HarperNorth, the newly established North of England outpost of publishing house HarperCollins, has taken space in Bruntwood Works’ refurbished office block in Manchester, as it expands outside London.
HarperCollins, part of Rupert Murdoch’s media giant News Corp, announced plans in January to set up an office in Manchester with the aim of sourcing and publishing emerging regional talent.
News Corp has a 10-year lease on 3,800 sq ft of space on the sixteenth floor of 111 Piccadilly, where staff from other News Corp companies including TalkSPORT, The Sun and The Times are based. Under the revised arrangement, HarperNorth’s five staff, headed up executive publisher Oli Malcolm, will move into the space.
The HarperNorth division has started operating – albeit from home during the pandemic – and has begun to acquire authors. It is aiming to start going into the 111 Piccadilly office in the coming weeks.
Manchester-based developer Bruntwood’s offices arm has been refurbishing the building, which offers 50,000 sq ft of offices and flexible workspace, over the past year as part of its £50m investment to upgrade commercial properties across the city, known as its ‘Pioneer’ programme.
The location of 111 Piccadilly, close to Manchester’s main Piccadilly railway station, will enable the HarperNorth team to travel and locate writers from across the North.
The division aims to publish up to 20 titles across all formats in its first year, with books covering multiple genres including fiction and non-fiction, excluding children’s books.
Malcolm said in January: “HarperNorth will be open for business, based in one of the UK’s fastest-growing cultural hubs, and increasing access for authors outside of London.
“We are looking forward to publishing innovative, fantastic books with regional, national and international appeal, and I can’t wait to hear from passionate publishing talent that wants to help shape this exciting new division.”
HarperCollins also has regional operations in Glasgow, Honley and Dublin.
Another London-based publishing house, Hachette UK, is expanding beyond the capital. The publisher of the Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s adult books is searching for space in Manchester, as well as in Newcastle, Sheffield, Bristol and Edinburgh, and intends to relocate 40 staff to the new regional offices over the next 12 months, and at least 100 by 2022.
Savills and Knight Frank are the retained agents for 111 Piccadilly and OBI helped to market the space.