Allied London chief executive Mike Ingall launched the commercial-led element of Manchester’s St John’s district in typically positive fashion at yesterday’s launch festival, stating the firm’s intention to make Enterprise City UK a global brand within two years.
Ingall said: “Manchester has a successful digital cluster. In other places, such as London’s Old Street roundabout, we’ve seen public bodies try to harness the sector – my theory is that’s not really needed. The private sector will grow what it needs. This will be a technology-led business ecosystem – we want to create the first boundaryless city.”
Genuine support will be given to start-ups with real potential, he said: “We don’t see Enterprise City UK as a property development – we’re trying to be entrepreneurial providers of infrastructure. To the companies that will be invited here, we won’t sell you out, we won’t harangue you for rents, rates and service charges.”
Key elements of the area include the four-block Manchester Goods Yard; No. 1 Grape Street, which will be a 26-storey mixed-use tower; Old Granada Studios and the Bonded Warehouse, which will be the first development to get underway this autumn.
There will be three levels of workspace within the mixed-use South Village, while Campfield at the zone’s eastern edge will have a cultural focus. Typical commercial floorplates in the Ziggurat tower, which will also house the Nadler hotel, will be 20,000 sq ft.
There are currently around 50,000 people employed in digital industries in Manchester, a number Ingall said could be doubled, with 10,000 positions created within Enterprise City igniting other projects.
He said: “We’ve already done this in financial and professional services, where Spinningfields was a catalyst – without Spinningfields, Bank of New York wouldn’t have come to Manchester, Freshfields wouldn’t have gone to New Bailey.”