Atul Bansal, co-founder of the commercial interior design practice Sheila Bird Group, and Andrew Timms, director of Edwards & Co, have today officially unveiled Tomorrow, a highly confidential brief on behalf of an unnamed, collaboration of global companies, which until now, has simply been known as “Project Digital”.
Atul Bansal has been working for the global client for the last two and a half years, acting as its UK client and design director. Atul has co-ordinated the project and brought together an authentically local project delivery team with the expertise to bring the ground-breaking concept to Manchester – a worldwide first.
Andrew Timms director at Edwards & Co. was appointed to acquire and advise on the Manchester portfolio, as well as the future roll out of Tomorrow in London. Richard Parkinson at turner parkinson solicitors was selected to advise the firm on all legal aspects, with Ben Davies and the team at The Neighbourhood launching and communicating the concept. Neil Cuckson partner at leading International Built Asset Consultancy EC Harris, was also appointed to provide both Cost & Commercial Management and CDMC Services on the fit out of the portfolio.
Atul and Andrew have officially confirmed that terms have been agreed on 20 Manchester buildings totaling 180,000 sq. ft. in preparation for the launch, each with a 10-year commitment. Each site will host ground-breaking technology that will enable local firms to explore and access business solutions, knowledge and data in an intuitive and interactive format that is completely innovative and unprecedented. The technology will be linked across all 20 buildings to facilitate collaborative problem solving, new product/service development and commercial innovation.
Atul Bansal commented: “This is an unbelievably exciting prospect for Manchester, as the first city to have access to this revolutionary technology and the potential is has to transform local businesses and the way they work, individually and together.
“As design director my team and I have had the opportunity to explore new ideas, pushing the boundaries to create a revolutionary concept. All of the spaces will differ both in style and design intent; none of the spaces will have a corporate style.
“There is nothing like this anywhere else in the world. The walls will be ‘alive’ and ‘Tomorrow’ will drive a new approach to work interactions and conversations.”
Andrew Timms, director at Edwards & Co. commented: “We have approached location-mapping the Tomorrow acquisitions the same way you would a coffee franchise. Each of the buildings has been carefully selected in areas where there is a strong, critical mass of occupiers and businesses. Having one of the offerings only a short walk from the workplace will maximise accessibility and localism, enabling far more companies to benefit from this technology.
“We have had to work off market and ask for a lot of trust from landlords and office agents in lining up the deals, as we are unable to disclose who the tenant is as yet, with only the reassurance that the covenant is of the highest standard.
It is fantastic to see something as unique as this come to Manchester first and for us to play such a significant part of the delivery team.
“I am delighted to be able to name the following buildings and we look forward to the next stage of rolling Tomorrow out in London.”
The twentybuildings with agreed terms are both in and out-of-town, with our client committing to ten year leases on all the properties. These include:
· The Hive, 47 Lever Street, The Northern Quarter
· 1 New York Street
· Chancery Place
· Orange, MediaCityUK
· Number One First Street
· The Peninsula Manchester
· Riverside, New Bailey Street
· 304, Bridgewater Place
· Towers, Manchester
· Booths Park, Knutsford
· 196 Deansgate
· Manchester Science Park
“Our client would also like to acknowledge the assistance of MIDAS in enabling this project to move forward.”
Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS said: “This has the potential to be the most exciting digital investment in the UK. It is therefore a testament to Manchester’s growing reputation in the global digital community that the city has been chosen as the first location internationally to launch what will be ground-breaking technology. It will also be a huge opportunity for businesses based in Manchester and beyond to explore new ways of working to grow their competitiveness through enhanced technology.
“MIDAS is looking forward to continuing to support the project over the coming months, working closely with partners such as Sheila Bird Group and Edwards & Co, and hope that this will be the trigger for a number of new investments in this area.”