TechHub, the shared workspace for startups, is launching a site in Manchester in November. The new space will be the first UK-location outside of London.
TechHub was founded by Elizabeth Varley and Mike Butcher of TechCrunch in 2010, with the aim of supporting the local startup community. The Manchester hub will have 50 permanent desks for resident startups and a drop-in work space for annual members.
The new space has been co-founded by four experienced tech enthusiasts with a keen interest in the development of technology and business. Doug Ward (CEO) and Shaun Gibson (COO) are best known for their tour of the UK where they got to know startup communities as part of the forthcoming Tech Britain initiative, a project for connecting tech communities.
The pair are leading the group of founders hoping to establish a more supportive network in the North of England. “We looked at the Manchester cluster prior to the Tech Britain tour and what we found was a great deal of potential but as a result of various initiatives. We found it to be stifled and scattered in comparison to clusters such as Newcastle and Birmingham.
“One resounding factor stood out to us, the lack of a unifying hub within the city centre for the startup community which would be dedicated to product-orientated tech startups,” explains Gibson. “It needed a hub that had the best interests of the community at heart and their backing, as opposed to what could only be described as the current feudal offering. We ultimately believe in Manchester, its potential and want to see it become a top 5 European startup community.”
The other founders are Ben Hookway, who recently launched Etherow and previously worked as the CEO of a mobile phone UI company and a Web video platform; and our very own Martin Bryant, who’s Managing Editor here at The Next Web.
The choice of Manchester as its first foray out of London for TechHub is an interesting one. According to Companies House data analysed by Duport, March 2012 saw more companies registered in Manchester than ever before, a sign that there is at least a sense of activity in the city.
Richard Lewis, Property Director at TCS feels that the presence of TechHub in Manchester should be a boost to the city’s profile. “This is a real coup for Manchester. To secure the first UK TechHub outside London is recognition of Manchester’s ambition to be the UK’s digital city and a major player in the global digital technology sector by 2020.”
History and Future
Built in 1806, Carver’s Warehouse is a part of Manchester’s history – it’s the city’s oldest warehouse and now plays home to many new businesses.
TCS is a Leeds-based property investment and development company with assets in excess of £300m. The company has a focus on sustainable development. It currently has a portfolio that delivers an annual income of more than £22m ($35.2m).
TechHub offers flexible workspace facilities, meeting rooms, event hosting and co-working with other startups. The original site can be found in East London, and its first European space opened in Riga, Latvia, earlier this year.
Image Credit: Binary Ape