British Council cuts back Manchester base

The British Council has committed to staying at Bruntwood's Bridgewater House in Manchester, consolidating to newly refurbished space within the building.

The government department has reduced its presence from 66,000 sq ft over three floors to 22,000 sq ft on one floor, the sixth.

CBRE provided project management, agent and cost consultant advice throughout the move. Contractor TSK completed the workplace analysis and fit-out work on behalf of the British Council.

Angela Gibbins, the British Council's head of global estates, said: "The British Council has recognised the need to work smarter and more cost effectively. The key to this is creating a flexible working environment for all our staff members throughout our five UK offices.

"We have made a significant commitment in Manchester to our dedicated workforce by investing in the refurbishment of Bridgewater House's sixth floor. With efficiency at the heart of the refurbishment we have upgraded our mobile technologies and supported our staff in migrating to new ways of working."

Oliver Thomas, associate director of building consultancy at CBRE, said: "The British Council has taken a bold step forward in changing the environment in which staff work, and CBRE has supported the process by providing technical advice from inception until completion while up against tight timescales and budgetary constraints. The refurbishment has been received positively by staff members who have settled quickly into the agile working environment.

"With continued uncertainty in the market, we are working closely with our existing and, more encouragingly, new clients across the North West to promote the benefits of agile working and the efficiencies it can bring to property portfolios and capital expenditure."

Bruntwood paid £28.5m to buy the 200,000 sq ft building in Whitworth Street West in 2008 from Global Asset Management's UBS Triton Property Fund.

Edwards & Co and Savills are letting agents on Bridgewater House.

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