The Northern Powerhouse push comes fresh on the back of WeWork tie-up with Crowdcube. In May, the pair revealed they would join forces in a partnership that will see the crowdfunding platform hold a presence in office space hubs across Europe.
Although WeWork has a global presence, serving the continent, various US cities including LA, Chicago and New York, Latin America, Australia and Asia, the business has kept its UK operation restricted to London.
With Manchester now on its radar, however, WeWork will open at the northern city’s Spinningfields business and leisure development. It marks the 20th location announced in the UK, while there are 14 London sites already in operation.
Another company that selected Manchester for a recent launch is CitySuites, which opened a luxury serviced apartment for business travel in February.
“Manchester is massively on the map in terms of business travel with huge international names setting up camp in the city, including the BBC, Amazon and Google, and Manchester Airport announcing new international routes every month,” said CitySuites operations director Gavin Bailey, detailing why the location was key.
“Couple this with the national emphasis of the city becoming the Northern Powerhouse, there is huge business potential in the city.”
On a global basis, WeWork boasts 140 sites across 15 countries and 45 cities, amounting to 120,000 members. In addition to SMEs, large enterprise members signed up include the likes of Spotify, Buzzfeed, Microsoft and Pinterest.
Although the Manchester venue is yet to open, local entrepreneurs and SMEs can enter the WeWork Creator Awards programme, which has prizes worth over $20m up for grabs.
The firm claims it chose Manchester as its reputation for innovation, media and technology continues to grow – indeed, almost 8,000 companies opened locally in 2016.
“Manchester is an obvious choice for our second city. It couples a vibrant cultural heritage with an established desirable business location,” said Joe Gaunt, UK MD for 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.
“We are proud to have secured premises in the latest addition to the Manchester skyline and believe this best in class building will provide the perfect hub for entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers and established companies alike to create their life’s work.”