CERT Property has announced the arrival of new tenant digital engineering business Softwire to its Northern Quarter commercial space, Hilton House. Softwire will occupy a 4758 sq ft office space on the property’s second floor. Facilitating the deal is agent Edwards and Co.

CERT’s new deal will see Softwire, one of the UK’s leading software development consultancies, relocate 30 employees from their existing space on Hood Street in Ancoats and offer internship opportunities. The business brings a national and international client-base to Manchester, with clients such as Channel 5, the UK Government, and the BBC.

Softwire’s Manchester location follows a number of high-profile relocations and studio expansions from businesses in both the tech and creative industries looking to tap into the city’s growing talent. In 2021, Tech Nation published The Future UK Tech Built report which recognised Manchester as Europe’s fastest growing tech hub.

Despite practical completion occurring during the height of the pandemic, Hilton House has proved a popular spot for some of Manchester’s most innovative businesses such as award-winning architect Hawkins Brown, Telcom Group, CERT Property, business consultancy Grayce and now Softwire. As Hilton House welcomes Softwire, it says goodbye to one of its first tenants, Telcom. Hilton House has provided Telcom with the space necessary for the business to grow and flourish. The business broadband provider has now outgrown its 3649 sq ft demise on the 5th floor and is relocating to a larger premises on the nearby Oldham Street.

Commenting on the move, CERT Property Founder, Howard Lord said: “Whilst we are sad to see Telcom leave our building and community, the emotions are mixed as we are happy to have been able to support a local high-growth business with space that suited their needs. We see Telcom as a success story for Hilton House and what we want to do, support creative and high growth businesses by providing the space they need, when they need it”

Pioneering the transformation of the workspace as we know it, the renovation of Hilton House was conceived to deliver much more than an office space; it’s also a cultural and community hub for both its residents and the local community. Located within the building is Manchester-born gym group Train Urban and Feel Good Club – Manchester’s first well-being café and event space. On the ground floor of the property, the reception is host to a carousel of events and exhibitions. The space welcomes members of the public to view local artist’s work. Currently on exhibit at the space, is a ‘Beyond the Norm: A photo exhibition of queer clubbing and queer faces’ by Jen Amelia Veitch & Sara Carpentieri.

Originally designed by renowned 1960s architect Richard Seifert, CERT’s development of the 1960s building was completed in partnership with independent design studio Sheila Bird Studio, and Buttress Architects. The partnership has sympathetically restored Hilton House to a unique and playful property that gives a nod to the building’s mid-century origins. Key features such as the distinctive staircase and parquet flooring have been restored and ceilings stripped back to expose the original brickwork and terracotta tiles.

Excited to have secured a tenancy deal in the iconic Northern Quarter property, Softwire’s Head of Manchester Office, Tom Ward, said: “We’re very excited to move in. I have had my eye on Hilton House for a few years. It’s such a unique building in the Northern Quarter. We downsized to a short-term office during Covid, but we’re very keen to move back into a long-term space – somewhere where we have the space and freedom to host events, run internships and interviews, socialise, etc”

Softwire have appointed Workspace Design and Build and Sheila Bird Studio to finalise the space and deliver a unique vision.

Commenting on the new deal, Co-owner of Sheila Bird Studio, Atul Bansal, said: “Great spaces are always about a collaboration of people’s minds and passions and that’s just what’s happened at Hilton House. Working with CERT, Softwire and Workspace is a perfect example of just that. Sheila Bird Studio just loves joining the dots.”

Also commenting on the collaboration, Managing Director of Workspace Design and Build, Russel Davies, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of the fit out for this exciting project and to be working alongside CERT Property again! The team are currently working hard on a final design alongside Sheila Bird Studio, focusing on the use of ethical and sustainable elements, plus ensuring the space accommodates the new way of working. It’s a pleasure to be working in this building again, and we’re pleased that Softwire chose us to deliver their vision.”

CERT Property Founder, Howard Lord, said of the deal: “We are pleased to welcome Softwire to Hilton House as our latest tenant for one of our most successful commercial projects. We’ve had the matter of a pandemic in the way, but that hasn’t stopped businesses from recognising what we were seeking to create here, which was not just about creating cool, contemporary office spaces but also creating a community of like-minded businesses and people. I’m proud of our team for achieving that and creating a space and a community that some fantastic businesses have chosen to be a part of”.


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