Two Hardman Street, Spinningfields, p.PNW

The largest deal of the quarter saw Arden University take 42,000 sq ft at Two Hardman Street. Credit: Place North West

Manchester office take-up almost doubles in Q3 

Occupiers signed for a total of 351,000 sq ft during July, August, and September, 172,000 sq ft more than the previous quarter, according to Manchester Office Agents Forum. 

Letting activity in the city centre in the third quarter of 2023 was also up year on year; the same period in 2022 saw 326,000 sq ft transacted. 

A total of 59 deals were completed in the last three months, with two education providers taking the most space. 

Arden University signed for 43,000 sq ft formerly occupied by Deloitte at 2 Hardman Street – a deal first revealed by Place North West – and UA92 snapped up AO’s former 37,000 sq ft office at Bruntwood’s Riverside. 

Elsewhere, flexible workspace provider Cubo made its first foray into Manchester, becoming the first company to commit to M&G’s Lincoln, taking 31,000 sq ft. 

Q3 also saw Manchester reach record headline rents in the city centre with Relentless Development’s pre-lets to Pinsent Masons and Hill Dickinson at No.1 St Michael achieving £43/sq ft. The law firms both signed 10-year leases for a combined 45,000 sq ft.  

St Michael's Square, Relentless, p Turth PR

A new headline rent was set at St Michael’s. Credit: via Truth PR

“Grade A space continues to let well, especially as supply of quality space is diminished in the city centre,” said Rosie Veitch, associate at Sixteen Real Estate. “The take-up we’ve seen over the last three months is hugely positive, and we expect this level of level of activity to continue as we look ahead to the final quarter.” 

Veitch predicts take-up in Manchester could exceed the 1m sq ft mark this year. After three quarters the total take-up stands at 721,000 sq ft.

Outside the city centre, South Manchester saw an increase in letting activity compared to previous quarters. 

MOAF’s figures show that take-up rose to 180,987 sq ft in Q3, compared to 146,806 sq ft in Q2 2023, and 135,000 sq ft in Q1. 

“This growth is driven by the ongoing appeal of town centre locations as well as office developments that have curated a vibrant workplace environment through the offer of quality on-site amenity,” said Conor Walmsley, associate director at Colliers. 

“This goes a long way in helping occupiers to attract and retain talent, whilst remaining easily accessible and is obtainable at a cost-effective rate.” 

Notable deals in South Manchester include Conferma Pay’s 15,000 sq ft letting at Towers Business Park in Didsbury.  

MOAF was formed in 2009, and members include Avison Young, BE Group, CBRE, Colliers , Canning O’Neill, Cushman & Wakefield, Edwards & Co, Hallams Property Consultants, JLL, Knight Frank, LSH, Matthews & Goodman, OBI, Savills, TSG Property Consultants, and Sixteen. 

Your Comments

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But.. but.. how can this be? I mean everyone is WFH arn’t they? I mean who pays for all of this if they are not used? It’s almost as if these experts are all wrong…. or the the comments sections on here and instagram are not the supreme arbiters of knowledge and common sense I once thought they were?!

By Bro-dar the Magnificent

But the comments section said the office is dying!

By Verticality

University, Co-working and relocations, not very exciting, and how many offices vacated?


Great news even if the good news is fairly Manchester and London specific . Offices can only work where there are lots of companies providing lots of jobs.

By Anonymous

@DH Interesting that you have listed relocations on your list of “not very exciting” news to talk down the market… obviously take up is made of relocations??

By Anonymous

What is the net new office uptake stripping out relocations.

By Anonymous

New office take up very impressive figures for Manchester given such a challenging set of circumstances. Seems to echo the story in Leeds recently so positive news for the office market overall despite the occasional view ‘filmed in MiseryVision’ .

By Dancal

Being truthful is not “talking down the market”


Good new, and there is a difference between truthful and pedantry. If the office market exceeds 1m sqft this year that’s an extraordinary result given the market conditions. Can’t wait for the Avison Young Big nine Q4 report to see just how things are looking in these challenging times.

By Anonymous

@DH I hope you are not too upset when Manchester delivers even more sizeable occupiers in the near future… see you on the Q4 post 🙂

By Anonymous

Deloitte and M&G are getting people back in the office. We’ll need a fast rail link between Manchester and London soon.

By Anonymous

No inward investment? Arden, Pinsent Masons and Hill Dickinson were already here and are vacating space, no extra jobs?

By Gilly

@Anonymous 5.25pm Q3 hasn’t delivered any sizeable occupiers, just a few firms moving from one building to another, how do you not understand?


What is it about this you don’t get DH? 1m sq ft by end of Q4, amazing figures and yes admittedly only Manchester and London are showing this kind of growth in a flat Market but it’s good for the whole of the North so no need to constantly try to take the shine off somewhere you clearly don’t like and feel the need to talk the market down. This is good news for you too, celebrate.

By Anonymous

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