KPMG investing £5.5m in Manchester office, creating digital and tech jobs

Warren Middleton

Business services network, KPMG UK, will invest £5.5m in its flagship One St Peter’s Square offices in Manchester, leading to new digital and tech jobs as part of the investment.

It has announced it will build Ignition North, a new 25,000 sq ft collaborative hub designed to spark innovation and support digital transformation, as well as redesigning its wider office space.

The new centre will be home to KPMG’s Ignition team.

Along with technology experts from across KPMG, the Ignition team will support clients from the start of an idea all the way through to the design, prototyping and development of solutions using a combination of methods, tools and technologies.

As part of the Manchester office redesign, the company is also re-thinking the traditional office layout to cater for new and developing ways of working.

The space will be repurposed to prioritise meetings, presentations and informal get-togethers between colleagues, clients and the firm’s wider networks.

KPMG’s Manchester office is home to 1,200 staff, including more than 260 people in technology roles. Ignition North will create jobs in the city as the firm recruits to support its new offering.

Jon Holt, KPMG UK chief executive, said: “Manchester’s thriving tech centre is a hive of activity and the city has really established its reputation on the world’s stage as a leader in this field. Its strong business community and access to talent makes this the perfect location for us to invest as a firm.

“Our new Ignition Centre in Manchester will support a huge range of incredible businesses in the region and more widely, bringing together insights, people, and technology to accelerate innovation and help them solve some of their most complex problems.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This investment, which will create new jobs in our digital and tech sectors, is a real vote of confidence in Greater Manchester’s thriving innovation economy.

“We’re the fastest growing digital and tech hub in Europe, and Ignition North will be part of an expanding network of businesses and working spaces across our city region driving that growth.”

Warren Middleton, Manchester office senior partner at KPMG UK, said: “Bringing Ignition to Manchester really demonstrates the potential and growth trajectory of the office and the region more broadly. It’s been fantastic to hear the enthusiasm from our clients and stakeholders about the programme.

“When it comes to the office redesign, we believe it’s important to listen to what people want to see in the space and how they want to use it, so we will be reflecting their thoughts in the changes.”

He added: “Once the work has been completed, the office will feature a range of different workstations, ranging from traditional desks to collaboration tables for teams and informal ‘touch down’ spaces for people who might be in between meetings.”

The Ignition North centre will feature a range of highly flexible collaboration spaces:

  • Sprint rooms: to allow clients to come together with KPMG and alliance partners for weeks and months to design and develop detailed ideas and digital solutions.
  • Discovery and Insights Centre: a state of the art facility to showcase the latest data and analytics and artificial intelligence tools. Companies can engage in real time data exploration and scenario testing, and prototype development for big data systems, data visualisation, machine learning, predictive analytics, and optimisation.
  • The Lab: where teams of 10-30 can translate ideas into specific strategies, solutions and plans.

Ignition North is due to open in spring 2023.

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