One of the most significant and large-scale redevelopment schemes currently underway anywhere in the UK is close to delivering its first raft of office space as the 1 Angel Square building approaches completion. The site, which is integral to the initial phase of the much-broader NOMA initiative, will soon be the new home of the Co-operative Group, one of largest employers in the north-west of England.
The Angel Square building itself has required roughly £100 million in development funding since work began on it in back in 2010. The resulting construction is distinctive, with its design having been described in various ways but most commonly it seems as looking something like a 15-storey sliced egg. Work on 1 Angel Square and its near 325,000 sqft of Manchester office space is expected to complete within the third quarter of 2012 and before the end of the summer. Around 3,000 Co-operative Group employees are then set start working from the open plan office space tower soon after and for many years to come.
The wider NOMA development effort is being spearheaded by the Angel Square project but should eventually lead to the radical transformation of what has been a relatively neglected area of central Manchester. It was announced in March 2011 that the development would be referred to as NOMA, formed from a convergence of its global geographical location at 53º (used in its logo) North, and it’s city location Manchester.
Plans for the district are to see significant regeneration over the next ten to 15 years, with delivery targets set very high indeed as developers aim to make a tangible difference to Manchester’s international reputation. Ultimately, the £800 million NOMA project is expected to deliver 1.5 million sq ft of new office space and 1 million sq ft of prime refurbished offices, as well as 200,000 sq ft of hotel accommodation and 300,000 sq ft of retail space. There should also be somewhere close to a million sq ft of residential accommodation made available as well.
All of which means the up-coming launch of The Co-operative Group’s new headquarters looks likely to herald the start of a very significant period of urban regeneration right in the heart of Manchester. A not dissimilar effort in the nearby Spinningfields area of the city continues to win regional and international plaudits, with dozens of global companies operating out of office space at several newly built locations.
The group has recently announced it is to carry out a £150 million sale and leaseback of 1 Angel Square. This will go some way towards contributing to the future funding of the scheme. Although The Co-operative Group bankrolled the cost of building its own headquarters the rest of the scheme will be developed in partnership with developers Delancey and Landid.