Barclays’ fintech banking centre, Rise Manchester, in the arches of Great Northern Warehouse, has closed and the vacated space taken by start-up coffee operator Grindsmith, currently being courted by many of the city’s developers who are keen to bring attractive independent brands to their new buildings.
Grindsmith shared the unit at 231-233 Deansgate with Barclays, occupying the front third of the space, around 1,500 sq ft, and has now expanded into the remaining 3,000 to the rear of the unit. A refurbishment is being planned. Meeting rooms installed by Barclays will be retained; some offered for free and others bookable with a charge. Central Working will continue to provide co-working space and small offices in the upper floors.
The coffee shop opened at the end of 2014 and established itself as a popular hangout not only for techies but also suits keen on alternatives to Starbucks and Costa.
However, Great Northern is due to be redeveloped and the modern structure to the rear of the Victorian arches, including the former Barclays base, will be torn down to make way for a new tree-lined avenue, to be called Dean Street, by developer Trilogy.
Grindsmith boss Peter Gibson said he has until next July in the arches and is working with Trilogy to find another unit in Great Northern, possibly at the entrance to Dean Street.
Grindsmith operates three units; its original wooden kiosk in Greengate, at MediaCityUK, and in Deansgate. Gibson is currently going through a funding round with angel investors to expand. He said he has turned down approaches from developers to buy the business or take equity, but has chosen gradual growth over having to fill a large portfolio of sites overnight.
Barclays said it has consolidated its two-strong Rise team to its Spinningfields base whilst it secures a new larger site. Agents said the Rise Manchester requirement has been linked with Noma among other places.
A spokesperson for Barclays said: “Rise Manchester has now closed its operations on Deansgate – details on plans to open an exciting new site elsewhere in the city will be announced soon. During transition, the Barclays Rise team will still be available, based at the Barclays Spinningfields office, continuing to work on innovation and community activities and contactable through email at email@example.com.”