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Hermes Launches 200K SF Spec Manchester Offices As City Banks On Its Tech Reputation

At 4 Angel Square: Paul Pavia, head of development, MEPC; Chris Kirkland, main board director, Bowmer & Kirkland; Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council; Dan Hyde, senior development manager, MEPC; and Neil Brook, regional director North West, Bowmer & Kirkland

Federated Hermes and MEPC have launched Manchester’s first COVID-era speculative office development with a 200K SF scheme at 4 Angel Square, part of the 1.2M SF NOMA project.

The 11-storey building will be operationally net zero, Federated Hermes and MEPC said.

Practical completion is due in 2023, putting NOMA ahead of rivals including U+I’s Mayfield and Manchester City Council’s simmering proposals for the Central Retail Park, Ancoats.

A new public square will also connect 4 Angel Square to 2 and 3 Angel Square, which will collectively deliver 600K SF of grade-A new-build office space once built. It is designed by Manchester-based architect SimpsonHaugh.

The development will gladden the heart of Manchester City Council’s political and policy leadership, who have been pinning their COVID recovery plans on a surge in the tech sector, which the NOMA development is well-placed to serve. 

This week Manchester was identified as a ‘Rising Global Contender’ in the Savills Tech Cities programme for 2021, making it the only UK city outside of London to be named. Manchester joins Tallinn, Vilnius and Eindhoven as European cities to watch. 

Savills Tech Cities, which has run since 2015, previously ranked the best cities globally for tech occupiers and talent. However, given the events of 2020 and the move toward different types of city appealing to different types of occupier, for its 2021 programme the firm has grouped them by tiers instead. This includes a selection of ‘Rising Global Contenders’, with Manchester being listed amongst other growing tech destinations such as Bogota and Detroit

“We’ve seen a substantial increase in the demand from growing tech occupiers in Manchester over recent years, from startups to global companies like Amazon, and HPE. With three internationally ranked universities and strong graduate retention rates, Manchester is well-placed,” Savills Manchester Head James Evans said.