Urban Splash has agreed a deal with Fanatics, an international retailer of licensed sportswear, to take the whole of the 25,000 sq ft Stubbs Mill in Manchester’s New Islington.
The deal has been announced as Splash completes the restoration of the 1880s-built mill.
Director Nathan Cornish said: “Stubbs Mill was a bold move for us. It’s on the periphery of the city centre and in an area that has only recently been established. It would’ve been an easy move to turn it into apartments but we thought we could make it work commercially, thus bringing hundreds more people into New Islington. Fanatics will greatly add to mix of uses and community here.”
Fanatics, currently based in Middleton, formerly traded as Kitbag and was sold by Findel to US business Fanatics for £11.6m in February 2016, becoming the international arm of the US giant.
Andy Anson, chief executive, said: “This is a fantastic development for the company, its staff and for the city of Manchester. We needed to move to accommodate our aggressive growth plans but it was incredibly important to us that we stayed true to our roots and remained in Manchester.
“Moving closer to the city centre means we’ll be right at the heart of Manchester’s commercial and tech resources and the choice of Stubbs Mill means we’ll be operating from one of the coolest environments that any e-commerce business could wish for.”
Globally, Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline stores on behalf of more than 200 professional and college sports teams, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea. It also operates e-commerce for leagues including the NFL, NBA and Major League baseball.
Cornish concluded: “This year’s been pivotal for New Islington. We have completed hoUSe, welcoming new residents into every single unit and now we’ve completed and let Stubbs Mill. Add to that the opening of the permanent building for the New Islington Free School and the area’s very much on the Manchester map.”