Bonded Warehouse – The Future of Work

Madison Nicolas | 12 January 2023

Upon your first visit to Bonded Warehouse, you feel excited to learn, appreciate and take note of the building’s impressive level of detail, and the thought process behind revitalising a former customs warehouse. A place where alcohol and cigarettes were once stored to deliver Manchester’s most innovate workspace for todays and tomorrow’s pioneering businesses.

Department have repositioned Manchester’s most iconic former warehouses to deliver an exciting enterprise hub for thriving start-ups and scaling businesses through to large established occupiers. Bonded Warehouse is situated within Enterprise City, St John’s, Manchester’s tech and innovation neighbourhood in the city. Although part of Enterprise City, the building is filled and buzzing with an exciting community of occupiers and feels like a mini enterprise city itself. Originally built in the 1800’s, the iconic Warehouse has been carefully restored to deliver six levels of co-working, private workspaces, Dept Coffee, a bar and restaurant at Department Store, casual dining at The Stables, meeting spaces, content studios, recording studios, a gym and event spaces.

As you approach and enter Bonded Warehouse via the building’s majestic wooden doors you feel the excitement and buzz from the community within. You are initially welcomed by Department’s on-site team; one of Manchester’s most forward-thinking managed workspace operators. Their proactive approach helps cultivate your business and the new community within the building providing regular networking, thought leadership events, and wellness activities.

Businesses who make home here will be part of the pioneering eco-system of 65+ like-minded businesses of all sizes, such as Factory, The Modern Milkman, Kitman Labs and Delivery App in an environment that is unique to Manchester; you could be in New York, Amsterdam, or Berlin.
The building’s restoration has retained and enhanced the building’s industrial heritage while delivering a welcomed solution to the traditional ‘rigid’ workplaces and offers work and social destinations. Level 3 is the building’s heartbeat with an impressive entrance, brick vaulted ceilings, and double height space.

The stylish furnishing, high quality and well-designed internal spaces, make for a vibrant atmosphere that appeal to the creatives and tech cluster. Department’s range of memberships, from co-working desks or private studios with access to large communal breakout spaces and The Hub, provides opportunities for your businesses to share, innovate, collaborate, socialise, and develop.

As your businesses begins to grow, the upper floors of Bonded Warehouse provide larger workspaces that supports a business’s growth ambitions. There are already examples within the building of businesses which have thrived such as Auden; a fast growing fintech business that have grown from 16-person private workspace to a full floor of 15,500 sq ft delivered by Department as a ‘turnkey’ solution. The Auden space is in the eaves of the warehouse and is Manchester’s most impressive space. Auden now employ over 120 people.

Opposite the reception is Dept Coffee where you can grab a hot drink, breakfast, lunch, and baked treats. Open both to members and the public.

The Exchange, an exciting joint partnership between Department and Tech Nation, which is a subsidised incubation and acceleration space for Tech start-ups also operate from Bonded Warehouse. The Exchange is already a cohort for e-commerce, proptech, and medtech businesses helping them to grow and develop through structured support programmes providing the essential tools for their business to succeed.

Level 2 also offers bookable meeting rooms and is home to the Department Store. The Department Store is a new food, drink and lifestyle store. It has an all-day dining menu consisting of brunch classics, smoothies, fresh juices and an array of small and large plates. A social space with a bar, lounge, and lifestyle pop-ups, open to members and the public. Designed to showcase boutique retailers and provide an immersive backdrop for collaboration and conversation. Bonded Warehouse members can find the perfect split from work to network, socialise, and host events.

For businesses who are looking to further their creativity, there is access to podcast rooms, studio space, and editing studio on Level 1 of Bonded Warehouse. On Level 1 you will also find the Halcyon Cocktail Bar and Gin Distillery, which offers a place for occupiers to relax after work as well as hosting events such as cocktail masterclass.

In addition, on Level 1 you will find Condition which is an exclusive boutique gym for Department members with state- of- the art Technogym kit, a class studio and training space. Bespoke group wellbeing packages are available for local businesses to access the benefits of Condition and offer employees a balanced approach to work or build a community within a business. Bespoke personal training programs are also on offer to tailor around an individual goals, sports rehab or post-partum journey.

The Stables, adjoining Bonded Warehouse, launched last year and serves classic canteen favourites at lunch for £5 and dinner for £8. The Stables offers a casual dining experience, live entertainment, BBQ’s and live sports; all of which amplifies Bonded Warehouse’s large inventory. The venue was even once part of the original Coronation Street studio set.

The Stables bar is also open serving a selection of beers, wines, spirits and soft beverages with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the summer lunches and evenings after work.
All in all, the restoration of Bonded Warehouse has created an infrastructure and ecosystem for modern business to thrive; it is like a mini–Enterprise City in one building. This clustering of like-minded business has created a place for business to grow and help them attract and retain talent by providing access to high quality leisure, social, fitness and wellbeing space.

Bonded Warehouse and the Department’s forward-thinking team have continued to attract new occupiers due to the unique workspace that is focused on health, social, wellbeing, flexibility and different types of working. Occupiers are clearly valuing this offering as it creates the perfect workspace solution for a new generation of businesses.

OBI worked closely with Department to project manage the refurbishment of Bonded Warehouse to deliver 90,000 sq ft of stunning spaces. We have worked with a number of occupiers at Bonded Warehouse advising on the acquisition of their workspace, as well as the project management and the interior design of their fit out, including Auden who occupy 15,500 sq ft workspace on the impressive top floor.

In addition to Auden, OBI have successfully worked with other occupiers including, InterQuest, Cra-Z-Art, and Rugby World Cup on their successful relocations to Bonded Warehouse.

You can click through on the below link to experience what the building has to offer via the virtual tour of Bonded Warehouse:

Department will soon further it’s coverage from Bonded Warehouse and ABC (Enterprise City) and XYZ (Spinningfields), to London Road Fire Station.
If you are looking for creative unique workspace in the heart of Enterprise City, please get in touch with OBI.

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