Mills & Reeve has signed a long-term lease to take 15,000 sq ft at No.1 Circle Square, which is due for completion in 2021. The firm was due to move there in September 2020 but the development was inevitably delayed following the coronavirus pandemic.
Given the way in which the majority of Mills & Reeve partners and employees have been able to work safely and effectively from home during the pandemic, the firm has left its old New York Street office as planned with staff continuing to work predominantly from home until the new office is ready. Temporary office space is available at The Technology Centre at 103 Oxford House in Oxford Road for those who require it.
Niall Innes, head of the Manchester office, said that around 100 staff will relocate to Circle Square in February 2021. Circle Square, a joint venture development by Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group in the heart of the Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, is hailed as Manchester’s “most intriguing new neighbourhood”.
It already includes Manchester Technology Centre, home to one of the city’s newest tech incubator spaces. Another company confirmed for No 1 Circle Square includes Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Niall said the firm had considered several options, including Spinningfields, to house its growing team, however, Circle Square fits perfectly with the firm’s vision for where it wants to be in ten years’ time, and reflects the firm’s culture of collaboration and innovation.
Niall said: “We looked at various office developments across the city, however, we immediately recognised Bruntwood’s vision for Circle Square which focuses on collaboration with other tenants within a part of the city which will become known for innovation. It was important that we were the right fit.
"Two of our key sector strengths are technology and education and with the universities close by and the Manchester Technology Centre on site plus our collaborative ethos, Circle Square fits neatly with our strategy for the next decade.
“It will be a really exciting place for our team to be. There will also be a strong sense of community with green space and excellent retail and leisure facilities for our staff. It is an innovative move that demonstrates our bold vision for 2030 and our willingness to follow our own lead.”
Commenting on the delay to the move, Niall added: "Whilst it is disappointing not to be moving when we planned, the safety of those working on the development, and the team helping us with the fit out is more important."
The mixed-used development includes 1,700 new homes, commercial office space, bars, shops, restaurants and a multi-storey car park. It will also host 250,000 sq ft of public realm including Symphony Park, the first park to be created in the city for many years.
The Oxford Road Corridor’s vision is to be Manchester's cosmopolitan hub and world-class innovation district, where talented people from the city and across the world learn, create, work, socialise, live and do business; contributing to the economic and social dynamism of one of Europe's leading cities.
Bradley Topps, commercial director at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “It’s great to see Mills & Reeve, one of the UK’s leading legal businesses with a growing list of clients in the science and technology sector, joining our new community here at Circle Square.
“Mills & Reeve has just been ranked among the most innovative law firms in Europe and will be a great addition to the market disrupting businesses, both startups and global corporate companies, already at Circle Square."