The £900m Mayfield development and Airport City’s North campus are the frontrunners for a 600,000 sq ft office requirement for Barclays Bank, Place North West understands.
The banking giant, advised by CBRE, has been looking to consolidate its Northern operations since the beginning of last year, and is now understood to be weighing up two of Manchester’s major office developments as potential options.
Sources close to the process told Place North West the bank’s initial requirements when it came to market were for an out-of-town location, rather than a city centre office. Discussions have taken place between Barclays and Manchester Airports Group about taking space at the Airport City North campus.
Barclays is now believed to be considering U+I’s Mayfield regeneration project, which is slated to include just under 1.7m sq ft of office space in total. These would be situated on the existing Mayfield Depot behind Piccadilly station, and near the city’s proposed HS2 hub.
Sources said any potential deal for Barclays at Mayfield “was still at the very early stages” with both parties still in discussions on the amount of space to be taken and timescales.
An updated masterplan for the £900m scheme was released earlier this month, and the consultation process has now begun. It is being brought forward by the Mayfield Partnership, with U+I as development partner alongside LCR, Manchester City Council, and Transport for Greater Manchester.
Other occupiers believed to have considered Mayfield include the Government Property Unit, which has a total requirement of 750,000 sq ft. The GPU is now understood to be moving to English Cities Fund’s Two New Bailey, taking a 175,000 sq ft pre-let at the office, currently on site with contractor Bowmer & Kirkland.
The Mayfield professional team includes Deloitte Real Estate, architect Studio Egret West, Faithful & Gould, Buro Happold Engineering, JLL, Ekosgen, Foreman Roberts and Real Worth.
At Airport City, MAG is proposing around 1m sq ft of office space, alongside hotels, manufacturing, transport, and industrial space as part of its 5m sq ft masterplan.
Offices at the site have been designed by a team of five architects: 5plus; AEW; Bennetts Associates; Cartwright Pickard; and FaulknerBrowns, with individual office buildings ranging between 85,000 sq ft and 15,000 sq ft in size, and with floorplates between 17,000 sq ft and 5,000 sq ft.
No major lettings have been announced at Airport City so far, but MAG Property’s chief executive Lynda Shillaw told Place North West last year the group was in discussions with its first major occupier and was keen to seal what would be a “transformational” deal.
Other names mooted for Airport City include The Hut Group, which is aiming to create 1,000 jobs in Greater Manchester.
Barclays already has a significant base in central Manchester at its 80,000 sq ft facility in 4 Piccadilly Place. The bank also has a technology campus covering 64 acres in Radbroke, Knutsford, where it employs more than 3,500 people. The company announced plans in April last year to create an additional 400 jobs at Radbroke, and submitted plans for a two-storey 11,000 sq ft office complex to support its growth plans at the site.
As well as Manchester and Cheshire, the bank also has a contact centre in Liverpool, housing around 1,000 staff. Barclays announced plans to create 300 jobs at the office at Wavertree Technology Park in 2016.
Barclays has not confirmed whether any of these facilities will be closing, or which staff would be relocating as part of the plans.
A spokesperson from Barclays said the bank “declined to comment on market speculation”. The Mayfield Partnership also declined to comment when contacted by Place North West. MAG has been contacted for comment.
CBRE and JLL are the retained agents for Airport City.