Posted on: 27th October 2022
Reading time: 10 mins
There's much more to Manchester than football and music, although they are the things that make the modern city most famous worldwide. What started as a Roman fort grew into a group of small settlements in the Middle Ages. It exploded into life during the Industrial Revolution, when it became known as "Cottonopolis" for the countless mills around the city. It would go on to play a part in many more revolutions, including women's suffrage, heavy industry, the arts, science, and education. And that progressive mindset continues today in this dynamic, exciting conurbation.
The city's skyline is rapidly changing, with the number of high-rise buildings doubling in the past decade as commerce and people flow into the city.
Manchester city centre remains the heart of the business district, forming a ring around the main shopping area, which includes the enormous Co-Operative HQ. Shoppers know King Street as an affluent pedestrianised street, but it continues eastward towards Piccadilly Gardens and becomes more of an area for office-based businesses, continuing into Spring Gardens. This area is home to dozens of serviced offices, most of which inhabit grand Edwardian and Victorian buildings. It’s one of the first places companies look for offices to rent Manchester.
West of Deansgate is Spinningfields, a major newer development that has reignited a part of town that was in real need of a reboot. It is now considered Manchester's fastest-growing place to do business. This is thanks to its buzzing community of shared office space, private offices, and other workspaces in impressive modern buildings. The area is also bustling with unique eateries, including The Ivy Spinningfields, one of the London brand's newest restaurants. It all adds up to a powerful magnet for those seeking Manchester office space.
The creative and digital industries have two main areas: the Northern Quarter, north of the city centre, and MediaCityUK, in Salford. The Northern Quarter has been deemed a quirky and creative place since the famous Affleck's Palace indie shopping development was set up in the early 1980s. Now, it's one of the largest concentrations of web developers, marketing, design agencies, coworking, and office spaces. And it's surrounded by bars and cafes that open late into the night. Don’t expect modern buildings here though. These Manchester offices are mainly converted warehouses and mills, or older builds, but are all the more full of character for it. The NQ is very handy for Piccadilly Train, bus and Metrolink stations, too.
MediaCityUK opened in 2007 and has never stopped growing. It is now home to the BBC Sport and Children’s TV, ITV (the new Coronation Street set is on-site), Salford University and countless office buildings for smaller businesses. The immediate area has a host of chain restaurants and cafes, but a two-minute walk away there’s an outlet mall, the Lowry Theatre, cinemas and more restaurants. It’s fair to say the development had its doubters when it was first proposed, but they have been proved resoundingly wrong, as the place is thriving. If you're in the creative, media, or marketing sector and are looking for serviced offices, these are some of the best workspaces in the UK, including London.
It isn't all about Manchester city centre and Salford, though. Businesses are set up in serviced offices in some of the most desirable commuter towns and villages around the city. Didsbury has long been among the city's most aspirational areas, but it was always for people working in the city centre. That is changing with new developments, meaning staff can live and work there, for improved work-life balance. It's perfect for hot desks and exclusive office spaces, which are a five-minute walk from the bars and restaurants of Didsbury.
Similarly, Altrincham has been a great place to live for people working in the city centre, although it has always been a self-contained affluent market town too. But now, with a new swath of serviced offices in the town and excellent connections to the city, it too has become a place for small businesses to secure some suburban office space that's easy to reach.
As the rest of this guide will reveal, this part of the UK has some of the most desirable places to do business, with an endless supply of local and graduate talent.
Manchester is a doddle to get to, whether you're in the UK or international. First, it's a central rail hub, with three main train stations, Manchester Piccadilly, Victoria, and Oxford Road, bringing thousands of passengers from London, Scotland, North Wales, and Yorkshire daily. The Metrolink tram network binds it together in the centre and stretches out as far as Manchester Airport, Altrincham, Didsbury, Bury, Rochdale, and the Trafford Centre.
Driving to your serviced office is a breeze as well. The M6, M62, M56, M61 and M66 converge on the M60 ring road so that you can quickly get anywhere in the city. And servicing 6.5 million passengers a year is Manchester Airport, with direct flights to the USA, Asia, Africa, and Europe daily and excellent connecting services into the heart of the city.
With just under three million residents and one of the largest student populations in the UK, Greater Manchester needs entertaining between football matches. Luckily, there's no end to the bars, nightclubs and restaurants to enjoy all over the city. If you like live music, you'll find the perfect location, with venues showcasing up-and-coming local acts, mega stadiums hosting international superstars, and everything in between. And don't forget Bridgewater Hall, home to the Hallé, one of the world's best orchestras.
The comedy scene is just as vibrant, with open mic nights in pubs, established comedy clubs like the Comedy Store and Frog and Bucket, plus large theatres like the Lowry showing the more famous touring acts. For theatre and musicals, check out the schedules of the Palace, Opera House, Royal Exchange, Contact, and Home. And if you like the visual arts and culture, there are numerous galleries and museums to explore. You will not get bored, and neither will your potential clients, suppliers, and business associates.
You can rent serviced offices in Manchester for as little as £119 per person per month, and that's in the city centre too. For office spaces with more all-inclusive facilities, you can expect to pay up to around £260 ppm, and they often come with options for on-site meeting rooms and private offices, for example. Check individual office spaces for details.
There are a few considerations when you’re looking for the right serviced office space in Manchester: transport, amenities, networking and flexibility.
You might be looking at properties near the airport if you expect a lot of international clients, and that’s fine, but Manchester Airport is relatively close to the centre compared to a lot of cities, and there are great transport shuttles back and forth. All the city centre is well served by road and rail too, so there are no areas that aren’t well connected.
If you think you’ll be entertaining clients or you just want somewhere for staff to go after work and at lunchtime, the city centre is probably best, but don’t rule out Salford Quays either – it’s becoming an entertainment hub, and it’s just along the road from both Old Traffords.
The Northern Quarter is a great place to meet creatives, digital businesses and startups, so if you’re in that niche, it’s a great place to set up, but Spinnngfields has really hit the ground running too, and it’s a buzzing place with plenty of coworking and hotdesking going on.
It’s never good to get trapped into a business premises where there’s no room to grow, especially when every business wants to grow. It’s why flexible offices are so vital – you only pay for what you need, and you can grow (or shrink) to meet your size and to accommodate hybrid working.
Head over to the dedicated page for serviced offices in Manchester. Zoom in to see the city centre, or zoom out if you'd prefer a place in the leafier suburbs. You'll find a price guide for the various locations, but click the "get a quote" button to leave your details and get an exact price depending on your specific needs.
The city's vast legacy in culture and business leads to some interesting trivia facts.
When you set up your business in this incredible city, all the factors in this guide are rolled up into one great benefit. First up, there's the local highly skilled and educated workforce with a can-do attitude that pays dividends. Added to that is an endless supply of UK and international graduates who choose to settle here after university. You've got fantastic transport communications and digital infrastructure, so in-house or hybrid working are both on the table. And finally, there's the cuisine, nightlife, entertainment, and sport to consider. And did we mention that the Pennines, Peak District, Cheshire Plains, Lake District and North Wales are all within a couple of hours' drive?
Renting an office gives you more flexibility and cost-effectiveness than buying. In some office arrangements, you can pay per person per month, which lets you grow and save money while your business evolves. And you can quit with short notice, meaning you won't be tied to offices if you want to rationalise or relocate. All of these are good reasons to find an office space in Manchester.
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