Former office block transforms into start-up business hub

Cardinal House

A former Manchester office block has been transformed into a new business hub, providing space for start-ups.

Cardinal House, in the heart of the city’s business district, was acquired from the Derwent Group for £11m by Sensible Properties last month.

George Jones, founder of Sensible Properties, has established ‘Sensible Space’ aimed at helping businesses in need of a supportive environment.

The renovation followed the acquisition of the 55,739 sq ft building.

The eight-story structureis now bustling with new activity as businesses make Cardinal House their new home.

Among these include financial tech firm, Monefi, Manchester recruitment business The City Recruiter, tech-based hair grooming company Barberoo and breakthrough mobile network provider Boshhh.

Jones,27, said he envisioned a space that would give back to aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages, providing them with the same mentoring he received during his early days in business.

He said: “Sensible Space is more than just bricks and mortar; it’s about fostering a community of business leaders who support each other’s growth.

“My own journey into business was filled with challenges, and I want Sensible Space to be the launchpad that others need to overcome those hurdles.”

George Jones

Tenants can join a start-up scheme where they can benefit from a business mentoring programme and tap into an array of support services including marketing, compliance, recruitment, and even financial aid to assist their growth plans.

The office spaces offer full-service amenities and unique flexibility, accommodating anywhere from two to 120 individuals. Tenants also have the option to rent single desks as needed, enhancing convenience and adaptability.

The new hub currently resides on the first floor of Cardinal House, with plans in motion to replicate the model across two more floors within the building and bring the project to other UK cities.

Sensible Space says it is commited to removing traditional barriers to entry for firms. Instead of relying on credit checks, there is more focus on evaluating the potential of tenants, their innovative ideas, and passion for growth.

Jones said: “One of our core principles for Sensible Space is inclusivity.

“Sensible Space is more than just office space – it’s a nurturing ground for dreams and innovation.”

He added: “I know how difficult it can be for entrepreneurs starting out, especially with the lack of guidance readily available. We’re here to support the next generation of business leaders and I believe that by providing both physical space and comprehensive support, we can help people grow.

“We’ve ushered in a new era of business support and innovation in Manchester, providing a nurturing environment where firms can flourish and thrive. Sensible Space stands as a testament to our commitment in fostering entrepreneurship in the community. Success isn’t just about what you achieve, it’s about how you help others succeed. Sensible Space embodies that philosophy.”

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