Two New Bailey was crowned best commercial workspace. Credit: via Inform Comms

Liverpool and Manchester offices pick up BCO gongs 

The Spine, Edward Pavilion, Bloc and Two New Bailey all scooped honours at the British Council for Offices regional awards ceremony yesterday. 

The Northern BCO Awards Dinner, held at the Kimpton Hotel in Manchester, recognised schemes for their achievements in various categories including innovation and refurbishment. 

Award for best refurbished or recycled office space – Bloc on Marble Street in Manchester. 

Bloc is home to Direct Line and DCMS. Credit: via Inform Comms

Bloc, previously known as Lowry House, forms part of Bruntwood Works’ Pioneer Programme. Its refurbishment was led by Bridge Architects and completed around 12 months ago. Since then, the building has attracted several tenants including Direct Line, Verastar and the DCMS, as revealed by Place North West. 


Award for best commercial workspace – Two New Bailey Square in Salford. 

AHMM designed Two New Bailey. Credit: via Inform Comms

English Cities Fund’s 187,000 sq ft sq ft office block is let to several occupiers including law firms BLM and Eversheds Sutherland. It was designed by Alford Hall Monaghan Morris and completed in 2020. 


Award for best office project up to 16,000 sq ft – Taylor Wessing’s Edward Pavilion office at Albert Dock in Liverpool. 

Taylor Wessing signed for 12,700 sq ft last year. Credit: via Inform Comms

Taylor Wessing took 12,700 sq ft at the grade one-listed building in 2020. A project team made up of ADT Workplace, Hollis and designer Kin then set about converting the space for the law firm. The BCO judging panel said the finished product was “an inspiring space with an impressive, first-class overall finish”. 


Award for most innovative office scheme – The Spine at Paddington Village in Liverpool. 

The building is considered on of the healthiest in the world. Credit: via Inform Comms

Home to the Royal College of Physicians’ northern cohort, the Spine is considered to be one of the healthiest office buildings in the world. The fit-out of the RCP space was designated as outstanding by BREEAM standards. 


The four North West offices were among six workplaces across the North of England and Northern Ireland that picked up awards. The other two were PwC’s Merchant Square office in Belfast, which won the award for the best fit-out of a workplace, and Sunderland City Hall, which won best corporate workplace. 

Bruntwood’s Glasshouse at Alderley Park was highly commended by the BCO judging panel. 

“The outstanding quality of our northern winners and highly commended entries is a powerful demonstration that, despite the turbulence caused by the global pandemic, the office has never been so important,” said Thomas Bone, associate director at Hoare Lea and chair of the BCO northern judging panel. 

“The pandemic has turbocharged changes that were already occurring in our sector and a number of common themes were evident in all of the categories including rapid evolution, wellbeing, collaboration and innovation to deliver new hybrid ways of working.” 

Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO, added: “From Bloc and Two New Bailey Square in Manchester to Liverpool’s Spine and Edward Pavilion, many of this year’s northern winners have been people-focused, putting human need at the centre of their designs. 

“I look forward to seeing how these winning offices perform at the BCO National Awards in October and wish all entrants the best of luck.”  

Place North West is a media partner for the BCO conference, to be held between 14 and 16 June at Manchester Central.

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In time the spine will be looked upon as an iconic piece of Liverpool. As iconic as the Liver building and our two cathedrals, I think.

By Liverpool Romance

Ironic that the Spine is said to be one of the healthiest buildings but looks like it’s caught a disease.One man’s innovative is another’s plain ugly.

By Anonymous

Is that New Bailey building finished? It looks like a pre clad car park. Dreadful building.

By DriveLid

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