Handelsbanken, the local relationship bank, has taken a 10-year lease on 40,000 sq ft at 101 Barbirolli Square. The move will bring 300 staff to the city centre this Autumn.

The Swedish headquartered bank, which has a nationwide network of 208 branches, will occupy the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the 87,000 sq ft building which has just completed an extensive £6m refurbishment programme by owners AEW.

Avison Young’s Manchester team acted for Handelsbanken in its search for a high-quality city centre location from which to relocate its regional headquarters and UK contact centre which was previously 4M at Manchester Airport.

The Manchester headquarters will provide Handelsbanken with fit for purpose offices with room for future growth for its UK functions and a base for its northern regional Head Office. Ingela Forsberg, Regional Head of Handelsbanken Northern UK says: “At Handelsbanken, local presence and personal meetings with our customers are key. We have a decentralised way of working and a strong local presence through nationwide branch networks.

“We see continued strong demand for our model in the North of the UK – as we do right across the country – and moving to Barbirolli Square allows us to continue to support our branches in meeting customer expectations, both now and in the future. This move pays testament both to Handelsbanken’s overall growth to date, as well as to our long-term commitment to the UK.”

Commenting on the much-anticipated announcement, Rupert Barron, Director at Avison Young said: “Handelsbanken is a great addition to the city centre and we look forward to them taking occupation later this year. We were instructed to find a good quality premises within a central location which would be a highly attractive proposition for staff and customers in creating a motivated working environment with easy to access to all 101 Barbirolli Square’s central location. It is perfect for its operations as it opens up a huge pool of talent, from University graduates for its contact centre to some of the most experienced financial and technical professionals who also want to be based in a central location.”

Savills and OBI are the retained agents on 101 Barbirolli Square. James Evans of Savills added: “The reinvention of Barbirolli Square is ongoing and attracting an internationally recognised company such as Handelsbanken is testament to the quality of the offices on offer, set within an environment that is in keeping with the wider location including Barbirolli Square, Manchester Central and St Peters Square. The forthcoming activation of Barbirolli Square with various events will reinvigorate the area, creating a buzz and vibrancy to the wider scheme.”

Rupert Barron also added: “The bank’s initial requirement was for 30,000 sq ft but the business is growing so rapidly it increased to 40,000 sq ft. In the interim we also secured a 10,000 sq ft short term lease for its special projects team at Pall Mall Court, King Street. We also acted in the disposal of their leases at the Airport to the Hut Group which is taking the bank’s 4M space when vacated at the airport, transacting over 65,000 sq ft of space in total which is more great news for the market.”


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