Russells Construction has been appointed to refurbish Federation House, a vacant 70,000 sq ft office on the edge of the NOMA neighbourhood in Manchester, into creative workspace for start-up businesses.
The nine-storey red brick building on Dantzic Street was one of the first built on the Co-op’s 20-acre estate in the early 1900s, which is now being redeveloped by a joint venture between the Co-op and Hermes Investment Management.
Alongside the office space, Federation House will include ground floor units for retail and leisure operators. Refurbishment work has already begun on bringing the building back into use. Russells has stripped out much of the internal fittings to create large open floorplates and a neutral setting for tenants to add their own décor.
Federation House was previously tipped to become the home of a tech incubator, known as Forward Plan, announced by then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his 2015 budget. However, the £4m grant allocation was connected to the project rather than a specific building, and Manchester City Council is in the process of tendering for an operator based in either the Northern Quarter, Sharp Project or MediaCityUK.
The operator of Federation House is yet to be confirmed, but NOMA said that an announcement was due shortly.
Ben Tolhurst, asset manager, Hermes Investment Management, said: “Offering a truly blank canvas and the potential for collaborative working, Federation will cater for the city’s growing army of digital, tech and creative companies who are playing an increasingly influential role in Manchester’s local economy.”
David Pringle, director of NOMA at The Co-op, said the rejuvenation of Federation House would be a significant moment in the wider NOMA regeneration.
He said: “With the completion of the Sadler’s Yard public realm, attention turns to the refurbishment of the incredible buildings which surround that space, of which Federation is the first. Built more than 100 years ago, it housed a growing collective of pioneers who went on to lead the world in a new style of commerce that put the needs of people first. Now part of our city’s proud heritage, the building will once again meet the needs of a new generation of pioneers in digital, technology and creative business.”