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Manchester Tech Hub's Rapid Growth Is About To Get Supercharged

Manchester boasts the largest tech cluster outside of London, but a new report outlined how it could attract even more technology firms and continue its momentum as a world-class digital leader.

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What's driving Manchester's tech scene? WiredScore found that 73% of northern tech professionals have confidence in the local economy. Companies couldn't resist the local talent pool, the city’s industrial heritage and its commercial real estate prices (mentioned as drivers by 69%, 65% and 58% of surveyed pros, respectively). Flexible and short-term leases for startups and incentives for tenants were also cited as key factors.

The rise of co-working as a financially efficient way of working was also identified in the survey, with 23% saying they would like to see more shared office space available to businesses.

However, one-third of respondents believe more businesses would be attracted to the city if landlords were able to offer improved connectivity.

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The report accompanies WiredScore’s launch in Manchester, its first UK city outside of London. The company has over 300M SF of Wired Certified property globally, 20M SF of which is in London. WiredScore is now working with property owners in Manchester, including CBRE Global Investors, Kennedy Wilson Europe, Legal & General Investment Management, Peel, Property Alliance, NOMA/Hermes Investment Management, Schroders and Helical.

Manchester’s leaders in digital connectivity have already committed over 4M SF in Manchester to being certified.

“Manchester has already marked itself as a thriving British hub of digital and creative companies,” WiredScore managing director William Newton (shown) tells Bisnow. “To ensure that the city continues to prosper, it’s essential that local entrepreneurs and businesses have the necessary resources—both physical and human—that will enable their companies to grow. The city’s landlords and developers have an important role to play in achieving this, by investing in their properties’ connectivity infrastructure to future-proof their buildings against the needs of the modern business.”

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Other northern cities are heating up, too. The Colmore Building, in Birmingham’s city centre, became the first in the city to be Wired Certified, achieving a Platinum rating for its digital connectivity. 

The 14-storey building, home to Vodafone, Allianz, Grant Thornton, Investec and Marsh, secured its rating by providing three unique sources of fibre—including dedicated business-grade fibre offerings that can be used for symmetrical speeds of up to 100 Gbps depending on tenants’ requirements—as well as a fixed wireless provider. The WiredScore audit also found the Colmore Building had best-in-class levels of resiliency, with three fully separate intakes and three fully diverse risers, giving occupiers the option of improved protection against any potential disruption.