On Wednesday 29th March, family-owned commercial property company Bruntwood, celebrated the official opening of its £8m flagship redevelopment, Neo, with an exclusive launch party, attended by more than 200 movers and shakers from the creative, design, media, business and property industries.
The glittering event, which showcased the innovative collaborative workspace, was introduced by Bruntwood CEO Chris Oglesby. Internationally renowned artist Brendan Dawes was also on hand to premiere his bespoke interactive artwork, Fermata, shown on the £250k digital art space in Neo’s reception, demonstrating how it interacts with the building’s visitors and environment.
A large open-air roof terrace provides the perfect backdrop to Neo’s customer community, and includes all-weather meeting pods, in addition to the building’s meeting and event spaces. The terrace was transformed into a stunning party venue for the launch with music from DJ Krysko (Warehouse Project), street food from Dirty Food Revolution and The Otto-men, and guests were served Neo negroni and Gin Fizz cocktails.
The launch is the first event of many at the forward thinking new building, which has an on-site Community Engagement Manager, Jenna Gibson, who will support the Neo community through a year-round programme of business support, wellbeing and social events.
With 100% of the all-inclusive small studio spaces now let and 75% of the upper floor workspaces let or under offer, Neo has proved hugely successful in attracting creatively-minded businesses.
Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, said: “We are delighted to officially launch this new evolved workspace and to have attracted such a wealth of creative customers.
“Neo has been specifically designed to encourage development in creatively-minded businesses of all sizes. We have actively developed the health and wellbeing benefits for our Neo customers, and are incredibly excited to see the community grow.”
Downtown in Business (DIB) and Manchester Digital (MD) have been announced as the latest companies to take up residency in the new building.
Originally established in 2004, DIB provide leadership to the private sector and have earned a reputation as one of the most influential business organisations in the North West.
Frank McKenna, Chief Executive of Downtown in Business comments: "We have worked in partnership with Bruntwood for almost a decade now. During that time we have enjoyed the commercial space and services Bruntwood has provided us with in Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester.
"Neo is a hugely impressive development, offering us an eclectic range of services that more than meet our needs. We’re looking forward to working at Neo and our continued partnership with Bruntwood in Manchester."
Also joining the Neo building is Manchester Digital, an independent trade association which collaborates with digital media and digital technology businesses based in Greater Manchester.
Katie Gallagher, Managing Director at Manchester Digital said: “'Neo is already proving to be a great move for Manchester Digital with plenty of flexibility to meet with our members. The great spaces will allow us to build up the range of events we currently deliver and to help the businesses who are based here to access our network and integrate with the wider digital and technology community.”
The building houses, tech-enabled, high-quality workspace environments including coworking spaces, communal lounges and kitchens, presentation spaces, screening rooms and studios, in addition to larger open-plan office layouts.
In addition, the intuitive, highly connected building also focuses on the health and wellbeing of its customers, offering a wealth of benefits, including a free Fitbit, discounted gym membership at the on-site gym and secure bicycle parking, in addition to changing rooms and showers on every floor.
Now that the building has officially launched, the new residents and general public will be able to fully immerse themselves in the 12-story landmark building through Brendan Dawes’ Fermata, the new bespoke digital art installation in Neo’s reception area.
Fermata consumes real-time digital inputs of data including social media feeds, weather reports and feeds from sensors within the building itself, even responding to the colour of visitors’ clothes, and translates them into compelling, abstract, digital artwork that will capture these ordinarily fleeting moments and visualise them as something beautiful and engaging.
The artwork is the first in a series of regularly changing digital exhibitions from established and emerging artists. The art space, currently open for submissions, is open to the public during office hours.