Manchester chases London to be the next tech hub

Tech startups are snapping up office space around the city, causing a shortage

According to commercial estate agent Colliers International, Manchester is emerging as the next tech hotspot, with 40% of the company's enquiries coming from tech companies looking to set up in the area.

The company said the city is well-equipped for such an industry, with 63,000 people working in tech-related roles compared to other towns and cities in the north, including Liverpool with 23,000, Leeds with 24,000 and Sheffield with 19,000.

Shared office space firm WeWork is one company taking advantage of the tech startup scene, PCR Online explained, launching new offices in the city centre. The company is already used by a high proportion of tech startups in London and the company has now seen a huge opportunity in the north too.

"Manchester is an obvious choice for our second city," said Joe Gaunt, the UK managing director of WeWork. "The city has excellent infrastructure and a growing tech and start-up sector and is showing itself to be an increasingly appealing destination providing a fantastic work life balance."

Colliers' report revealed that high number of tech companies flocking to Manchester means there's a lot less space available for companies to set up shop in the city, with just 230,000 sq ft left available in the centre. Even offices still being built are proving popular, with pre-let occupiers snapping it up before the projects are even completed.

"Over the next two years there are at least 1.2m sq ft of lease events for more than 3,000 sq ft and a further 1.12 million sq ft facing three or five-year rent review," said Peter Gallagher, director of the national offices at the Manchester office of Colliers International.

"Given the strong pipeline of enquiries and the prospect of several London-based occupiers looking to set up offices in Manchester to cut costs, the outlook for the rest of 2017 looks positive, with take-up set to exceed 1 million sq ft for fourth year in a row."

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