Grosvenor increasing SME workspaces in Manchester portfolio

Canada House

Property giant, Grosvenor, is building a 300,000 sq ft flexible and fitted workspace portfolio by transforming around 20% of its existing office properties across Manchester, London, and other major UK cities.

As one of the fastest growing city economies and with strong employment growth expected in the next few years, Manchester is a city undergoing transformation.

In 2022, Greater Manchester had the third highest number of scaling businesses in England, and the region has had an encouraging start to 2024, with demand strengthening for services business and continued employment growth.

Fitted space provides growing companies with many advantages including the convenience of ‘ready to use’ space, which is created and managed for businesses by a professional team rather than by the occupier.

These cost-effective office suites can be personalised to the brand and benefit from their own entrances, kitchens, and meeting room facilities with more flexible lease terms than traditional workplaces.

Grosvenor, which acquired its first asset in Manchester in 2021, has invested in creating 11 fitted suites at Ship Canal House, The Hive and Canada House and has made other significant investments in the buildings including cycle facilities, reception, and environmental improvements.

The business has recently welcomed several new occupiers including digital agency Clicky to The Hive and has helped existing Canada House occupier, Anderton Gables, a building consultancy firm, expand in the building.

The flexible and fitted market in the city is continuing to grow. Within the 2,500-5,000 sq ft range, take up of has increased 14% year on year since 2022.

In response, Grosvenor plans to add two more fitted suites in Manchester by the end of 2024, as well as exploring expansion options at sites in Birmingham, Bristol, and Leeds.

Fergus Evans, Office Portfolio Director, Grosvenor, said: “As a future-focused and economically vibrant UK city, we see great potential in Manchester to create versatile, premium workspaces for the businesses that will drive the city’s growth.

“Amongst high potential businesses, ‘ready to occupy’ space that reduces the management burden has proven incredibly popular. As such, our fitted office suites located in some of the city’s most characterful office buildings have seen strong demand.”

Andrew Cowell, Transactions and Asset Management, OBI, said: “It’s great to see Grosvenor showing confidence in the UK’s strongest regional cities through investing in Manchester’s future.

“The Hive, Ship Canal House and Canada House sit across various micro-districts within the city and have attracted occupiers from a range of sectors with premium, flexible space. Grosvenor’s commitment to Manchester will continue to provide spaces that the city’s business need, and we’re excited to be partnering with them.”

Oli Yates, CEO, Clicky, said: “We’re thrilled to open our HQ at The Hive in the heart of the Northern Quarter. We wanted our new space to have that perfect mix of location, great amenities, and creative energy – and The Hive has delivered wholly on all three.”

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