Northern cities and towns continue to be attractive office locations, showing the growing opportunity for office development outside of London.
Earlier this month, Property Week released the top 50 office locations (outside of London) and the North West territory accounted for 8 of the top 20. The ranking is based on workforce volume/demographics, accessibility, quality of retail and catering offering and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Manchester, aka the Northern Powerhouse, has seen two nearby towns; Trafford and Stockport, take positions 2 and 5 respectively – but why these towns?
In November last year, Inside Property Investing released that Stockport is the 2nd best place for buy to let investment in England and Wales.
Stockport has enjoyed a massive £1 billion investment to transform the town and really improve its reputation as a business location. The investment is being led by the council with a range of partners involved to develop the commercial, residential, leisure, retail and transport offering.
The Stockport Exchange development has been a huge success: the first phase was fully let within the first 6-months and the second stage is going to deliver 61,502 sq. ft of office space.
Earlier this year, Stockport opened The Produce Hall, a take on Manchester’s Mackie Mayor and Altrincham Market, offering multiple food and drink outlets under one roof with craft beer, wine and coffee bars.
Redrock Stockport, the new leisure destination offering a cinema, restaurants, a gym and much more, saw visitor numbers double predicted volumes in its first year.
The bus station is set to have a re-vamp, there are plans for the metro link to stretch through the town and there is already a busy rail station on the doorstep. The train station offers frequent trains to Manchester in just 8 minutes and London under 2 hours, making Stockport a well-connected location for business.
Ranking second in the top 50, Trafford beats Manchester (10th) due to its affluent worker population and reach: 2.2million people live within a 30-minute drive.
Trafford is made up of four connected town centres: Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Urmston. The Metrolink tram system runs directly through Trafford, offering fantastic accessibility and local connections.
There are already over 13,000 businesses based in Trafford and with residency rising and improvements to town centres on-going, this number can only expect to increase!
There are plenty of developments and proposed plans being put forward across the area to create more office space. A large example is the £1bn Trafford Waters proposal led by Peel Investments (North). This would deliver 861,000 sq ft of office space, 72,100 sq ft of commercial space, hotel accommodation, care home and primary school.