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Leading electrical retailer AO chooses 111 Piccadilly for city centre creative hub

News, Manchester City Centre
111 Piccadilly Coffee Shop and Lounge
  • Leading online electrical retailer to take 15th floor at Manchester city centre innovation-led workspace, located adjacent to the city’s busiest railway station.

  • The firm will utilise Bruntwood SciTech’s ‘Made and Managed’ offer, providing a fully fitted and furnished workspace and simplified access to services.

  • 111 Piccadilly forms part of Bruntwood SciTech’s city centre innovation hubs in Manchester, which also includes Bloc and Blackfriars House, designed to support the growth of the region’s technology sector.

Bruntwood SciTech, a joint venture between Bruntwood, Legal & General and Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the UK’s largest property provider to innovation-led businesses particularly within the science and technology sectors, has welcomed the UK’s most trusted electrical retailer, AO, to its pioneering city centre innovation hub, 111 Piccadilly.

The online retail giant is taking the entire 15th floor, to serve as a satellite creative hub for its creative department, comprising animators, production staff and graphic designers.
Supporting its headquarters in Bolton, where the firm was founded, AO’s creative team will now be located in the heart of Manchester city centre to support its plans to attract and retain the best talent. By relocating to 111 Piccadilly, AO will gain direct collaboration and networking opportunities with other like-minded tech businesses already based at the building, including the likes of national EV charging network Be.EV and payment solutions software provider, Total Processing.

AO will also benefit from Bruntwood SciTech’s market-leading ‘Made and Managed’ service, allowing for seamless integration into its new workspace and simplicity in its operations moving forward. This will see AO receive a fully fitted and furnished workspace designed to fit its individual specification and ready to move into on day one. Moving forward, costs like rent, service charge, insurance, business rates, cleaning and internet will also all be included in one simple monthly bill, ensuring a streamlined process which will help drive operational efficiencies.

111 Piccadilly is a pioneering tech and innovation hub supporting companies in technology, finance, and sustainability. Designed to foster collaboration through its communal spaces, it also enhances customer well-being with a state-of-the-art circadian lighting system. This innovative lighting mimics natural light patterns, helping regulate sleep, wake cycles, hunger, alertness, hormone release, and body temperature, creating a more comfortable working environment.

Customers located here also benefit from a range of high quality amenities including Ancoats Coffee Co. situated in the ground floor café and lounge, superfast WiFi throughout to allow for breakout and flexible working, an art exhibition space housed in the 'Gem' — the building's sculptured entrance - and high-quality showers, changing facilities and a secure cycle hub to promote sustainable and active travel to and from work.

Externally, 111 Piccadilly is instantly recognisable thanks to its ground-breaking exterior lighting concept, which incorporates LEDs throughout, with rooftop solar panels generating enough renewable electricity to power them year-round, ensuring it is aligned with Bruntwood SciTech’s sustainability credentials.

With an unrivalled location adjacent to Manchester’s busiest train station, the cutting-edge workspace is part of Bruntwood SciTech’s network of 21 city centre innovation hubs in Manchester, including Bloc and Blackfriars House, and the £49m major redevelopments of Pall Mall, King’s House and 117-119 Portland Street, which are currently underway. Its network also includes Circle Square, located at the heart of the city’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district offering unrivalled access to some of the region’s fastest growing digital tech firms.

In joining 111 Piccadilly, AO will become part of Bruntwood SciTech’s city-wide community of over 400 businesses in Manchester alongside their UK-wide science, tech and innovation community of 1,100 like-minded startup, scaleup and global businesses.
Joshua Hancock, Associate Commercial Director at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Following a long-standing and positive relationship with AO during their time as a customer at Baskerville House, we are incredibly excited to welcome them back into the Bruntwood SciTech portfolio as the firm looks to strengthen its creative offering. There is no better home for them to do so than in Manchester – recently named the UK’s ‘creative capital’ - and at 111 Piccadilly specifically, where the team will be surrounded by like-minded, forward-thinking tech and creative businesses.

“The fact that AO has chosen to open its city centre hub here is testament to not only the market-leading quality of the workspace we’ve created at 111 Piccadilly, but also the environment we have cultivated that allows businesses to collaborate and knowledge-share. This collaboration also extends across our Manchester city centre innovation hubs, which AO will also have access to.

“We are looking forward to seeing how AO’s creative team is able to grow and thrive within our established customer community and look forward to supporting them to achieve these goals.”

Vicky Monk, AO’s Group Marketing Director, said: “Being able to have a fully managed satellite office to support our continued growth and innovation is invaluable to us, and something that will set us apart from others in our field.

“We’re looking forward to rejoining the Bruntwood SciTech community and becoming part of the 111 Piccadilly ecosystem of forward-thinking, creative businesses.”

Bruntwood SciTech was advised by Knight Frank and Savills, while AO was advised by OBI.