Energy provider signs up for Circle Square workspace and retail package

Circle Square

Renewable electricity provider Octopus Energy Group is moving into a new, hybrid office-retail base in Bruntwood SciTech’s No.2 Circle Square.

The move is part of its drive to create 300 jobs in Manchester, which the London-based business announced last November.

Combining its new 40,000 sq ft workspace with a 1,300 sq ft ground floor retail unit on Oxford Road, Octopus Energy is cementing its commitment to the city after its partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) was announced in the autumn.

Octopus is to trial green energy tariffs and heat pumps with customers in the city region, helping GMCA to meet its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.

In selecting the tech-led innovation district created by Bruntwood SciTech, which is a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General, Octopus joins taxi despatch software provider Autocab, global technology provider Hewlett Packard Enterprise, tech-driven professional services firm Accenture, multinational construction technology supplier Hilti, cloud-based accountancy software company Xero, and tech industry specialist law firm Mills & Reeve.

No.1 and No.2 Circle Square have both been specifically designed to accommodate high growth digital and tech businesses, equipped with a range of collaborative and social spaces alongside an original line up of retail and leisure outlets, such as Canvas, a new live entertainment venue, and Hello Oriental, a destination pan-Asian market hall and dining concept.

Circle Square is also part of Bruntwood SciTech’s UK-wide network of innovation districts, which will provide Octopus with the opportunity to collaborate more widely with a 500-strong specialist community of tech and science-based businesses across the country.

Bradley Topps, commercial director, Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Octopus complements our high calibre line up at Circle Square, as well as our ambition for this new neighbourhood to be the go-to home for high growth businesses operating within the digital-knowledge economy.

“Octopus is leading the way in its sector at a particularly critical moment for consumers as well as the planet, which means the impact of this move will be felt far beyond Circle Square and the jobs created. The innovations born here will have a long lasting impact.”

Devrim Celal, CEO of Octopus Energy Group’s KrakenFlex, said: “Our team in Manchester is growing at rapid speed, driving the green energy tech revolution across the UK.

“So we were looking for a new office that would give us enough space that would accommodate our team while placing us in the heart of Manchester’s research ecosystem. The tech cluster at Circle Square offers up the rare-to-find combination of high levels of footfall, innovation and collaboration, fulfilling both of our requirements. It was a perfect match, and we can’t wait to move in.”

Octopus Energy is backed by Octopus Group, a financial services and energy firm, which manages more than £8.6bn of funds and has invested in excess of £2.7bn in renewable assets across Europe.

Located at the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, Circle Square is a joint venture between Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group. Once complete, it will boast more than 1,700 new homes, 1.2 million sq ft of workspace and in excess of 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including a variety of boutique retailers, restaurants, bars and pavement cafes, all centred around Symphony Park, Manchester’s largest and newest city centre park.

Mike Bathurst, of Helico Consulting, advised Octopus Energy Group on the deal, while Knight Frank, Savills and JLL are Bruntwood SciTech’s retained agents on the scheme.

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