Microsoft has opened a new office in Manchester as part of a plan to build a “strong base” in the north of England.
The company has 100 staff based in Manchester and they will use the seventh floor of NEO, a 12-storey building in the city centre built by commercial property firm Bruntwood.
The building, in Charlotte Street, offers views across the city as well as a roof terrace, all-weather meeting pods, co-working spaces, presentation spaces, screening rooms, studios and communal lounges with wireless charging points in the sofas.
It will be used as a collaborative meeting space for Microsoft and its partners and customers in the North. Microsoft has four other offices in Britain – its headquarters in Reading, Berkshire; Paddington, London; Edinburgh; and its world-leading research lab in Cambridge.
“Manchester is really important to Microsoft and this is an exciting opportunity for us,” Derrick McCourt, General Manager of Microsoft UK’s Customer Success Unit, said at the office launch. “We have a long-standing relationship built on common values, including industry, creativity and caring about people. We have sponsored academies in the city and worked with lots of local groups, like MIDAS – Manchester’s inward investment agency – and Manchester Digital, to build a strong partnership.
“The new office is a point of collaboration to help us work with partners and customers and as a strong base in the north of England. We see the region as a core part of our strategy. This office is a commitment to the area and our customers, business partners here and in the North. It’s also a commitment to the UK economy, and we are passionate about the role that technology plays in this country.”
Neo was redesigned and relaunched in March after a complete transformation of the former Bank House building on the corner of Portland Street and Charlotte Street in the city centre. Bank House historically served as the office function for the adjoining Bank Chambers, built in the 1970s as the Bank of England’s Northern bullion store.
Phil Kemp, Chief Commercial Officer of Bruntwood, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Microsoft to Neo. They are an organisation perfectly suited to a place that has been purposely-designed to inspire creative thinking and collaborative working.
“Manchester was the birthplace of modern computing in the late 1940s and 1950s, so to welcome a true world leader in 21st century technology to our city is not only a perfect fit, but it’s a proud moment for us, too.”
That view was echoed by is Catherine Townson, Head of Partnerships and Development at UK Youth, one of Microsoft’s charity partners. They work together to help thousands of young people build digital skills to prepare them for an increasingly digital world.
“We are very excited about the opening of this new Microsoft office in Manchester and the opportunities this creates to grow our partnership and support more young people in the North to build digital skills,” Townson said. “Together, Microsoft and UK Youth can build bright futures.”