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Focus on growth sectors leaves Manchester well placed to outperform UK office market, according to Colliers International

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Focus on growth sectors leaves Manchester well placed to outperform UK office market, according to Colliers InternationalA concerted drive to attract homegrown and imported media and technology firms to Manchester leaves the city well placed to outperform the wider UK office market, according to research by real estate advisors Colliers International.

The latest Manchester Office Market Snapshot by Colliers International highlights the emergence of key hubs for growth sectors including The Sharp Project, the 360,000 sq ft location for digital entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and content producers in east Manchester, as evidence of the city’s increasing focus on providing tailored properties for start-ups and established businesses in key sectors.

Manchester is going to be the home of Tomorrow, the title of a groundbreaking project by global companies to bring state-of-the-art technology to the city. The as yet unnamed businesses have agreed heads of terms on approximately 180,000 sq ft of property arranged over about 20 locations, including a site for the proposed European headquarters of one of the firms involved.

The businesses behind Tomorrow are understood to have selected Manchester ahead of other cities worldwide because of the presence of MediaCity, its science parks and universities.

Thirteen of the buildings involved are thought to be: The Hive, 47 Lever Street; 1 New York Street; Chancery Place; Orange at MediaCity; First Street; The Peninsula; Riverside, New Bailey Street; 304 Bridgewater Place; Towers Business Park, Didsbury; Booths Park, Knutsford; Citylabs; 196 Deansgate; Manchester Science Park and Manchester Airport.

Further evidence of Manchester’s commitment to growth sectors was illustrated by property developer Allied London submitting plans for an office building providing 160,000 sq ft for technology, media and telecoms businesses at the Spinningfields business district.

Guy Grantham, head of research and forecasting at Colliers International, said: “Given the merging slant toward growth sectors such as media and technology, the city is well positioned to outperform the wider UK over the next few years.”

The Snapshot also recorded that office take-up in Manchester for 2013 to date had been ‘robust’ and was on course to exceed 1 million sq ft for the first time since 2010. A total of 77,072 sq ft of office space occupied in the third quarter of 2013 alone suggested that the second half would represent the third successive half-year improvement in occupation levels.

Rupert Barron, director, offices national at the Manchester office of Colliers International, said: “Healthy absorption (of office space) is a clear sign of improving confidence and despite steady headline rental growth over the past two years, Manchester is yet to reach a tipping point in terms of demand outweighing supply.

“However, as options for occupiers reduce during 2014, there remain opportunities outside the city core, where potential movers may look at more innovative occupational solutions.”

The reinvigoration of the suburban office market, particularly in south Manchester, Salford Quays and at Manchester Airport, demonstrated ‘healthy levels’ of supply for businesses seeking office space in non-core locations.

In Manchester city centre there remain a number of existing choice for occupiers seeking good quality office space such as the former premises of law firms Cobbetts and Halliwells on Mosley Street and at Spinnigfields respectively and space at First Street vacated by Manchester City Council.

Looking ahead, the 1 St Peter’s Square scheme by Argent is due for completion in mid 2014 and the Hines/Manchester & Metropolitan Properties’ development on the site of the former Odeon cinema beside Argent’s building has recently received planning permission for 178,000 sq ft of office space and is ready to be constructed.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 25th November 2013

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