Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood: MIPIM, March 14th


The link between personal interactions, performance, and innovation has become an article of faith in the property world. Giants in technology, media and other sectors that employ knowledge workers increasingly favour offices that allow for ‘human collisions’.

Google, Facebook, Apple and Samsung have all famously created headquarters that maximise ‘chance encounters’ between staff, and you don’t have to look far in any UK city to find the same aspirations. There’s a belief that finding ways to encourage spontaneous collaboration will improve performance.

At Bruntwood we’ve taken the idea a step further in a landmark new neighbourhood - Circle Square. It is a joint venture with residential specialist Select Property Group, and comprises 1.2 million sq ft of workspace; 1,200 new homes; 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including two hotels; 250,000 sq ft of beautifully designed public realm and car parking for 1,000 vehicles.

It’s not what Circle Square is physically, but where it is in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district, Corridor Manchester, and how we intend to embrace this community that makes it so special. We think the formula we have set out would also be successful in other major regional cities with successful universities located adjacent to their city centres and where there is a high proportion of knowledge workers.

Circle Square has connectivity and proximity to more than 70,000 students, two leading universities, major healthcare institutions and national R&D centres such as the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, The Royal Northern College of Music, The Manchester Museum, award-winning art and dance schools, and the legendary Palace Theatre are right on your doorstep.

Basically a veritable hotbed of creativity and collaboration between science, tech, business and the arts. With Circle Square we’re looking to create the community that will enable these ‘human collisions’ to result in great ideas.

We very excited about this development and looking ways to replicate the formula in other cities where we work.

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