Bruntwood Works has welcomed six new businesses to its community of technology, creative and digital businesses at Blackfriars House following a multi-million-pound transformation project.
New customers have joined the growing community at the landmark building in Manchester following its refurbishment, which was part of the Bruntwood Works’ £50m Pioneer programme and saw the building reopen in March to create one of the city’s most sought-after workspaces.
Businesses new to Blackfriars since the transformation include Matillion, the fast growing software company headquartered at Bruntwood Works’ Station House in Altrincham; TickX, the UK’s leading search engine and discovery platform for events and attractions tickets; and UNIwise, the innovative digital exam and assessment platform.
Matillion, which has more than 170 employees, has adopted a hub and spoke workspace solution by opening its second office with Bruntwood Works at Blackfriars House. The business needed a flexible city centre workspace to accommodate its growing number of technicians that live locally and opted for a serviced suite with the option to expand as the firm grows. Whereas TickX and UNIwise have both taken a leased workspace as they expand their Manchester operations.
The string of new customers, which also see Bruntwood Works welcome Agile Automations, Propel and Creditsafe, represent the increasing demand for flexibility from businesses across the city, and meeting this need was a key objective of the overhaul. The creative nature of the space has also proved a strong draw and collectively the new customers take 80 serviced desks, plus more than 2,100 st ft of leased space.
The refurbishment has created a unique and collaborative hub for businesses that are looking for workspaces of all sizes. Inspired by the building’s 1920s heritage, it included a stylish lounge area complete with fireplaces for less formal meetings and 12 dedicated coworking desks - which are soon to be available on a pay-as-you-go service - for those seeking a relaxed and informal workspace. The ground floor now houses a hidden podcast studio which doubles as a 1920s-style reading room, a 70-seat auditorium which is designed for future talks and events, and an independent coffee shop operated by Bean - and there are plans in the pipeline to develop a new rooftop restaurant and events space in 2021.
These state-of-the-art amenities and independent retail offer have been designed to enhance the working experience for the business community at Blackfriars House, and are complemented by the introduction of new serviced suites across the fourth floor, accommodating 120 flexible desks and two meeting rooms to create a platform for businesses to expand into.
Andrew Cooke, strategic director at Bruntwood Works said: “Since we reopened Blackfriars House following its transformation earlier in the year, we’ve seen significant demand for virtual tours of the new space and it's great to see so many businesses now make it their home - the expansion of our community demonstrates the importance of collaboration and its clear businesses are still committed to having a space where their teams can come together. The office is changing and we know that businesses want workspaces that provide a flexible, safe and collaborative place for their people to work from. This, underpinned by a focus on wellbeing and productivity, is at the core of what we’re providing at Blackfriars House.
“We’re also soon to launch a pay-as-you-go service in our coworking lounge, which is another step towards making sure people across the city can benefit from the amenities and connect with the community at Blackfriars as and when they need to.”
Blackfriars House, which is already home to a broad range of businesses including Realtime Visualisation, Kuits, Ampersand and Manchester International Festival, has been deemed COVID-secure by the British Safety Council following an independent audit and it is Bruntwood Works’ first Pioneer building in Manchester.
The programme highlights Bruntwood Works’ commitment to creating communities within its regions, helping customers to build strong networks to fuel growth.
The workspaces available include serviced offices, as well as larger leased spaces, alongside Bruntwood Works’ Made & Managed offering, which allows customers to build a bespoke package of services including utilities, furniture and cleaning for a simple monthly fee.