Plus X Brighton comprises 53,000 sq ft. Credit: via Savills

Innovation hubs operator plots rollout

Neil Tague

Workspace provider Plus X has appointed Savills as strategic advisor as it seeks to grow its portfolio of locations to 25 over five years, targeting 1.25m sq ft across the UK.

The rollout programme should be of interest to developers and agents promoting existing or pipeline schemes: Plus X said that as well as longer-term development opportunities, it is looking for existing buildings to worth with in the next six to 18 months.

The operator has been initially backed by regeneration developer U+I, opening its first space at the developer’s Preston Barracks scheme in Brighton and now working on U+I’s Old Vinyl Factory development in Hayes.

Plus X Brighton, a new build project designed by Studio Egret West, comprises 53,000 sq ft and has also been backed by the Coast to Capital LEP.

Plus X offers access to innovation facilities, such as bio labs and product prototyping machinery, media suites and business support services for ambitious startups and scaleups through to large corporate clients.

Andrew Cooke, associate director in the business space agency team at Savills Manchester, said: “Plus X is one of the most exciting and forward-thinking innovation hubs in the current market. Its offer goes above and beyond in terms of ensuring that businesses are supported at every stage.

“This is not a ‘one size fits all’ package but a bespoke service that offers space, expertise and collaboration, whilst also offering programmes that meet specific local economic needs.

“The North West market doesn’t currently have an offering of this nature and Plus X will therefore be a huge boost for the local area, which has a wealth of innovation and talent that would benefit from having access to the concept.”

Notably, Plus X Brighton secured a £10.5m grant to support fit-out and services delivered in the building. As Plus X expands in the UK, the team said it will continue to work with local government teams to access funding grants to support regional innovation and job creation.

The operator said it will consider immediate opportunities from 25,000 sq ft in order to accelerate the development of its UK network as well as larger sites and developments in the right locations.

Paul Rostas, co-founder and co-chief executive, said: “We want to create a national network of hubs to help landlords unlock space and have a greater social impact.

“Our hubs can add a renewed vibrancy to a location as well as adding a new dynamic to a multi-let property. Furthermore, our retrofitting is also more carbon-friendly ensuring that they help to meet ESG targets.”

U+I’s Mayfield scheme might seem like a natural fit within Manchester, however as Place North West reported in May, the developer is still looking to tie up funding to advance its first phase of offices.

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