WeWork arrival 'game-changer' for Manchester
The arrival of leading co-working space provider WeWork in Manchester has been heralded as a “game-changer” for the city by property experts.
Will Lewis of OBI Property shared his views at BusinessCloud's 'Manchester's rush for tech space' event held at UKFast on Wednesday 28th February.
He took to the stage with 11 other speakers to share his views on the city's tech spaces.
"I think WeWork's arrival into Manchester is game-changing," he told the 80-strong audience. "They only open in certain cities so it says a lot about our tech credentials that they would open here.
"They’re disrupters, and it means other landlords throughout the city have to raise the bar in response."
Michelle Rothwell, founder of Watch This Space, agreed. "The standard of workspace within Manchester is improving as landlords have to raise the bar to offer more attractive environments to get the right occupiers for their spaces," she said.
"Occupiers want personality and the added extras that come along with it which is what we enjoy providing at Watch This Space. Companies want to work alongside like-minded people in environments that help to stimulate growth and focus on the wellbeing of their employees."
WeWork launched in 2010 and came to London in 2014. It's about to open its 26th location in the capital.
It recently opened a co-working hub at No. 1 Spinningfields in Manchester, its first UK office outside London. The company says it already has a waiting list of companies wanting to take up co-working space in the building.
It has also leased 40,000 sq ft at Number One St Peter's Square, which it plans to open in the second quarter of 2018.
Mark Goldfinger, WeWork's director of expansion for Europe, Israel and Australia, told BusinessCloud: "We want to make sure that the experience there and at No 1 Spinningfields is as top notch as possible and then we’ll continue from there.
“We want to be a home to everyone, whether you’re a one person shop or part of a Fortune 500 company.
"50 per cent of the Fortune 500s are now all members within a WeWork location, so for us it doesn’t matter what size you are we want you to be part of a collaborative environment."
Goldfinger cited the global, collaborative nature of the company as one of its main benefits, with members receiving a global membership.
"If I'm a member at No 1 Spinningfields I can actually use any WeWork around the world and we have over 250 locations spread across 64 cities," he said.
"If I'm in Mumbai I know exactly what I’m going to walk into. I’m going have that same familiarity as I would going to a WeWork location in San Francisco or one of the 46 spaces in New York City."
Other speakers at the event were: Tim Heatley, co-founder, Capital & Centric; Anne Dornan, head of innovation & partnerships, MSP; Atul Bansal, co-founder and partner, Sheila Bird Group; Jamie Jackson, founder, 2J Commerce; Michael Ashworth, co-founder and MD, Nublue; Louis-James Davis, CEO, VST Enterprises; Oli Taylor, co-founder, Absurd; Josh Bolland, CEO & co-founder, J B Cole; and Sophie Chant, office manager, Peak.