Manchester tech hub workspace moves step closer

A new tech hub in Manchester has moved closer to fruition as the city council signs legal agreements with a development partner. 

Manchester City Council has announced a partnership with Allied London for the repair, refurbishment and fit out of the historic Grade II listed Upper and Lower Campfield Market buildings in the city centre.

The redevelopment, which will use £17.5m of Levelling Up funding, will create a new tech, media and creative industries hub as part of the ‘Culture in the City’ project and managed by All Work & Social, a workspace company which already owns and manages multiples spaces in the city.

Council Leader, Cllr Bev Craig, said: ‘Campfield is an exciting initiative which will see these two heritage buildings help play a dynamic part in Manchester’s future, giving innovative businesses an affordable place to flourish and helping to create the jobs of tomorrow. 

‘Having a location in the heart of the city centre, as part of a cluster of similar businesses, will create an environment where tech, media and creative entrepreneurs – whether they are starting up or scaling up – can network and share inspiration.’ 

It is hoped that the site will attract start-up, recover and scale-up businesses, specifically in the tech and innovation sectors. 

Castlefield House, a building owned by Allied London, will also be repositioned as part of the overall scheme. A second scheme under the Culture in the City project will see a new ‘creative talent development centre’ built under three historic railway arches between HOME, an arts venue which will also run the centre, and Whitworth Street West. 

The council was awarded the £20m for the project by the government’s levelling up funding programme in 2021. It is anticipated that the scheme will create 1,600 jobs and sustain a further 2,400 jobs over a 15 year period. 

Similar developments in Brooklyn, Paris, Tilburg and Uruguay were used by Allied London to inspire designs and Chairman and Chief Executive of Allied London, Michael Ingall, said: We ‘are confident of delivering a very impactful project for Manchester.’ 

Following the redevelopment of the buildings, they will provide 83,000 sq. ft. of workspaces hosting at least 400 hot desks alongside meeting and event spaces. Facilities will be available on either a permanent occupier or drop-in basis. 

The announcement comes soon after a report called for greater funding outside of South East England for tech innovation, with Manchester highlighted as a key city to house ‘investment districts.’

Photo: Stephen Richards / Former Higher Campfield Market, Liverpool Road, Manchester / CC BY-SA 2.0


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