Banking group RBS has confirmed that it is to vacate the One Spinningfields Square office fronting Deansgate by the end of 2018, relocating staff to its Hardman Boulevard base in a move that will return 150,000 sq ft to the central Manchester office market.
The pair of RBS buildings were bought by M&G Real Estate in 2014 for £320m from EY, in its capacity as administrator to Matrix Securities companies. Very much considered the foundation stones of the Spinningfields business district, the back office building at Hardman Boulevard is 350,000 sq ft and the Spinningfields Square building 150,000 sq ft.
Since being bailed out by central government in 2008, RBS has slimmed down operations in Manchester as elsewhere, and now occupies less than four fifths of its desk space across the buildings.
Putting a positive spin on the move, RBS said in a statement: “As we become a simpler, smaller UK-focused bank and as we encourage more flexible ways of working, we now require less office space. We will be exiting our Spinningfields Square office by the end of 2018.
“In parallel to the exit of Spinningfields, we’ll be investing in and improving the working environment for colleagues in Hardman Boulevard. We do not anticipate any redundancies as a result of this decision and our customers will not experience any disruption as a result of these changes.”
At the time of the 2014 sale, RBS was committed to both buildings for a further 23 years, with annual fixed rental uplifts of 3%.
Although Spinningfields developer Allied London has no involvement in the buildings themselves, it is keeping a keen eye on the situation, and described RBS’s move as a chance to bring the building up to speed with more recent developments such as XYZ and No1 Spinningfields.
Chief executive Mike Ingall said: “For Spinningfields this is a win-win. A major bank making further investment into Spinningfields as it completes a period of recovery, but also a great opportunity for further diversification. One Spinningfields Square is one of the best buildings on the Spinningfields estate and will be quickly snapped up as the shortage of quality workspaces in Manchester increases.
“Having just completed No.1 Spinningfields, it’s good to be able to offer more space to an ever-increasing diversifying corporate market place and of a standard not matched elsewhere outside of London.”
M&G has been approached for comment.