Incubation hub plans for east Manchester mill building

Posted on by John Cronin

A former mill workers hostel in Ancoats, east Manchester is to be converted into an incubation hub for small and medium sized businesses.

Jactin HouseThe North West Development Agency (NWDA) has accepted a bid from construction company northerngroup to redevelop Jactin House (pictured). NWDA had previously instructed agents Lambert Smith Hambert to market the property as part of an £8m portfolio of commercial assets.

The 40,000 sq ft, 4-storey empty building is to be converted into a mixed-use scheme that will include quality office accommodation, residential apartments, a nursery, cafe and a gym with a swimming pool in the basement. Phase 1 will see the redevelopment of the existing building to create collaborative office accommodation, to be marketed as “incubation units” for start-up and medium sized businesses. Serviced office facilities will be available from single person workstations upwards.

Phase 2 of the development is a proposed new-build office and residential building. The speculative development will include Grade A offices with large floor plates. While the central Manchester office market offers plenty of Grade A rated floor space, the scheme will be the first in Ancoats to offer high-grade space.

Nathan Ezair, northerngroup director, said: “[Ancoats] is generally cheaper and we offer plentiful car parking provision too. The problem lies where businesses outgrow their offices and want larger provision – we don’t want to see Ancoats lose them so we came up with a solution”.

According to the New East Manchester regeneration company, the Ancoats area of east Manchester is “fast developing” as a commercial hub for start-up and expanding businesses. Many of the former mill buildings are being converted into commercial premises offering both retail and office space. It is estimated that Ancoats could offer approximately 550,000 sq ft of commercial floor space.

Construction work at Jactin House is scheduled to start in January 2012.

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