Manchester Technology Centre

Hybrid-working KPMG quits Technology Centre

Neil Tague

The Big Four accountancy firm has withdrawn 100 staff from Bruntwood’s Manchester Technology Centre, citing adoption of new working practices as it relocates the team to its One St Peter’s Square base.

KPMG signed for the space at MTC as recently as September 2019, agreeing terms on 12,000 sq ft in a move intended to accommodate up to 180 staff, as the firm launched a national technology innovation hub under the heading of UK Solutions & Digital.

A spokesperson for KPMG said today: “As a major employer in Manchester we remain committed to our presence in the city.

“Our planned adoption of hybrid working does slightly change our office requirements and we do not plan to renew the lease on 12,000 sq ft in Manchester Technology Centre.

“We have relocated our 100 Technology colleagues into our primary Manchester city centre office, 1 St Peter’s Square.”

Before the Covid pandemic, a trend had emerged in recent years of professional services firms locating digital teams in co-working or tech-focused locations off-site.

KPMG was a keen advocate, also moving a tram from its Canary Wharf HQ to Interchange in Camden, as blue-chip occupiers looked to test the theory that working in less corporate space alongside start-ups would mean benefits including trend-spotting, selling services and being more appealing to top graduates.

Other deals saw Commonwealth Bank of Australia sign for space with WeWork, while Barclays set up its own Eagle Labs co-working hubs.

Manchester Technology Centre is home to the Manchester Tech Incubator, with other tenants including HP Enterprise, Accenture, Startupfactory and Tootoot.

Bruntwood was approached for comment.

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Not too surprising really. Many corporates testing the Co-working space sector are actually doing so to better understand how colleagues and their businesses work in an environment that is well away from traditional desking / formal / informal meting spaces etc. With lessons learnt, they know that fitting out their own conventional leased space with zonal environments for specific tasks will be the way forward. I’m sure KPMG have exciting plans for a re-fit at their One St Peter’s Square home! Nothing quite like being in control of your own space!!

By The Evolution