields. Here’s how the plan came together: 03/15 — Top accountancy PwC announces its relocation to No.1 05/15 — Construction begins with the demolition of Quay House and an enabling works programme 01/16 — Squire Patton Boggs becomes the second key office tenant 03/16 — ‘World Class’ branding initiative launched 04/16 — D&D announced as operator of rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace 06/16 — Best-in-class marketing suite launched onsite 10/16 — Browne Jacobson signs for 11.000 sq ft 03/17 — The Ivy announces it will open in the Pavillion at No.1 06/17 — WeWork signs for 60,000 sq ft, its first UK space outside London 08/17 — BAM Construction announces practical completion, with more than 80% of the building let 09/17 — M&S Foodhall opens. No.1 is live.
FOOD & DRINK
grub’s up OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, THE FORMER MAYFIELD STATION CLOSE TO MANCHESTER PICCADILLY WILL BECOME A MAJOR MIXED-USE DESTINATION. IN THE MEANTIME, IT’S BECOME A RED-HOT HUB OF THE INDEPENDENT FOOD AND DRINK SCENE.
rub have become nothing short of a food phenomenon in Manchester. Known for their weekly food fair events, Grub have brought street food to the masses and provide an inclusive, family-friendly atmosphere in the yard of an unused building just feet away from Manchester Piccadilly. A husband and wife team, Grub is run by Jason and But they also know what they’re doing — Jules Bailey. They started they themselves come from a street food off doing one-off events background. before taking the leap into monthly events at “When we looked around we saw that some the home of brewery street food events were pushing up pitch fees Runaway. It was then a and this was squeezing the really interesting move to weekly events traders who work to lower margins, there just hosted at another local weren’t enough events to make it sustainable. brewery, Alphabet, in a We decided there was room for us to charge low railway arch close to Pic- pitch fees and encourage new traders cooking cadilly Station before the up truly inspirational foods,” says Jason. H move to Mayfield Depot.
FOOD & DRINK
The revamp of Mayfield Depot is a venture between U+I, London and Continental Railways, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester. Grub were approached to run street food events there and Bailey said it didn’t take long before they decided it was a perfect fit. “They’re a fantastic bunch who are truly putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to supporting indies in Manchester, exciting things will grow out of the wider site for sure,” says Jason.
It’s all about inclusivity with families more than welcome - activities such as colouring are provided for the children as well as space for them to explore and learn a bit about nature on the more relaxed Plant Powered Sundays. But it’s not just about the food; the drink is also a key aspect. When the team were operating out of breweries, they were limited to beers from those producers but the new site has opened a world of possibilities. H
FOOD & DRINK
Local is the name of the game with the drinks - beer comes from the likes of Cloudwater and Marble, both based in Manchester, and there’s a house beer made by their former hosts Runaway, while soft drinks come from local artisan producer Steep Soda Co.
The main aim of Grub is to create a sustainable food scene in the city and they’re keen to help nurture street food operators and help novice traders find their feet as well as helping existing traders with an affordable way to sell their wares.
“The idea behind our drink selection is sim- “The hope is that Manchester becomes ilar to the food offerings: to be as inclusive the street food capital of the UK bursting as possible to drinkers of all levels, to offer at the seams with amazing street chefs interesting drinks that are primarily great and, fingers crossed, a number of them quality above all else,” says Grub’s bar go on to take the next step of moving and event manager Nick Duke. into bricks and mortar which then supports the city’s indie restaurant scene,” “To add to that we try to showcase the best Jason concludes. of what the North of the UK has to offer, as we feel there’s a wealth of amazing local talent right on our doorstep.”
FOOD & DRINK
food for thought THOM HETHERINGTON IS CEO OF NORTHERN RESTAURANT & BAR, THE NORTHâ€™S LARGEST HOSPITALITY TRADE SHOW. WE ASKED FOR HIS THOUGHTS ON MANCHESTER FOOD AND DRINK IN 2017.
g El Gato Negro 52 King Street M2 4LY
FOOD & DRINK
El Gato Negro h
’m often asked “So what’s happening in Manchester’s dining scene then?” It’s a superficially simple question, and I sense that people expect a correspondingly simple answer. I delight in disappointing them; Manchester is no longer a one-trick pony, and the truth is that a variety of things are happening simultaneously, in all sorts of different directions, driven by a mass of sometimes contradictory dynamics.
Firstly there are signs that the invasion of London operators is slowing, and ‘casual’ dining groups are catching a cold - a national phenomenon rather than Manchester-specific. Secondly the financial realities of rents and rates are pushing obsessive talent to the margins of the city centre - For example Rudy’s, the best pizza in town; Lupo, the best coffee in town; and Pollen, the best bakery in town. Thirdly, whilst the roll-outs batten down the hatches it seems ambitious and aspirational indies are licking their lips at the potential opportunities, keener than ever to carve out their own chunk of the market. H
FOOD & DRINK
No one should ever make light of businesses struggling, but we can’t ignore the fact that at least some of the major operators are over-leveraged and over-extended, and poorly defined or poorly executed concepts are failing to do the business outside of London. Here in Manchester Busaba Eathai was the last significant casualty. That’s not the only narrative though, and high-class national operators like D&D London - shortly to launch in No. 1 Spinningfields - are, if anything, ramping up their operations in the North.
In terms of the indies getting “pushed out” of Manchester that is, as ever, a more complex and nuanced story than it appears. Can any true “indie” rock up and open in Mayfair or the West End? Should a mature Manchester dining scene be any different? Numbers are numbers and the market decides. There are still one-off “indies with investment”, from El Gato Negro to Michael O’Hare’s portfolio, blossoming in the city core, but equally class acts breaking new ground in unproven neighbourhoods is a welcome side effect of Manchester growing up. About time, some would say. For talent with a story to tell look to Ancoats and Salford’s Chapel St in particular, with further potential around St John’s and Mayfield. H
(top & right) f Hispi 1C School Lane M20 6RD
FOOD & DRINK
As an aside, the explosion of quality suburban dining is a truly fantastic thing. A list of our finest restaurants would undoubtedly include Levanter, Baraxturi, Hispi, Where The Light Gets In, Volta, Porta and Sugo. Can any other provincial city reel off such a list of out of town gems? Most of these can be reached within 15-20mins of Piccadilly station; a journey for dinner that no Londoner would bat an eyelid at. People think suburban restaurants have to play it safe, but the financials involved can enable innovation and risk-taking. Finally, this surge of indie ambition doesnâ€™t always have to start in Manchester, though it frequently makes a significant stop-off here. Filmore & Union featured in the Sunday Times business pages recently and must already by eying the city from their Yorkshire heartlands, whereas the well-funded Mowgli has already rolled into town from down the other end of M62. H
FOOD & DRINK
It doesnâ€™t end there; speak to the guys behind the Good Food Guide-listed Porta and Joseph Benjamin in Chester, or the esteemed Maray in Liverpool, and they all have Manchester on their minds. If the big guys wobble then a wave of regional entrepreneurs are snapping at their heels. The most forward thinking developers and landlords are already sharpening their means of engagement with the next generation of foodie entrepreneurs, although identifying the stars of the future is a tricky task. Really, the only surefire winners in this constantly shifting dining ecology are Mancunian diners themselves.
party time on central street MAHIKI MANCHESTER IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
he nightclub is the third Mahiki to open, following openings in London and Dubai, and has been introduced to the city by Gary Neville, the former footballer who has turned his hand to a number of innovative property projects across the city. H
Mahiki f Central St, Manchester, M2 5WR 0161 667 667 2392 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mahiki.com/manchester
Mahiki occupies space at One Central Street, off Albert Square, a building owned by OBI client LJ Partnership. It comprises two main spaces; Lanai Lounge and the Aloha Party Room. The Lounge is decorated with hand-carved totem poles, bamboo cladding, Chinese jade tiles, and tropical Versace wallpaper. The seating in the bar area is cushioned with kitsch 1950s-inspired fabric, while bamboo tables and chairs are dressed with flower petals and chopsticks. Thereâ€™s a wellstocked bar, and a menu including sushi, sashimi and Wagyu beef. At 10pm, the doors through to the Aloha party room open and the Polynesian party atmosphere fully kicks in. H
Mahiki is open to all, but for large groups celebrating a special occasion, offers such as “the treasure chest sharer” at £140, including home-made Mahiki specials, peach liqueur, and topped with a bottle of Lanson champagne are sure to get the party started.
London’s Mahiki was opened in 2005 by Piers Adam, Nick House and David Phelps and is renowned as a favoured haunt of celebrities. Manchester’s newest hip venue looks sure to follow suit.
On signing the deal to bring Mahiki to Manchester, Neville said: “Mahiki already has fantastic venues in world class cities so we are delighted to bring a club of this calibre to Manchester in a great location such as the Albert Estate.”
LONDON — MANCHESTER — DUBAI — MARBELLA — SARDINIA
suits you sir TAILORING IS ONE OF THOSE AREAS WHERE THEREâ€™S JUST NO SUBSTITUTE FOR QUALITY. WE TAKE A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES AT A FAMOUS MANCHESTER NAME.
hirtmaker Frank Rostron is a Manchester institution. Standing on Princess Street in the shadow of the iconic Town Hall, the shop has for decades been a port of call for the discerning, welldressed Manchester businessman.
Founder Frank Rostron left the scene a decade ago, at which point Adam Dooley took over, diversifying into new areas and winning a whole new audience of fans at home and abroad. We caught up with Adam to get his take on life as a very particular kind of Manchester retailer. H
“ADDING THE SUITS AND MORE ACCESSORY LINES AND DIVERSIFYING INTO MORE OF A GENTLEMAN’S OUTFITTERS KEPT US ALIVE” — ADAM DOOLEY
What’s the story behind you getting involved in Frank Rostron, then?
How have you changed the business since taking over?
I took over in 2007 then watched the financial world collapse around me it was certainly a challenge early on in my career. If I had kept the business just focussed on shirts I don’t think we would have survived. Adding the suits and more accessory lines and diversifying into more of a gentleman’s outfitters kept us alive. We have had a presence in New York City for 30 years as a company but things have really taken off in the last five or six years out there - and Los Angeles is also busy for me at the moment. We’ve also done well north of the border in Canada - Toronto has also become a great market for us in the last five years. Referrals are the main source of new customers out there as we don’t really advertise so it’s always nice when word spreads to other cities.
Putting the factory back on the premises was top of my list - and I managed to get the building next door to the shop, 37 Princess Street. and add four floors of factory space six years ago. Having everything made on site is rare these days, so customers being able to see the shirts being made, and having the ability to speak to the cutters about what they want, is a real plus point for us.
What sort of styles are proving popular these days? Do things change often? We are a classic outfitters, and business style will always be conservative especially in Manchester so I’ll always put my money in navy suit fabric and crisp white poplin for shirts. I have made more double-breasted suits this year than ever before for guys under 40 which is interesting. H
a Frank Rostron 39 Princess St M2 4FN www.frankrostron.com
How important has it been to add lines other than suits and shirts? Do clients kit themselves out head-to-toe with you? As you can come in and get measured for a suit and shirt with all the accessories you’ll need from socks to shoes, cufflinks to a tie pin, we do get customers doing that — they appreciate being able to make one stop for everything. For people that can’t get to the shop one of my guys will come to see you at your home or office.
Life on the high street is challenging for some — how important is having a physical presence in a world that seems to be going more and more online? We do have lots of online competition but being able to come into the store, touch the fabrics, speak to a tailor and make something you’ll actually be happy with really is priceless. I see and hear about lots of “misfires” with this “measure yourself online” stuff.
Spinningfields has a new collaborative workspace for the corporates the professionals the innovators & the disruptors
chris oglesby CHRIS OGLESBY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF BRUNTWOOD, IS ONE OF MANCHESTER’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PROPERTY FIGURES. WE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM TO TALK ABOUT WHERE BRUNTWOOD CAME FROM AND WHERE IT’S GOING.
anchester’s advance over the last quarter century is a story well told. Much of the credit rightly goes to Sir Howard Bernstein, who in a long spell as chief executive of the city council oversaw the re-emergence of the city as a vital economic centre. Its commercial core was reshaped, bringing in employers and creating jobs that fuel the continuing, ever-changing leisure and night-time economy.
That is some reputation, though. Bruntwood’s journey to becoming the city’s main offices player were sown with Michael Oglesby’s (Chris’ father) decision to move out of industrial property in the 1970s, and a later sojourn to Atlanta, Georgia. The main takeaway from this venture was a realisation that most British office providers were inconsistent at best in two key areas: branding and customer service.
Bernstein is the first to acknowledge the role played by key collaborators in the property world in this renaissance — the likes of Allied London, Argent, Ask and not least of all Bruntwood. I’m meeting Chris Oglesby, chief executive, at Bruntwood’s HQ on York Street — the firm having moved from nearby City Tower in summer 2016. City Tower’s a classic Bruntwood story — it bought the iconic office tower in December 2003 for £63m, spent £38m on refurbishment and sold for £135m in 2014, reflective of the company broadening its vision beyond provision of office space.
brand it like bruntwood
Ever since, service has been at the forefront of Bruntwood’s identity. The branding is tied in with that. Bruntwood built a brand in a way that only Urban Splash in the nascent loft-living market managed to do as effectively. Investing in sponsorship of Manchester’s Commonwealth Games in 2002 was a big step, but a brilliant one. By that summer, it seemed like the red oval Bruntwood H
“FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT”
e (top & left) Neo Building
logo was all over the city, fronting a whole host of smartly presented, affordable buildings. CHRIS SAYS: “We had a very different proposition, and we wanted people to know that the service level would be different — that this wasn’t just an anonymous financial institution. Being attuned to what customers value, and are prepared to pay, has always been key.”
It hadn’t happened overnight, of course. “Moving into the city in 1991, initially with my PA Sharon Johnson, who now heads one of our sales teams, was the big move, for myself and the firm,” says Chris. “At that point, it was difficult to see what the city centre’s proposition to the world was. The renaissance over the next 25 years, built on a strong service economy initially, has been staggering.”
The firm was still headquartered at Cheadle’s Abney Hall, serving a healthy South Manchester market, when this advance party started working from the newly-acquired Portland Buildings in 1992. But then it changed tack. “We started aggressively acquiring city centre buildings in the early 1990s, at first with Victorian buildings that we refurbished relatively cheaply, and then we got into 1960s buildings, which were unloved but offered good, straightforward office accommodation.” As Chris points out, the 60s blocks that were then unpopular (but have recently enjoyed a Modernist revival) are fundamentally sound, with generous space. Bruntwood, aware of the “first impressions count” maxim, invested in bright, airy receptions:
“What we did was present them well, with a great reception space, which is what matters at street level.” The results were spectacular — by the early 2000s Bruntwood owned around a quarter of city centre office space.
the story moves on
As the economy boomed in the early 2000s, Bruntwood became more expansive, delivering projects such as One New York Street, a venture into new build designed by Denton Corker Marshall. More recently still, the firm has led the development of Circle Square, which will see a blend of commercial space, hotels, student accommodation, apartments and quality public space at the former BBC site on Oxford Road. H
The story is always moving on. Bruntwood’s in the vanguard of those property providers that have realised that what businesses need, particularly in fast-moving sectors such as tech and science, is an environment that will allow them to flourish. That means desk space, but it also means a place where you can meet and collaborate with businesses for mutual benefit, where you can access support and advice, and tap into events and networks. Neo, Bruntwood’s £8m redevelopment of the 52,000 sq ft Bank House, is a stellar example. Launched in April 2017, Neo was 75% full on completion. It offers customers flexible, transparent, all-in-one pricing. It offers co-working lounge areas, “office studios” and has a dedicated community manager. CHRIS SAYS: “Property needs to innovate. The institutional lease will be dead within ten years, and we need to do things differently. Collaborative areas are important, but it means you’re not rentalising the whole building.” Essentially, a floor that could be rented out is given away — something not all landlords are prepared to do.
This is just the beginning, he says: “As an industry, we’re a fraction of the way there in terms of getting away from a long-lease environment.” Being more attuned to cus-
tomers has been aided by Bruntwood’s association with the science and tech sectors. CHRIS SAYS: “The start really was with the National Computing Centre, which then over time became a larger interest in Corridor Manchester. Citylabs was important, and then from there we went onto Manchester Science Partnerships.”
Corridor Manchester is what US scholar Bruce Katz terms an Innovation District. Based around Oxford Road, it houses a massive amount of intellectual capital, in the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the city’s main hospital campus, along with a smattering of culture such as the Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery. Bruntwood has been to the fore throughout. It bought the former Eye Hospital and turned it into Citylabs, which opened in 2014. In April 2017, approval was given for the development of Citylabs 2.0 and Citylabs 3.0. Worth a combined £60m across new build and old, this will see 220,000 sq ft of office, lab and associated space delivered. H
b Neo Building
“TURNING THREAT INTO AN OPPORTUNITY”
As with Citylabs, it will be delivered by Bruntwood on behalf of a joint venture between Manchester Science Partnerships and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust. Since then, practical completion has been reached on the other side of Oxford Road at the Bright Building, a new hub for the main Manchester Science Park site. Bruntwood became the majority shareholder in MSP in 2012 and quickly realised the opportunity to do something “next level”. AstraZeneca’s decision, at a global corporate level, to effectively pull out of the massive facility it had developed in Cheshire looked at first glance, like a huge blow to the region’s claims as a science stronghold. But this heralded a classic “turning threat into an opportunity” moment. The park was acquired and a range of development has commenced that should give the North West a chance to bridge the gap to the UK’s leading science hubs. Parts of the larger site have been sold off for residential, allowing the development of new facilities
— successes so far include the commitment by Cyprotex in January 2017 to moving its whole UK operation to Alderley Park. What’s happening here is the development of a world class bio and life sciences campus. No easy task, but Oglesby’s up for it. “It’s a great challenge for us,” he says. Bruntwood has become not only supportive in a general sense, but literally, taking equity positions in some of the start-ups and early stage businesses at Alderley. Inspiration come from all over. At MIPIM 2017, Oglesby shared a stage with Rob van de Veld, deputy mayor of Antwerp, as several European cities combined to talk about progress in their cities. “I think more is being done in terms of city-to-city trade deals. Manchester has been doing that for some years with New York, Boston and Toronto, and more recently Abu Dhabi. The stuff Antwerp are doing is exactly what ‘smart cities’ should be about—using postmen and other civic workers to use technology to report on what they see, helping the city.” HE SAYS:
What struck Oglesby was the bringing the lower-paid elements of the team more into the fold, giving more responsibility that will bring better pay with it, putting everyone on a more equal footing. No one can do this single-handed, but it’s the sort of responsible practice that, widespread, can go some way to sorting the inequality that, for all the city’s success, undoubtedly exists in Manchester and other cities. HE SAYS: “It’s about creating greater productivity, setting challenges for ourselves and making those lowerpaid positions higher-value roles.”
That’s Bruntwood in a nutshell, really. It’s a smart business, always open to new ideas, always keen to work in partnership, and always aware of both its responsibilities and the opportunity it has to put something back.
can manchester become a tech super-city? MANCHESTER IS THE LARGEST DIGITAL AND TECH HUB IN THE UK OUTSIDE OF LONDON, AND EARLIER THIS YEAR WAS NAMED IN THE EUROPEAN TOP 20 FOR THE FIRST TIME — BUT WHAT DOES IT NEED TO BECOME TRULY WORLD-CLASS?
ust how well-positioned Manchester is when it comes to being regarded as a tech hub of significance is hard to gauge. The city has all the key ingredients: a strong supply of bright young things from good universities, an international airport, decent enough local and national transport links, and that “X factor” of lifestyle — it’s considered cool, a fun place to be, somewhere with music, culture, nightlife, sport, an ever-changing mix of bars and restaurants.
But it’s a big world out there, and the competition is strong. Along with MediaCityUK, OBI gathered some of the city’s key players — established players, start-ups, space providers and professionals from property and finance — to look at where Manchester’s at, and what it needs to do to establish itself firmly in the top echelon of international tech locations. What we found were some big points on how to tackle the skills issue, reassuring views on the property and business support side, and the growing feeling that a “pay it forward” mentality is taking hold in the sector.
DAMIEN HANSON CIRCLE LOOP
“From a start-up perspective, there’s a lot more support than there was, with initiatives such as Tech North. What I took from Manchester’s tech sector trip to San Francisco was collaboration, rather than fear of competitors. The ecosystem there harnesses sharing and knowledge transfer at a deep level, there’s a ‘pay it forward’ mentality. We need more established businesses to support start-ups.”
LAWRENCE JONES UKFAST
“Manchester beats London every day of the week for start-ups. Investment and support from entrepreneurs is happening more than people realise, but it’s under the radar. We also need to invest in developing people — UKFast started an apprenticeship programme and it’s given us some phenomenal people with incredible loyalty. If every business did something similar Manchester wouldn’t have a skills problem. And while it’s a ‘nice’ thing to do, the key thing is it makes commercial sense.”
NICK RHIND CTI DIGITAL
“Manchester’s got a strong digital economy, but focuses too much on London — linking better with Sheffield, Leeds and so on would be better. Working more closely together would give us a stronger offering. The biggest issue in Manchester is talent, and better transport infrastructure across the north would allow us to hire people from a wider area.”
MARK ROBINSON MEDIACITY UK
“What we’ve tried to do is not just put buildings up, but take a more sophisticated approach, creating a community around digital and tech. The Tomorrow building launched in September, and we’re seeing companies that were two-man start-ups in the Greenhouse now employing 20 and moving on within the area.”
MAYA DIBLEY THE LANDING
“We offer everything a growing business needs under one roof, with desk space and areas to meet other businesses, along with the On the Seventh private members’ club. A business can hold an event for investors using all these things, it’s a professional environment. Location-wise, we’re five minutes from Chorlton, where a lot of creative people live, and easy to access from outlying areas too.”
RICHARD LACE OBI PROPERTY
“What landlords and developers now realise is that businesses need ‘solutions’ more than ‘buildings’. We work with tech businesses that have grown from 30 to 300 people within a couple of years, so they need flexibility. Traditional investors would look at profit and loss, but these businesses pile profit back in, so a different model is needed. Peel and others have reacted well to that.”
RICHARD FAULKNER BARCLAYS
“We’ve been in the digital and tech sector for 30 years. Along with centres of excellence such as Cambridge, Manchester’s absolutely seen as one of the strongest cities outside London and should have the confidence to do its own thing. Barclays opening Eagle Lab here, as well as the Rise co-working space shows the confidence we have in the city.”
JERRY KRYLOV ATHLETEC
“We’d originally gravitated towards London, but my business partner is from Manchester and the opportunity made sense — the rent is cheaper, there are interesting people to work with, we have a lot of London meetings but it’s only two hours away. MediaCity felt like a really good hub and it’s growing all the time. Having Eagle Labs here is beneficial to us.”
DARREN O’BRIEN EAGLE LABS
“We’re here to help businesses grow quickly, providing the specialised facilities that can make concepts become reality, allowing products to be tested and developed before they go to market. In the time we’ve been running, our reach has spread far and wide, it’s about more than just Greater Manchester.”
WITH THANKS TO ZIFERBLAT, OUR HOST FOR THE MORNING. WWW.ZIFERBLAT.CO.UK/MEDIA-CITY.HTML
BI has completed an endto-end project for Myerson, moving the Altrincham law firm into Grosvenor House, Altrincham. Each part of the OBI team contributed to the project, which saw the firm rationalise its estate into a 20,000 sq ft headquarters that will accommodate Myersonâ€™s needs for the next ten years.
Myerson had built up a presence bit by bit in the town due its successes over the years, but needed to bring its team under one roof. In a successful commercial centre such as Altrincham though, suitable space of the right quality is rare indeed, and it was only through OBI being able to source an off-market deal for Grosvenor House that the move was realised. OBI then project-managed the move and designed a new, modern workspace to give Myerson the platform it requires to grow over the next decade, proving again the benefits the OBI Difference can provide for clients. H
Head of Commercial Property, Myerson
"The OBI difference allowed us to deal with all of our office requirements under one roof quickly and effectively. We are very impressed with the property and design that OBI have helped bring about"
Two years of innovative product development, where conceptual ideas became a new flooring collection. Introducing Bolon by Jean Nouvel Design. bolon.com
delivering the goods AO.COM IS A TRUE NORTH WEST SUCCESS STORY. WE SPOKE WITH FOUNDER JOHN ROBERTS ABOUT WHERE THEY’VE COME FROM AND WHERE THEY’RE GOING
hat do you know about AO.com? You might have seen its TV adverts. You may have seen its name on Lancashire’s one-day cricket kit. If you read the business pages, you’ll know it’s one of the growth stories of the century so far. Established in 2000 following a bet in a Bolton pub, the business, focusing initially on white goods, grew to become the UK’s most visible online electrical goods retailer. In February 2014, it floated on the London Stock Exchange, valued at close to £1.6bn. Earlier this year, John Roberts stepped down after 17 years as chief executive, taking on the role founder-executive director. He remains deeply involved in the business, remaining committed to the stated goal of becoming Europe’s leading electricals retailer. So how’s that panning out? “We’re firmly on track for what we want to do,” he says. “There’s no straight line from A to B, and we’re dealing in markets where
we’re inventing new ways of doing things. Fundamentally, this is a market that’s moving online. We’re the only multi-channel, multi-country business operating at scale. We’ve now rolled out to Germany and the Netherlands.” Supported by OBI Property, AO has rapidly put the infrastructure in place to set up in Europe - office space, distribution. At the time of its float, AO was working from seven locations in the UK. Three years later, it is in three territories with 30-something locations, with around 3,000 people employed across the group. Just taking on that upfront capital investment would give many people nightmares. Roberts says: “Over the last few years it’s been about building infrastructure, recruiting talent and building capability. It’s a case of ‘Build, drive, broaden’ and we’re very much in the drive phase. We keep learning along the way.” H
No further territories have been announced, and it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. “The focus for now is getting the European territories into profit. I’m not concerned about that, but we’ve done this from a standing start.” There have been property decisions on the home front too. AO, which has its head office at Middlebrook, Bolton, has just announced the consolidation of its Manchester operations, taking the 37,000 sq ft Baskerville House at Riverside in a deal again advised on by OBI. Roberts says: “We are unquestionably in a dash for talent. We made a conscious decision ten years ago to become a ‘destination employer’ and we’re reaping the benefits now. We’re ever-more integrated and it makes sense to bring teams in digital marketing, social media and other areas together. We’ve always had a great understanding with Bruntwood, who I think are an exemplar of how landlords should behave - they’re supportive, they know if their tenants are successful, they will be as well.” Without the high street/retail park presence of other retailers, AO spends big on marketing, investing more than £10m a year on TV advertising. The business is very smart with digital spending too. Did AO steal a march? “Certainly we were established quickly — people don’t tend to disrupt themselves. The main difference now is that the
consumer’s journey starts online. People used to go to stores to get ideas and be walked around different models - that’s gone now. Where the first wave of online retail struggled was the lack of digital infrastructure - download speeds in 1999 didn’t support quality images of clothes, let alone videos and animation talking punters through products. It’s a different game now." As Roberts says: “People start by researching online and as online gets better and better at seeing that and helping at every step, more sales will move online. Five years ago, you wouldn’t stream a video to your mobile. We’ve got a team of 50 people making AO animation, helping customers make informed decisions.” Customer service is an area where AO has always been regarded as being ahead of the game, with empowering call centre staff to make decisions being one key area. Roberts says: “At the end of the day, retail’s a pretty simple game. ‘What can I get, how much is it, when can you can get it to me’ - people overcomplicate it. As long as we’re obsessive about getting the retail basics right, we’ll be OK. But along with that, we’re constantly striving to innovate. The inertia afforded to bricks and mortar businesses doesn’t apply to us - the competition’s only ever a click away.”
MARVELVR™ PROPERTY TOURS — VR EXPERIENCES — STATIC CGIS 360 PANORAMAS — 3D FLOOR PLANS — 3D ANIMATIONS AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY — BROCHURES — WEBSITES TOUCHSCREEN / MOBILE APPS — GRAPHIC DESIGN
REVERE 3D WWW.REVERE3D.CO.UK 59
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT…
uch of the property industry can be accused with some fairness of hyping things up, and in recent years the phrase “game-changer” has been overused hugely. Every other office building with a green angle or cool design is breathlessly heralded thus. Such overkill does nobody any favours. Genuine game-changers are few and far between. And as Mike Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, says, Enterprise City UK at St John’s can be one. Let’s not forget, Allied have done this before, right across the road in Spinningfields. As Ingall told the audience at the start of Enterprise City UK’s launch festival in April, Spinningfields changed the game for Manchester as a genuine hub for major professional and financial services jobs. First RBS came, then major accountancies, law firms and the rest. It became “the” place for professionals.
More importantly, the momentum generated allowed other parts of the city to benefit. Bank of New York chose Manchester ahead of Birmingham and Leeds, going to Piccadilly Gardens. Last year, Magic Circle law firm Freshfields opted for New Bailey, a location best described as peripheral before the arrival of Spinningfields across the River Irwell. Two decades on from inception, Spinningfields now houses not just offices, but a wonderful museum, groundbreaking restaurants, riverside living, quality retail, a landmark court building. It’s a genuine 24/7 urban district. As will Enterprise City UK be. H
A rising tide lifts all ships, and by providing the ecosystem for business growth, Allied’s vision is that the 10,000 jobs created by innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs within Enterprise City will trigger another 40,000 throughout the city. Fifty thousand jobs would double the size of the digital economy in Manchester — now that’s a game-changer. World-class architects have mapped out the main elements of the area. The commercial offer breaks down into a number of parts, the first of which, the Bonded Warehouse, will be completed soon. Here, there will be co-working spaces, food & drink, music studios. It will be an exciting place to be, and it’s taking shape already.
At South Village, there will be floorplates from around 3,000 sq ft, an ideal setting for creatives, with workshop units at ground floor. Manchester Goods Yard, a New York-inspired hub featuring live-work spaces, sits at the heart of the whole scheme along with the reimagined Old Granada Studios. Here, original studio space will be retained as a complementary use for occupiers on site. Last but by no means least, there will be an iconic HQ commercial commercial building named the Globe & Simpson, a striking new tower at the Quay Street gateway. H
The point with Enterprise City is that itâ€™s an ecosystem, more than a conventional property development. Those with big ideas are encouraged to come forward and apply to be a part of this, because they are the businesses whoâ€™ll shape the area, and create demand for others. The space they need, the support, the services provided by enabling industries, will all be in place. The game is changing, and everything is lining up to make Enterprise City quite unlike anything seen in the UK to date.
INSIDE CANADA HOUSE
if you know your historyâ€¦ CANADA HOUSE IS ONE OF MANCHESTER'S UNSUNG ARCHITECTURAL HEROES. CURRENTLY UNDERGOING A SENSITIVE REFURBISHMENT, WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE BUILDING'S STORY.
anchester may not be regarded as one of the architectural world’s mustsee cities, but it has its moments. The city is home to many understated, quietly magnificent buildings, most of them built during the latter years of the 19th and first half of the 20th century, a time when Manchster had established itself as a powerhouse of the industrialising world.
Alongside the grand old banking halls of the King Street area, many of Manchester’s finest heritage buildings are to be found around its canals, in the street grid between Portland Street and Whitworth Street. Cotton, central to the Manchester story, is the main reason — warehouses with access to the city’s canal system. H
INSIDE CANADA HOUSE
Watts Warehouse, India House, Asia House and Bridgewater House are all excellent buildings. But one of the very finest is Canada House. Opened in 1908 and built to designs by local architect W&G Higginbottom, the Chepstow Street building is one of Manchester’s hidden gems, tucked away from the main thoroughfare of Oxford Road, yet only a couple of minutes’ stroll from being in the thick of city life. Grade II-listed, Canada House is now owned by LJ Partnership, which in July 2017 commenced a £3m refurbishment that will see its interiors radically overhauled, with features including the addition of meeting spaces, a screening room and gym. This is a project that will perfectly encapsulate the blending of old and new in a very Manchester way.
f Canada House Chepstow Street, Manchester M1 5FW
INSIDE CANADA HOUSE
INSIDE CANADA HOUSE Canada House d 3D Visualisations
Clockwork is a uniquely designed area in our Manchester office providing touchdown and event space to use at your convenience, but it's more than that, the exclusive Clockwork card also gives you access to special deals with our selected partners to make sure you experience the best of Manchester. Producing your Clockwork card, using a special code or clicking on a unique link if booking online, entitles you to a fixed room rate at the INNSIDE Manchester hotel; 20% off your bill at Living Venture's Australasia, Artisan, Blackhouse, Gusto and Manchester House restaurants, and a 15% discount at Frank Rostron, an institution in Manchester tailoring.
CONTACT: MILLIE EGAN â€” 0161 237 1717 â€” MGEGAN@OBIPROPERTY.CO.UK
TECH SECTOR WHITE PAPER
manchester - the uk’s rising digital powerhouse? THE STORY OF MANCHESTER’S ADVANCE AS A BUSINESS CITY AND EUROPEAN-CLASS DESTINATION OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DECADES IS WELL-TOLD. WHAT’S LESS WELL KNOWN IS THE ADVANCES THAT THE CITY HAS MADE IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY — UNTIL NOW.
TECH SECTOR WHITE PAPER
n January 2017, Manchester was named for the first time among Europe’s top 20 cities for digital innovation. The European Digital City Index is compiled by Nesta, the body that works to increase the UK’s digital innovation capacity. In all, sixty cities were ranked. London, Stockholm and Amsterdam clinched the top three spots, but Manchester is now placed above rival locations such as Edinburgh (19th), Birmingham (23rd) and Cardiff, which was ranked 40th.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “Manchester has always been ambitious. We are on track to become a top 20 global city, so it is welcome that Nests has recognised the progress we have made.” Technology in the broader sense is advancing in the city. The Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre, a £4m green energy tech hub announced in November 2016, and the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials was given planning consent in February 2017.
Alongside this, there are a clutch of booming “made in Manchester” businesses working in different areas of the digital economy, several of whom are threatening to make the “unicorn” status of a post-2000 born company that hits the £1bn-turnover mark. There’s an entrepreneurial tradition at work here, and it is attractive to overseas investors: US private equity house JMI Equity invested in cybersecurity business Avecto, paying £32m for a minority stake in late 2015. As Will Lewis, OBI director, puts it: “Manchester’s successes in the digital sphere aren’t always technology businesses per se, but businesses across a range of sectors that have seen the increasing importance of how the digital technology underpins the way we go about our lives. A lot of the companies are involved directly in tech, but just as many aren’t — for every NCC Group, or UKFast, there’s a Zuto, or an AO.com, using a business model based on tech although the actual function is very traditional, be it car hire, fashion retail, anything really. What they have in common is a very Mancunian dynamism and entrepreneurial flair.” H
TECH SECTOR WHITE PAPER
“...MANCHESTER’S STRENGTH IS ITS UNIVERSITIES...”
the role of academia
One of the reasons for Manchester’s strength is its universities. Manchester’s rich musical and nightlife pedigree, not to mention its sporting reputation, have long made it one of the most applied-to university cities in the UK. That lifestyle reputation, and the city’s affordability in comparison to London, also means its graduate retention is higher than most peers. That’s only useful insofar as it means there’s a steady supply of bright young people. However, some of them are already well on their way to being workplace-ready, thanks to schemes such as the Degree Apprenticeship in Digital & Technology Solutions offered by Manchester Metropolitan University, which brings honours level education into a workplace context, addressing skills concerns. It has been designed by the university in collaboration with the Tech Partnership, and together with lead-
ing national and regional employers including Barclays, AstraZeneca, Lloyds Banking Group, Thales, the Department for Work and Pensions, Apadmi, MC2, Reality Mine and Shaping Cloud. The apprenticeship aims to enable apprentices to become confident, competent and independent digital and technology professionals, capable of succeeding in a range of roles. For a business with a wage bill of less than £3m, the government will cover 90% of tuition fees, while for small business of less than 50 people, taking on an apprentice will mean no financial upfront cost at all.
match of the day
MMU’s Talent Match service is all about pairing up SMEs with potential employees. The university will help employers with job description/person specification details,
and can market opportunities to suitable students and graduates, even helping with the interview process if required. Iona Foden-Norris, employee liaison coordinator, says: “We have been offering this service to selected employers for the past couple of years but this academic year, we have implemented industry-leading software which allows us to smoothly manage the whole recruitment process for clients. It’s targeted: we screen CVs so that businesses only receive applications which are suited to their requirements. The service is currently free of charge and we have worked with a number of large graduate recruiters.” A major financial services employer looking to fill ten graduate roles recently picked MMU graduates to fill eight of the positions. H
TECH SECTOR WHITE PAPER
“...DIGITAL AND TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES HAVE CHOSEN TO RELOCATE TO THE CITY...”
Foden-Norris continues: “New to this academic year, we have collected data from all our students regarding their career objectives. This means that we are able to identify and target students who are looking to start their career in a particular area to promote opportunities to them. We’re also arranging office visits and presentations.”
to relocate to the city. And the pull isn’t just across the UK, we are attracting talent from Europe too. The fact that most people would recommend working here to a friend, and so many people believe it’s a brilliant place to launch a start-up, gives us hope that more and more skilled professionals will move here and work with us to continue to grow the region’s booming digital and tech sector.”
our survey says… location location location
A survey undertaken by trade body Digital Manchester in December 2016 highlights the attraction of the city to digital professionals. Of the 300 digital industry professionals who responded: - 80% have relocated to Manchester from another area, 20% of respondents having relocated from London; - 77% said they consider Manchester to be a digital hub.
Growing tech businesses are expanding — NCC Goup to the XYZ Building in Spinningfieds, while UKFast is doubling its space at its Birley Fields HQ. But can the tech stars of tomorrow find a place to grow? Of course. But where and what will they look like?
Managing director Katie Gallagher said: “We found that a huge number of people who work in the digital and technology industries have chosen
Co-working and collaboration are the thing. Flexible, agile workspace. Building communities. Facilities such as the Barclays Rise centre on
Deansgate and iHub Office at City Tower — which has twice expanded since opening in early 2015 are now established, while Headspace has now opened its first operation outside London, within LJ Partnership’s Albert Estate. Various elements of MediaCityUK are geared towards giving digital and media start-ups and SMEs a supportive environment surrounded by like-minded businesses, such as the Greenhouse and Tomorrow building. Bruntwood have moved things forward with Neo. And then there’s The Vault at the XYZ Building, the latest game-changer in Manchester’s leading district in forward-thinking business culture. Held back from conventional letting, this space is there for fintech — those financial technology businesses spinning out of major corporates — and other digital businesses to flourish. It promises to be well worth watching.
TOP TECH AND MEDIA EMPLOYERS
WHERE DO GRADUATES WORK?
THE TOP NORTH WEST
2015 STATISTICS FROM HEFSU.AC.UK:
COMPANIES FOR EMPLOYING GRADUATES IN 2015:
BBC QA ITV TT GAMES ATOS ACCENTURE AUTO TRADER AVECTO CGP
CODE COMPUTERLOVE BT DAI IBM INFORMA LIME PICTURES METRONET UK TALK TALK UD GROUP
SOURCE: The Complete University Guide UK
Leeds — 3,430 Manchester — 3,740 Birmingham — 4,155 City of London — 3,890 Westminster — 6,145
NUMBER CRUNCHING: - 4.4% of the UK’s 184,390 graduates in 2016 are now working in IT/technology; - 65.2% of 2016 graduates in IT/ computing were working in the sector by November 2016; - In each of the last six years, more students have started computer science degrees than maths, physics and chemistry combined.
manchesterâ€™s digital future IN SPRING 2017. OBI GATHERED BUSINESS LEADERS FROM THE TECH SECTOR TO SHARE THEIR INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
anchester made its name through innovation, and the city right now is home to one of the UKâ€™s most interesting digital economies. Technical knowhow is being fused with an entrepreneurial flair, to offer up some stellar examples of thriving businesses. We gathered a few of them to share some thoughts on how theyâ€™ve managed to grow, what tips they can offer to others. H
RYAN CHEYNE, RENTALCARS
SAM JONES, TUNAFISH MEDIA
SAM COLEY AND STEVE PEARCE, TICKX
Rentalcars’ Manchester offices
One of three founders of Tunafish,
Based in The Hive,
have been described
a video and social media
Tickx is a comparison
as the coolest in the UK.
site for tickets
Companies these days are looking for that Google-esque image, and we wanted something that would attract people to work for us. We refitted Sunlight House with OBI, and it’s probably have the most cutting edge call centre in the UK. It’s about attracting the best talent. We held a Values Festival - I wanted to articulate our values, all organisations have them but possibly don’t articulate them. “Anything but ordinary” was what we wanted to do. It was a week-long festival in both offices, live music, tents, wellies, a main stage event each day with opportunity for feedback, we took all the info and created our values.
I’m an accidental business person in 2011 I couldn’t get an entry level marketing job. We had no cash, we’d work 9-5 trying to get clients then 6-12 in a pub we lived above - it was like a 24-hour sitcom. Manchester works for us because there’s a good community spirit and there’s always someone whose brains you can pick - ask straight questions, you’ll get straight answers. We’ve picked up collaborative work with neighbours when we were at the Sharp Project, and we hope to do the same at Canada House. We’ve now got a non-executive director, which I’d advise anyone to do, even from day one.
MARK BARLOW, APPLEARN
MAYA DIBLEY, THE LANDING @ MEDIACITYUK
The idea is to be a Skyscanner for event tickets. We saw that there wasn’t one place where you could see everything. We went on Dragons’ Den, where we had three offers of investment that we ended up declining - our parents thought we were crazy. However, we ended up raising ten times as much and have investors who’ve managed major organisations such as BUPA and BSkyB. We’re looking to expand to cover more events. Internationalisation is on the agenda. We want to be a trusted platform for customers wherever they are in the world. For us, it was either Manchester or Edinburgh over London, due to costs, and of the two we picked Manchester because of the larger talent pool. Recruiting in tech is a massive challenge anywhere in the UK.
AppLearn helps companies
Head of programmes at The Landing,
get the most out of the software
the arrival point for many start-up
they invest in, via an all-in-one
businesses at MediaCityUK.
software adoption platform
Getting people to use the software you invest in is a big issue for global companies - you’re in multiple countries with different languages, it’s stuff that needs updating every quarter. Webinars only work so far. Our first sale was in 2011, to Bombardier in Montreal, a $500,000 deal - and we never even met them in person. We’ve since grown so that 50-something large organisations - Siemens, major banks - use our products and we’re looking to scale up further. Funding is a challenge, we’re not geared up in this country to support long-term growth. There needs to be more “patient capital,” as you find in the US. It will get there - Manchester has some great places to grow.
At any one time we’ll have 100 businesses. What we can do is find the right space for them, help with training to use laboratory space, and plug them into networks that will help them grow their businesses. The story is definitely getting there, and in a few years’ time I think we’ll see some of the companies that are growing here doing big things. It’s all gearing up to the next level, which is what the new Tomorrow building is all about. We’ve got companies who started with 3 people moving onto Tomorrow with 40 staff.
LEADERS IN SURFACE TESTING AND INDEPENDENT SPORTS TURF ADVICE
FOOTBALL RUGBY EQUESTRIAN GOLF CLUBS SCHOOLS LOCAL AUTHORITIES UNIVERSITIES
PSD (NW) Ltd Wigan Road, Leyland, Lancashire — PR25 5XW 84TEL: +44 (0)1772 297 830 — email@example.com
united we stand OBI SUPPORTS A JUNIOR FOOTBALL TEAM IN BEVERLEY, EAST YORKSHIRE. MANAGER DAVE MILLS TAKES UP THE STORY OF HOW OBI UNITED CAME ABOUT AND WHERE THEY’RE GOING.
n 2014 I was looking for a team for my twin boys to play for, but unfortunately all the local teams seemed to be full so me and a guy called Lewis Jenkinson decided to start our own — and we set up a team for a local club called Tickton, becoming the Tickton Cobras.
Starting at under-9 level we won Division 4 in our first half season, then moved up to Division 3 which we also won. When we moved up to under-10s I asked Will Lewis, my best friend from school, if OBI would like to sponsor us. They bought us really nice red Adidas tracksuits and coats, we went on to win Division 2 and moved up to Division 1, where we finished third before moving up to under-11s. OBI sponsored us again, with new tracksuits, making us look and feel very professional. By now, we were getting quite a reputation
and big club academies came in for our players — I lost five players and our manager to Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United. This was a huge blow but we carried on regardless, going on to win Division 1. At the end of the season Will asked if we’d like to start our own club up and to name it whatever we wanted — of course we accepted and decide to call it OBI United, to thank OBI for the great support they’ve always shown us. We then went away on an international tournament to Nieuwenhoorn in Holland. This competition brought me my proudest moment as manager and coach so far, as we won the tournament, scoring 24 goals and conceding no goals along the way. It was such a fantastic achievement for all the boys, it’s amazing how far these boys have come in such a short time.
The hardest thing we’ve faced in our time so far was losing the five players to the academies of professional clubs — as much as I understand that it’s a great opportunity for them to progress to bigger and better things, it’s so hard as my players are more like family than players. However, I still stay in contact with them all so it’s not all bad. I have since signed five new players, they are all amazing boys and I couldn’t be happier with them. We have started this season a little slowly, mainly due to myself picking up a serious knee injury, but we’re back to winning ways again now and are really looking forward to our new season as OBI UNITED.
meet the team
jessica england WHAT DO YOU DO AT OBI?
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TIME AT OBI?
Working on schemes such as St John’s development including Bonded Warehouse, Astley, Byrom and Cooper. I believe the development of these buildings will breathe new life into another location of the city and attract diverse businesses.
WHEN DID YOU JOIN?
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE?
Interior Design at SpaceInvader, before that I worked in London for MCM Architecture working on a diverse variety of large workplace schemes such as Savills HQ, CMS, Mayer Brown, Bird&Bird, a global energy provider and Double Negative who are a leading visual effects provider for Film. I thoroughly enjoyed working on workplace analysis’s for buildings such as The Leadenhall Building, 201 Bishopsgate and 20 Fenchurch. I then freelanced as a trend forecaster which involves collating research based on social and economic changes that influence product developments and changes in workplace cultures.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BUILDING IN MANCHESTER?
FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK, AND FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT IN MANCHESTER?
There are a few, I like Gorton monastery because it has an element of surprise once your inside similar to St.Benedict's Church that has an unexpected climbing centre inside. The Whitworth Gallery has some great modern features and the Refuge Assurance building has some beautiful detail.
If I fancy drinking Gin I go to the Impossible bar but I love to try a pale ale every now and then so I’d go to the Wharf Castlefield for a typical local pub vibe. Asha’s restaurant for Indian food is great place for indulgence and for a decent breakfast I’d go to my local café Another Heart to Feed.
WHAT’S THE ONE SINGLE THING YOU’D DO THAT WOULD IMPROVE MANCHESTER?
IF YOU WERE ASKED TO FILL IN AS AN EMERGENCY DJ, WHICH THREE SONGS WOULD YOU PLAY?
Resolve a fair solution for the homeless and reduce the cost of travel to London.
TELL US YOUR CLAIM TO FAME.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
I was on the 50/50 game show! I have an old video tape of this at home and glad that it isn’t something that can be found online! I had to run across an inflatable obstacle course called the ‘Rollometer’.
Manchester city centre.
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
Punta Allen in Mexico or Santorini, sure I’ll have a new favourite next year! The Cenotes in Mexico are spectacular and the bumpy drive down Punta Allen peninsular is terrifying and stunning with sharks on one side and crocodiles on the other.
This depends on the location and the audience! OG Maco — U guessed it, Beyonce — Party and then a classic 90’s OI’ — Shimmy Shimmy Ya
THERE’S AN OFFICE BREAKFAST BEING ORDERED IN. WOULD YOUR SAUSAGE SANDWICH HAVE BROWN SAUCE, RED SAUCE, OR NO SAUCE?
I would have bacon not sausage and I’d choose red sauce but I am open to brown sauce when I’m feeling adventurous, white bread if I’m treating myself.
BRINGING WORLD CLASS TO MCR
the news “WORLD CLASS” No.1 reaches completion No.1 Spinningfields, the final part of the jigsaw for Manchester’s pioneering business district, reached practical completion in August, with contractor BAM handing the keys over to developer Allied London. Allied London, and leasing advisor OBI Property have secured a series of deals that will mean No. 1 Spinningfields is either fully occupied or close to it before occupiers start to move in to the 300,000 sq ft, SimpsonHaugh designed tower — Manchester’s tallest commercial building. Early deals with accountancy firm PwC, which committed to 90,000 sq ft, and law firm Squire Patton Boggs were followed by deals with firms including law firm Browne Jacobson, private equity house NorthEdge Capital and, in a landmark deal for the city, coworking provider WeWork, which committed to 60,000 sq ft in June. The impressive string of office lettings has been complemented by equally high quality signings on the amenities side, with restaurant operator D&D lined up to deliver a high end restaurant and rooftop bar, and M&S Foodhall committed to a store. The Pavillion — also under construction by BAM — will be home to the Ivy in Manchester.
Michael Ingall, Allied London’s chief executive, says: “We are delighted to reach what is a milestone for this project and also a great milestone for Spinningfields. 20 years from start to finish, with 12 years of construction either side of a major economic financial crisis. The fact the development remained unscathed and has now completed is testament to the vision, design, and management. “Spinningfields has achieved its vision and will now without doubt continue to sustain and develop as the corporate heartbeat of the city and continue to set a benchmark for the development of city centre commercial environments.” OBI’s Will Lewis adds: “From the word go, No. 1 Spinningfields has been about making this the best of the best, a truly world class building in every way. The type of companies wanting to be at the building speak volumes, and show that this has become Manchester’s premier business address.”
OBI ADDS STRENGTH TO ASSET MANAGEMENT TEAM Paul Mills has joined the OBI Property transactions and asset management team, where he will work alongside Richard Lace, Andrew Cowell, Debbie Meredith, Joe Averill and Will Lewis. Paul, who has a Masters degree in real estate, property management and investment from the University of Salford, previously spent five years with WT Gunson in Manchester. He is an RICS Registered Valuer and worked in the professional services team providing landlord and tenant and valuation advice. At OBI, as well as working with existing and new clients, he will offer a new service stream for the business providing landlord and occupier clients with professional and asset management expertise. Paul said: “I am delighted to join
OBI Property. The firm has an established reputation as one of the leading, most innovative commercial advisors in Manchester. “I am looking forward to working with the whole team as I look to develop my skills and experience in a very exciting property market.” Richard Lace said: “It’s great to welcome Paul to OBI Property. We are always looking to build and strengthen the team and Paul’s diverse experience and knowledge in providing professional and lease advisory services means he brings a new skillset to the business.”
ICONIC EXPRESS TO OFFER SOMETHING DIFFERENT The OBI Difference is being brought to bear on one of the most distinctive buildings in Manchester. The Express Building on Great Ancoats Street was bought in March 2017 for £10.5m from US owner A&A Investments. The 75,000 sq ft building, clad in black curtain walling, is Grade IIlisted. It was the home of Express Newspapers, before the removal of the printing presses and its conversion to an office in the 1990s. The office was one of three designed across the country for Express in the 1930s by Sir Owen Williams. The space is being extensively refurbished, and in branding terms completely reinvented. The commercial dynamic of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats area has changed markedly in recent years, with a host of impressive bars and restaurants joining several workspace projects. Some of these are old — reinventions of classic buildings such as Sevendale House — and some are new, such as The Hive. But few have the heritage of the Express. In 2018, the space will be re-presented to the market, and it promises to be something special.
AO WORLD PLC CHOOSES BRUNTWOOD’S RIVERSIDE AS MANCHESTER BASE AO World PLC, one of Europe’s leading online retailers of electrical products, is to consolidate its Manchester operation by taking the whole of Baskerville House at Bruntwood’s Riverside office complex. The move will see the Boltonheadquartered white goods specialist take an 11-year lease for the entire six-storey building, occupying just under 37,000 sq ft. AO World PLC, which trades as AO.com, is currently based in City Tower at Piccadilly Plaza, a former Bruntwood building, and in an office suite within Riverside’s five building cluster. Riverside, situated on New Bailey Street on the banks of the River Irwell, near to Salford Central rail station, lies on the edge of the city centre’s core business district and has recently undergone a £5 million refurbishment. Along with 1.5 acres of public realm, including a private courtyard with water features and sculptures, the campus also has a secure bicycle storage area and shower facilities to encourage workers to walk, run or cycle to work. A new boutique gym and personal training facility called FORM has also just opened at Riverside. Steve Caunce, chief executive
of AO World PLC, said: “Moving our entire Manchester operation under one roof not only makes sense, but is a reflection of the business’s success and our continued growth ambition. “Baskerville House is a perfect location for this next stage of our development and will meet the needs of our staff with great transport connections and excellent local amenities. “Bruntwood has also really thought about how the environment at Riverside can benefit their customers and I have no doubt that AO and our people will thrive here.” Andrew Butterworth, sales director at Bruntwood, said: “We have had a long-term relationship with AO World PLC since the company moved part of its business into Manchester city centre some eight years ago. “We are very pleased that AO World has now chosen to locate all of its Manchester operation at Riverside, where we are sure the company will flourish and continue to build on its success and we look forward to supporting it with any future plans to expand.” OBI Property represented AO World on the leasehold acquisition. Will Lewis of OBI commented “We are delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with AO and we are now looking forward to delivering a state of the art working environment for the AO team.”
A PARTNERSHIP IN PROPTECH OBI Property has formed a strategic partnership with Revere 3D that will take the business into the realm of virtual and augmented reality. Since its inception in 2010, OBI has been constantly seeking to innovate and harness technologies that will help it to provide clients with the best possible service. Only by positioning and maximising their assets to the full do we believe we’re doing our job.
“We also produce CGIs, apps and websites specific to property developments. Given the excitement around the tech sector and the buoyant property market in Manchester, we’re very excited about our future here. For anyone who’s not tried VR before, why not pop over to our studio at the OBI office?” WWW.REVERE3D.CO.UK @REVERE3D
So what will this partnership allow? Basically, it means that OBI can create an integrated simulated environment for clients, offering greater clarity on the visions of both our designers and the ideas clients themselves want to see implemented. Using this technology helps to bring to life places that might not yet even exist. As co-founder Josh Locke says: “At Revere 3D we produce VR apps to showcase luxury residential and commercial projects — it allows people to visualise new schemes and we can even customise features in real-time before a development is complete. Our partnership with OBI will open up VR to the office market in a fuller way than has been done before — we’re already working on a number of exciting projects.
OBI Property is appointed by AO to design and project manage the fit out. Bruntwood represented themselves in the transaction.
PHIL COLLINS MUSIC
One of the great British musicians, Phil Collins is back performing, having just returned to the stage for his first live dates in 10 years. MANCHESTER ARENA 29 NOV 2017
MOSCOW CITY BALLET PRESENTS SWAN LAKE THEATRE
For the ultimate dance experience, Moscow City Ballet bring Swan Lake to the Palace Theatre. Swan Lake is a signature piece of the company’s entire repertoire and is magnificently brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and instantly recognisable score. PALACE THEATRE 1 MAR 2018
NOOR AFSHAN MIRZA & BRAD BUTLER: THE SCAR
James Heather, the man helping to spearhead U+I’s £850m
This exhibition and its central new commission — The Scar
regeneration of Mayfield, is the guest speaker at the next
— explore an extraordinary conspiracy with global impli-
property lunch hosted by TheBusinessDesk.com.
cations: the infamous 1996 Susurluk car crash in Turkey.
MR COOPERS, MIDLAND HOTEL, 16 PETER STREET, M60 2DS
HOME, 2 TONY WILSON PLACE, MANCHESTER, M15 4FN
23 NOV 2017
10 FEB 2018 — 31 MAR 2018
Join us on the 23rd November for the pro-manchester property and regeneration lunch. Over 250 delegates are expected to attend this important event in the Manchester calendar. THE LOWRY HOTEL, 50 DEARMANS PL, M3 5LH 23 NOV 2017
HOT BROWN HONEY
HONOLULU HONEYS AT MAHIKI MANCHESTER
Hot Brown Honey is taking the heat up a notch and
Honolulu Honeys will take place every Thursday at Ma-
bringing the temperature to fever pitch — delivering
hiki Tiki bar and lounge, and ladies will receive three
lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment. Pack-
drink tokens on arrival which they can redeem before
ing a potent punch with hip hop politics, the Honeys will
11pm for any drink from Mahiki’s iconic Aloha menu or
make you laugh until you cry, clap until your hands bleed
selected wine list.
and shake every part of what your mama gave you!
For complimentary cocktails and an atmosphere that’s
This posse of phenomenal women smash stereotypes,
unrivalled, head down to Mahiki every Thursday from
remix the system and dare to celebrate our similarities
8pm to collect your tokens — valid only before 11pm. To
and differences. With set, lighting, music and costume
book in advance, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
to rival Beyoncé at Madison Square Garden this show is
CENTRAL STREET, MANCHESTER, GREATER MANCHESTER, M2 5WR
guaranteed to get you on your feet!
19 OCT 2017 — 31 DEC 2017
Serving up an audacious platter of dance, poetry, comedy, circus, striptease and song, Hot Brown Honey is unapologetically fierce — defiantly shattering clichés in an explosion of colour, culture and controversy. HOME, 2 TONY WILSON PLACE, MANCHESTER, M15 4FN 12 DEC 2017 — 23 DEC 2017
ELF — THE MUSICAL MUSICAL
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit starring
Will Ferrell, ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young
The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg
orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of
wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the
gifts and is transported back to the North Pole.
globe in just 80 days.
24 NOV 2017 — 14 JAN 2018
05 DEC 2017 — 7 JAN 2018
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET
Enter the opulent world of Imperial Russian ballet, with its marvelous mixture of virtuoso dance, fairy tale characters and dazzling spectacle that has delighted audiences for over a hundred years. With live music from the acclaimed Royal Ballet Sinfonia,The Sleeping Beauty is an enchanting experience for all the family. THE LOWRY 28 FEB 2018 — 03 MAR 2018
SECRETS OF HOW TO GET TECH FUNDING PROPERTY
Access to funding has been identified as one of the key obstacles to tech companies growing. While VCs in Silicon Valley and the West Coast of America are happy to invest in early stage start-ups, UK investors have a reputation for being more risk averse. UKFAST CAMPUS 23 NOV 2017
BEYOND BORDERS EXHIBITION
Beyond Borders, explores South Asian textiles bringing together four artists working on issues around post-colonial identity, ruptured spaces, authenticity, displacement and belonging. These artists are based in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and England, having developed artworks around these concerns, experimenting with a range of media and such as textiles, fibres, embroidery, film, photography and performance. THE WHITWORTH, THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER 20 MAY 2017 — 03 JUN 2018
ONE FILM WONDERS CINEMA
From Phase IV, The Widow, One-Eyed Jacks, Nil By Mouth and Barbara Loden’s astonishing Wanda there is a whole series of remarkable films by filmmakers. HOME 1 MAR 2018 — 31 MAR 2018
AIR PLAY CIRCUS
An award-winning, punchy new musical that races through the dark and damaged world of post-war Lon-
Information from Visit Manchester, with thanks. Please note events are subject to change — please consult visitmanchester.com for further details on events in the city.
don: a brand new Britain bombed to bits by the Blitz, belts tight with austerity, but ripe and ready for revolution. QUAYS THEATRE 13 FEB 2018 — 17 FEB 2018
AIR PLAY CIRCUS
Air Play is a circus-style adventure of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance in the wind, balloons have a mind of their own, confet-
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
ti turns into the night sky, and an enormous canopy of
hovering silk forever alters their future.
One of the greatest musicals of all time returns to the
stage in this magnificent five star production.
19 JAN 2018 — 20 JAN 2018
PALACE THEATRE, OXFORD STREET, M1 6FT 13 MAR 2018 — 17 MAR 2018
GP BULLHOUND ROUNDTABLE — EUROPE’S TITANS OF TECH 2017 PROPERTY
For the fourth consecutive year, GP Bullhound's research analyses the valuations, growth strategy and sector specialisms of Europe’s billion-dollar cohort and the characteristics that set apart Europe’s leading founders. BARCLAYS BANK, 3 HARDMAN ST, M3 3AX 30 NOV 2017
EXCLUSIVITY IN THE MAKING