The UK’s north powers on

As the UK’s north continues to develop NOMA submits a planning application for two new build office blocks in Manchester

by Nick Myall 16 October 2015


With cheaper rents than London, improving transport links and a host of sleek new commercial projects complete or underway, the north of England is developing into a true powerhouse. Cities such as Manchester are leading the way with schemes like NOMA. This is a major scheme to redevelop 20 acres of Manchester city centre. The 10 year, £800m programme will create a truly mixed use urban neighbourhood, incorporating office space, residential, and leisure facilities.

As progress on this new city centre neighbourhood continues NOMA has submitted a planning application for buildings at 2 and 3 Angel Square.

The joint venture between The Co-operative Group and Hermes Investment Management is planning to create two additional new build office buildings. These will sit alongside restored listed buildings at the heart of one of Europe’s largest heritage-based regeneration schemes.

The new build modernist designs, by AHR architects, sit next to the award-winning 1 Angel Square, which was named one of the world’s most sustainable buildings after achieving an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating – a gold standard for positive environmental impact which is rarely awarded.

The two proposed buildings will collectively provide over 350,000 sq ft of premium office space, over nine and 11 storeys, within the 20-acre NOMA neighbourhood. They will both feature spacious atriums and will have the flexibility to be personalised to fit the needs of major occupiers.

They are likely to attract major corporates keen to relocate to one of the country’s best connected city centre locations. Future occupants will benefit from the £44m revamp of Victoria Station, which neighbours the site, the Metrolink second city crossing, as well as the proposed Ordsall Chord rail link between Victoria and Piccadilly stations. Connectivity and improved transport links have been held as central to the success of the northern powerhouse, in which Manchester is playing a leading role.

The NOMA JV partners believe Manchester’s office market is looking especially attractive in the light of soaring rents across London and unaffordable housing costs making it harder to recruit and retain staff.

David Pringle, director of NOMA at The Co-operative Group, said: “This new build element of NOMA offers a contrast to the post-industrial splendour of our listed buildings. We want the whole neighbourhood to be totally cohesive in design terms and 2 and 3 Angel Square will broaden our offer for those businesses who want a more traditional modern office than some of the quirkier reconfigurations we have planned.”

Ben Tolhurst, Asset Manager at Hermes Investment Management, commented: “We are seeing steady growth in Manchester’s commercial appeal. Should these two developments achieve planning permission, it will be an important stage in transforming the city and creating a commercial destination for global businesses.”

Mike Hawkins, director, national offices at Colliers International, appointed as agents on the scheme, said: “Manchester’s appeal to the business innovators of tomorrow is only set to grow on account of improving transport links, affordably priced housing and a supply of highly skilled workers. By offering appealing and inspiring office space at prices which are a fraction of London’s, we believe NOMA will be a compelling choice for smarter businesses.”

The application will be considered later this year, with completion expected in late 2018, subject to approval.

Nick Myall
News Editor

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