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Coworking Getting 'Scary' In Central Manchester As German Giant Plots Debut

Rent24 coworking location

Manchester's corporate-backed coworking scene is getting "scary" according to a senior Manchester agent, who predicts the Manchester coworking boom will struggle to survive an economic downturn.

The predictions come as German coworking and co-living space provider Rent24 has taken a majority stake in London shared office space operator The Brew and revealed plans to open 45 new locations in the U.K. and Ireland over the next two years.

“It’s scary, we’re looking at scary numbers for coworking in Manchester,” Canning O’Neill partner Conrad O’Neill said. “We’re hearing that WeWork is on the brink of taking another 60K SF at John Dalton Street in Manchester, with talk about the possibility of another deal of 56K SF, and there is more coming from other new entrants all the time.”

“The danger is when the economy slows, because it’s all great on the way up, there’s enough new business for everyone, and the operators enjoy long rent-free periods meaning they can offer coworking desks at a discount. But sooner or later the new entrants have to pay the full rent, and then it will be a struggle for them.”

The Brew’s six coworking spaces in the Shoreditch area of London mark Rent24’s first move into the U.K. market. These properties will be branded as ‘The Brew by Rent24.'

The 45 locations will total 1.35M SF, making the company among the top 10 in the U.K.