Recent large investments in Manchester office space show how the city is being viewed as an exciting and important location.
While London might be seen as the place to be for businesses in the UK and Europe, Manchester is making a name for itself as a great alternative. The city has always been fashionable, and known for its music, university and football, but now it's enjoying a reputation as a leading business center to rival London and demand for office space in Manchester reflects this.
The BBC's move up North might have disgruntled some Londoners but it has pleased those outside the capital who are happy that regional sites are being taken seriously as exciting business locations. The move has given Manchester's existing arts and media scene a renewed credibility. MediaCity's state of the art studio facilities and office space offer flexible solutions for creative companies and freelancers, with the aim of harnessing Manchester's spirit of innovation and creativity.
Many creative and digital agencies such as Parker Sandford and InteractMedia have moved to MediaCity, as well as Baby Cow Productions (of Gavin and Stacey fame). It is not just creative companies who've taken advantage of exciting new space – law company JMW Solicitors have also picked up residence there and will enjoy the modern facilities and attractive setting of Salford Quays.
Outside of the creative hubbub of MediaCity, Manchester continues to grow despite economic uncertainty. Indian outsourcing company Aegis announced last month that they are going to use Manchester as their European hub, a base from which they can grow in Europe. They have acquired a large amount of office space in Manchester's City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza which will serve as a contact center with 600 staff initially, with plans for this to grow.
Sudhir Agarwal, Aegis' president of global mergers and acquisitions, expressed the company's belief in Manchester, describing it as “the best connected city outside of London”. He also cited the large student population (the largest in Europe) as a key factor in their decision. The huge talent pool in Manchester, including over 20 different language communities and a wealth of graduates, makes it a city from which a company can expand on a global level. Mr Agarwal said that when researching their options, Manchester's talent pool could not be rivaled by any other city in the UK or Ireland.
Investment company Europa Capital LLP has also recently noted the standard of Manchester's offerings, acquiring two commercial properties in the city center for office rentals. They described the properties as “modern” and with great potential. A recent report by Office Genie also showed that Manchester was bucking a UK wide trend of a struggling commercial property market.
With fast connections to London and other key cities, as well as a huge talent pool and great culture, office space in Manchester will continue to be in demand.