Global law firm eyes success in Leeds with its ‘billion dollar start up’ at Platform

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Bruntwood’s Platform, has welcomed another international company, underlining the city’s burgeoning inward investment appeal.

Reed Smith Global Solutions, part of the global law firm Reed Smith, has made Platform the home of its first Northern UK office and praised the city as a place where business can flourish.

Described as ‘a billion dollar start up’, Reed Smith Global Solutions has taken approximately 5k sq ft and is initially creating 30 new posts, with the ambition to expand its Leeds operation to as many as 100 staff.

Other companies that have chosen to enter the city taking space at Platform include Rradar, a legal advice and business solutions company which expanded into Leeds from Hull; and Julius Baer, a Swiss-headquartered private bank, extending its operations outside London. Platform’s tech incubator has welcomed, among others, global sports analysis company, Hudl; award winning digital agency Cyber-Duck and world-leading Identity and Access Management systems integrator, IC Consult.

Platform is now home to a total of 82 companies, 73 of which are in are based in the tech incubator, taking the building to 95% per cent let or under offer since its launch just nine months ago.

The organisation responsible for inward investment, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership has acknowledged that Platform is having an impact in attracting new names to the city.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “Platform has been a real success story and very attractive to new investors we have worked with, particularly global law firm Reed Smith and US digital sports software company Hudl.

“Our region benefits from excellent connectivity to the rest of the country. It is two hours from London by train and Platform couldn’t be closer to the train station. Its convenience is attractive for expanding businesses.

“Over 100,000 people work in the digital sector in our region, and it keeps growing. We’re keen to accelerate this growth which is why we’ve launched the Digital Inward Investment Fund to attract new businesses here, whilst supporting existing firms with a range of initiatives through our Growth Service.”

It’s also a reflection of the growing appeal of Leeds’ office market. According to the latest figures from commercial real estate services and investment firm, CBRE, total take up in the city in 2016 was 430,000 sq ft, 3% of which was through inward investment. In the last year, total take up was 1,006,755 sq ft, 24% of which was through inward investment.

Tamara Box, managing partner, Europe & Middle East at Reed Smith said that there are multiple factors that brought the company to the city: “Leeds has all the right ingredients for a start up to be successful. There’s a progressive culture, an ecosystem of professional, financial and peer-related support, as well as a deep talent pool and leading universities and great transport connectivity.

“This culture is encapsulated in Platform which has very quickly established itself as a prestigious location because of its high quality workspace and its collaborative, supportive ethos, making it the perfect fit for what we want to achieve.

“Reed Smith is dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward and so it’s important that our staff are in the right environment to innovate and make things happen. Both Bruntwood and the LEP have made us extremely welcome.”

For Craig Burrow, Bruntwood’s director of Leeds, the success of Platform is testament to Bruntwood’s understanding of how the workplace is evolving and how collaboration unlocks growth.

He said: “Our experience tells us that the colocation of start-up and established global businesses enables open innovation, collaboration and growth and this can happen by ensuring that they can easily mix in coworking spaces and having access to the best expert support.

“I have worked in Leeds for a long time and something is happening here. There is so much positivity and so many excellent people working hard in both the public and private sectors in supporting the city’s and the wider region’s ambition.

“The result is that in ever-increasing numbers we are attracting successful fast-growing new businesses as well as seeing indigenous talent seeing and seizing the opportunities to advance.

“Workspace like we have at Platform is vital for this upward trajectory to continue and we are delighted that Reed Smith has joined our ambitious and talented community. In a very short time Platform has become a centre of innovation and enterprise and is playing a critical part in ambitions to boost regional growth, create high value jobs and fuel international collaboration and investment.”

For further information about Bruntwood in Leeds visit https://bruntwood.co.uk/our-locations/leeds/ or call 0113 212 4646

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