Circle Square March 2017
Space within the first two office blocks at Circle Square is mostly under offer. Credit: via planning documents

Bruntwood SciTech’s Circle Square offices filling up

Dan Whelan

Ofcom, Octopus Energy, Autocab and Roku are close to agreeing deals for around 160,000 sq ft at the Oxford Road tech hub, Place North West understands. 

Bruntwood SciTech’s £750m Circle Square is proving popular with occupiers and is driving the recovery of Manchester’s office market following a Covid slump. 

Commentators suggest Manchester could exceed office take-up of 1m sq ft this year, exceeding the 800,000 sq ft of lettings amassed in 2020.

Represented by JLL, US streaming platform Roku has selected Circle Square to open a 100,000 sq ft office. Roku operates out of six US cities and also has offices in London and Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Octopus Energy is rumoured to be under offer on around 30,000 sq ft, according to sources. London-headquartered Octopus is represented by Helico Consulting.

Uber-owned software firm Autocab is understood to have its eye on 20,000 sq ft at Bruntwood SciTech’s scheme. CBRE was instructed to find space for Autocab, which currently has an office at Cheadle Royal Business Park.

Ofcom, the quasi-government regulator, is close to signing a 10,000 sq ft sublease from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of the first companies to take space at Circle Square. Ofcom was represented by Gerald Eve.

The letting agents for Circle Square are Savills, Knight Frank and JLL. All parties were contacted for comment. 

Bruntwood SciTech declined to comment on any of the deals. 

Other tenants at Circle Square include Hilti, which took 42,000 sq ft relocating from Trafford Wharf, law firm Mills & Reeve, which has 15,000 sq ft,  HPE and professional services company Accenture. The latter took an initial 5,000 sq ft but is understood to be looking to increase its footprint.

The first phase of offices, totalling around 400,000 sq ft across two buildings, are complete. Other completed elements of Circle Square include a 1,018-space multistorey car park and a 158-bedroom Premier Inn.

The residential component features almost 700 PRS apartments managed by Affinity Living and 1,000 student flats managed by Vita. Both Vita and Affinity are part of Select Property Group.

Symphony Park, a public green space at the centre of the development is also complete.

Number Three Circle Square, on a plot facing Princess Street, is under construction and will provide an additional 216,000 sq ft of workspace.

Future phases include the redevelopment of Manchester Technology Centre, which would provide an additional 480,000 sq ft of offices.

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Great stuff as the Manchester Tech sector continues to develop as a hub of world significance

By Dr B

Well done Manchester, along with other business districts like New Bailey, St Johns, Spinningfields , Media city and hopefully one day Mayfield, it’s office developments like this that will help power the recovery in years to come. Who said the office was dead?

By Anonymous