Willis Towers Watson signs new lease at N08 First Street Image
6th January, 2020

Willis Towers Watson signs new lease at N08 First StreetRead More

Willis Towers Watson has confirmed its upcoming relocation, as the global advisory and solutions firm has agreed a new 10-year lease taking 11,590 sq. ft. on the part sixth floor at N08 First Street.

Mark Baldwin, associate director at Avison Young – the leasing agent on behalf of GMPVF – said: “Securing a global name of Willis Towers Watson’s calibre is a massive endorsement for N08, which already has a high-profile tenant mix with the likes of Odeon, WSP and Gazprom on board.

“The company’s arrival now leaves only one final floor in the building, an unrivalled 26,500 sq ft of Grade A office space with a largely column-free floorplate, that offers flexible working layouts for businesses looking to provide a unique location for their workforce.”

N08 First Street stands proudly in the centre of the £500m First Street development, surrounded by a wide range of cultural and leisure attractions, which includes global arts and culture destination HOME, INNSIDE Manchester hotel, The Gasworks, Indian Tiffin Room, Wood Manchester, Junkyard Golf, Starbucks, Pizza Express, Sainsbury’s and Bunny Jackson’s

This winter, the site also played host to The Lodge, a pop-up tipi which housed an events programme centred around sustainability, culture and craft.

Avison Young and Savills are joint agents on the scheme and JLL were advisors to Willis Towers Watson. The building was designed by Fletcher Priest Architects with a construction programme delivered by Rayner Rowen.

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Cultural tipi headed for First Street as part of winter events series Image
23rd October, 2019

Cultural tipi headed for First Street as part of winter events seriesRead More

The city’s new winter hideout promises ‘a carousel of winter thrills’, spanning ABBA yoga, make your own wrapping paper workshops, and more

Manchester’s newest neighbourhood is set to welcome a new winter programme of pop-ups, activations and events across the festive period.

First Street will be playing host to The Lodge, a 150-person Nordic winter tipi which will provide a range of quality Nordic-style beers and a mix of hot drinks, served alongside food such as the ever-popular Yorkshire pudding wraps. Moving away from the traditional F&B-only offering found in other spaces around the city, The Lodge will also double up as a flexible event venue – and will provide craft, arts and sustainability-themed workshops, as well as wellness classes and family-focused events.

John McHugh, creative and place director at CBRE, said: “We’ve worked hard this year to come up with a creative and exciting winter events programme which is reflective of what First Street stands for. With the amount of brilliant talent to be found here in Manchester, we were keen to keep things hyper-local.

“Our neighbourhood is built on values of sustainability, wellness, collaboration and culture, and so we’re excited to be bringing our occupiers and the wider public a space this season in which they can experience all of those things in one place.”

The Lodge – which is being brought to the site in collaboration with on-site operator Gasworks Brewbar – will be in situ at First Street from 31 October through til the new year, kicking off with a Halloween-themed Thriller yoga session followed by a launch party for tenants of First Street. 

Steve Pilling, owner of Gasworks, said: “There will be something for everyone at The Lodge, as we’ll be putting on special events for families and also collaborating with our neighbours such as HOME. As the neighbourhood is continuing to grow and expand, we’re truly excited to be part of this year’s collaboration and look forward to welcoming everyone to The Lodge at First Street”

Additional pop-ups and classes will include reggae yoga, a trainer repair workshop, life drawing, pilates, bike surgery workshops, business breakfasts, classes on making your own recycled wrapping paper, ABBA yoga, and events with local cultural heavyweights such as Into The Gathering Dusk.

The winter events programme has already kicked off with Manchester Folk Festival, a collaboration which saw First Street hosting free cultural events on the estate across the weekend of 18 October. The site will also have a Singing in the Rain-themed flashmob taking over Tony Wilson Place on 26 October.

First Street recently expanded again, as N08 First Street completed and brought a further 170,000 sq. ft. of Grade A office space to the neighbourhood – there is now over 3,500 people working across the estate.

The commercial and cultural hub is continuing to grow in prominence, as plans for a large-scale coliving scheme on the site were recently revealed and on-site restaurant, WOOD Manchester, received yet another nod from the Michelin guide. 

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First Street grows again Image
21st August, 2019

First Street grows againRead More

Commercial and cultural hub First Street has expanded again, as 170,000 sq ft of Grade A office space is welcomed to the estate.

Photos have been revealed of N08 First Street – perched on the edge of Manchester’s newest public square, Tony Wilson Place – signalling the arrival of the latest phase of delivery for the neighbourhood.

Ask Real Estate managed the development on behalf of GMPF and PATRIZIA UK.

N08 has already welcomed several high-calibre tenants to the growing estate, including engineering and professional services firm WSP – which took 55,000 sq ft across two floors – and Gazprom, which signed early in the construction process, taking 40,000 sq ft of space across floors five and six.

National cinema giant ODEON is also fully operational having chosen First Street for its North West headquarters where their 300 strong workforce has now moved into 26,000 sq ft on floor 3.

Current vacant space in N08 comprises a 26,000 sq ft suite on the 4th floor, together with a smaller suite of 11,990 sq ft situated on the 6th floor.

Chris Cheap, Managing Director of UK Regions at Avison Young who both advised on the lettings and manages the scheme on behalf of GMPF, said: “N08 is a fantastic addition to Manchester’s buoyant office market, and is another key milestone for this dynamic new quarter in the city.

“The location and surrounding amenity are second to none, and we are confident that it will continue to be a great success.
“Gazprom, ODEON and WSP electing to relocate to N08 is a clear endorsement of the quality of both the building itself and the wider First Street estate.

“We look forward to welcoming more exciting occupiers to the space – there are two suites remaining with the fourth floor representing the largest, most efficient office floorplate available in central Manchester.”

N08 has been brought to life as a design-led building, and boasts 26,000 sq ft of large, open floorplates which allow occupiers to create fit-outs that are flexible and unique.

The building’s key feature, however, is its impressive six double-height winter gardens, which provide unique breakout and collaborative spaces for tenants to use in whichever way suits their business.

The scheme also benefits from its strategic location, being situated within walking distance of the heart of the city but close to Oxford Road station and adjacent to Deansgate Castlefield Metrolink stop. It is nestled in the heart of a lively estate, next to a range of vibrant leisure operators – including fine dining restaurant WOOD, independent eatery Indian Tiffin Room and Junkyard Golf Club, the home of crazy golf.

Jamie Hills, Development Director at Ask Real Estate, added: “N08 has been a crucial project for the estate, adding a significant number of people to the working population which now stands at over 3,500. The success of N08 has given us the confidence to progress with the next phase of development at First Street and we look forward to sharing our proposals over the coming months.

Dan Williams, Head of Development at PATRIZIA UK & Ireland, said: “The building’s exceptional quality is evidenced by the fact that it has already attracted tenants of a hugely high class, and we have no doubt that it will continue to do so – indeed, N08 was 80% pre-let prior to being complete.

“This is the latest step in the ongoing evolution of First Street, as we continue to galvanise this important gateway to the city and meet an ever-increasing demand for first-class commercial space.”

An updated masterplan for the First Street area was approved by Manchester City Council in 2018 and will see Ask Real Estate, the Richardson family and PATRIZIA develop up to 1m sq ft of offices at First Street.

Currently, the estate is home to the INNSIDE by Mélia hotel; a 279-room Vita Student scheme; a 700-space Q-Park; a host of bars, leisure operators and restaurants; and anchor tenant HOME – an international arts and culture destination.

High-end steak restaurant Ribeye has recently opened featuring a theatrical kitchen and Vertigo, a plant based eatery is scheduled to open this month.

Avison Young, Savills and Metis are joint agents on the scheme, with Metis acting as retail agents and Avison Young & Savills overseeing commercial lettings.

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Plans for next phase of First Street development go public Image
11th July, 2019

Plans for next phase of First Street development go publicRead More

Ask Real Estate & Whitbread PLC will host a public exhibition to launch emerging proposals for the next phase of the First Street regeneration area. The public event will take place on Tuesday 16th July 2019 from 3pm until 7pm at Unit 3 N08 First Street, First Street, Manchester, M15 4GU.

Ask Real Estate and Whitbread PLC are currently preparing to submit two planning applications to Manchester City Council.
This phase of works will deliver new offices, a hotel, and residential apartments across two key sites of the First Street Masterplan.

The first application will be submitted by Ask Real Estate on Plot 9 of the First Street Masterplan.

This development will replace the office and hotel building approved by Manchester City Council last year. The updated design proposes a larger footprint office but lower in height than the approved building.

The second application will be submitted by Whitbread and proposes a mix of office and residential accommodation on the site of the existing Premier Inn on Medlock Street.

Both schemes are designed by Jon Matthews Architects.

John Hughes, MD of Ask Real Estate said: “These proposed plans will continue the transformation of this part of the city centre. First Street continues to thrive with a complimentary mix of tenants, and this is an opportunity to grow the neighbourhood even further.
“We look forward to consulting with the public to finalise our plans for the next phase.”

Richard Pearson, Senior Development Manager for Whitbread, added: “Working with Ask Real Estate we have the opportunity to replace an ageing Premier Inn with our latest format hotel in one of Manchester’s most exciting and popular developments. It’s an excellent opportunity to improve our network in the city and bring more rooms to the popular micro-location for our customers. I’m looking forward to talking through the plans, and what Premier Inn will bring to First Street, next Tuesday.”

The buildings will be set around generous new public spaces and improved footpaths designed by Planit-IE linking the surrounding areas with the cultural hub and open spaces already created around First Street, Tony Wilson Place, and James Grigor Square.

Ask Real Estate and Whitbread will host a consultation event and want to hear the public’s views on the emerging designs.
Both project teams will be in attendance to explain the plans, respond to any queries, and take on board comments.

There will also be an opportunity to submit comments on the plans either at the exhibition, by email, or through the website which will be in operation following the exhibition.

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Premier Inn signs for First Street Image
25th February, 2019

Premier Inn signs for First StreetRead More

Ask Real Estate, in a joint venture with the Richardson family and PATRIZIA, has exchanged a pre-let agreement with Whitbread for a 200-bedroom Premier Inn hotel at First Street, Manchester.

The hotel operator will occupy the top five floors of a new 16 storey mixed-use development which secured planning permission in December 2018. Construction of the new building will start in summer 2019 with completion due in early 2021.

The deal will simultaneously see a second joint venture partnership between Ask Real Estate, the Richardson family and Whitbread bring forward a planning application to redevelop the existing Premier Inn Deansgate Locks hotel site, adjacent to First Street, with a separate c.480,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme. A planning application for the development is expected to be submitted to Manchester City Council in May 2019.

Premier Inn is the first confirmed tenant in the new building at First Street and will occupy floors 12-16, with 160,000 sq ft of Grade A offices on floors 1-11. The new building will also feature winter gardens on each of the office floors, replicating the popular winter gardens which are a key feature of No8, together with open staircases to connect floors and a triple height reception space for workers. The hotel will benefit from a separate entrance and lift core.

BAM Construction has been confirmed as the preferred construction partner for the new building which will be the fourth phase of development at the 20-acre First Street scheme. HOME anchors the culture and amenity phase which completed in April 2015 and sits alongside the 180,000 sq ft N01 and 170,000 sq ft N08 office buildings, where occupiers include Auto Trader, Jacobs Engineering, AmazeRealise, Ford Credit, WSP and Gazprom.

Commenting on the announcement John Hughes, Managing Director of Ask Real Estate, said: “With a projected lack of Grade A office space in the city from 2021 we will be bringing forward much needed, high-quality and flexible office space to a buoyant market and are delighted to announce Premier Inn as the building’s first tenant.

“Given the high level of demand we saw from a broad range of businesses for N08, which was 80% pre-let before practical completion, we are confident that there is capacity in the office market for further development at First Street. This is the latest step in the on-going evolution of the First Street neighbourhood which is the proven mixed-use destination we envisaged.”

Nicholas Johnston, Acquisition Manager for Northern England at Premier Inn, said: “As a major investor in Manchester we are continually looking at our portfolio of Premier Inn hotels to ensure we are in the best possible locations and provide a consistently high-quality experience for our guests.

“The decision to redevelop the Premier Inn Deansgate Locks site and bring a latest generation Premier Inn hotel to First Street reflects this. Working with ASK Real Estate and its partners, we are able to increase the number of Premier Inn bedrooms in the popular micro-location and bring our latest format to the area. It’s an excellent opportunity to improve our portfolio in the city and be part of one of Manchester’s most successful business and leisure destinations.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, commented: “First Street is located at this important gateway into Manchester and as the estate continues to evolve it will further connect the city centre with the Oxford Road Corridor and University district.

As well as helping to further realise our vision for First Street, we are pleased that this announcement will also lead to the redevelopment of the existing Premier Inn site.

The ambition to create a cultural hub for Manchester, bringing up to 10,000 jobs to the city, will be further enhanced by this new phase of first class commercial development.”

The architect for the building is Jon Matthews Architects. Deloitte advised on planning for the project and DWF were Whitbread’s legal advisor on the transactions.

An updated masterplan for the First Street area was approved by Manchester City Council last year and will see Ask Real Estate, the Richardson family and PATRIZIA develop up to 1m sq ft of offices at First Street. The estate is home to the INNSIDE Manchester hotel, a 279-room Vita Student scheme, a 700-space Q-Park, the HOME arts venue and a host of bars, leisure operators and restaurants.


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30th January, 2019


Over the Christmas period, we were delighted to invite local charities Forever Manchester and Mustard Tree to have a free skate at Manchester Ice Rink – a chance for families and individuals to hit the ice and indulge in some lovely festive fun.

Check out the photos below…

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Manchester Ice Rink: all the deals, discounts and offers! Image
21st November, 2018

Manchester Ice Rink: all the deals, discounts and offers!Read More

Manchester Ice Rink is back, and First Street has been a whirlwind of festive cheer since Capital’s all-singing-and-dancing launch party last Thursday.

There’s even more frosty fun to come though, as our fabulous tenants have got in the Christmas spirit and decided to treat you lucky ticket holders to a whole host of exclusive deals which you can redeem pre- or post-skate!

Below, you can find the full list of offers which your Manchester Ice Rink ticket can unlock when you visit First Street. It’s the most wonderful time of the year…!

School for Scandal 
The new kid on the First Street block is the perfect spot for a bit of glamorous après-skate. You can bag 20% off food with your ice rink ticket!

Junkyard Golf Club 

Junkyard’s incredible cocktails are the stuff of legend, and now you can get 50% off your first one when you present a valid Manchester Ice Rink ticket.

Pizza Express

The family favourite are offering three courses and a glass of fizz for just £21.95 throughout the festive period. There’s no better way to warm yourself up after a chilly skate than pizza and prosecco…!


Ticket holders can get 20% off food and drink at Manchester’s most glamorous hotel. Why not treat yourself to an overnight stay whilst you’re at it?!

Indian Tiffin Room

Fancy something spicy to warm your cockles? Look no further than Indian Tiffin Room, where you can get 10% off your bill Monday-Thursday thanks to your Manchester Ice Rink ticket.


WOOD will be bringing back its famed WOODSHACK for Christmas, the festive pop-up where skaters can get their hands on naughty or nice treats. Hot toddies await to thaw out those frozen fingers!


Don’t miss out on HOME’s “Reel Deal” – you can bag a pizza, a drink and a cinema ticket for just £16 every Monday and Tuesday.

And finally…

If you’re planning a trip to Manchester Ice Rink from further afield, it couldn’t be easier to get to First Street. Not only are we located mere steps from Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop and Deansgate train station, we’re also round the corner from Oxford Road train station and handily on a Metroshuttle free bus route. If you’re looking to come by car, though:

City centre parking doesn’t get better than this. A safe, secure, 750-spot car park in the heart of the city – and Manchester Ice Rink skaters can get 15% off with code ICEMCR15.

As well as all of these incredible deals, keep your eyes peeled for regular competitions and giveaways on the First Street and Manchester Ice Rink social media channels:

TWITTER: @firststreetmcr/@mcr_icerink
FACEBOOK: First Street Manchester/Manchester Ice Rink
INSTAGRAM: @firststreetmcr/@manchester_icerink

Looking to book your tickets? Head to, where you can find out everything you’ll need to know about timings, prices and group bookings.

We can’t wait to see you for a skate…

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2nd November, 2018


The Manchester Ice Rink is once again coming to First Street following a hugely successful launch last year.  This year, the 15m x 20m ice rink will remain open right through the holiday season from 15th November to 6th January, and prices will start at just £10.00 – with special rates available for group and corporate bookings.

Last year, thousands of visitors skated at First Street and the Manchester Ice Rink 2018 looks set to be even more fun-packed this time around.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the locally-curated Worker Bee Markets which will bring together Manchester-made artisan talent – with stalls offering handmade crafts, jewellery, unique food gifts, decorations and treats.  The pop-up market stalls will be at First Street on Wednesday 5th, 12th and 19th December from 12 noon – 6pm.  Worker Bee Markets was conceived by experienced market trader Clare Simpson, who this year was a Best Small Business finalist at the Northern Soul Awards.

First Street’s food and drink operators – including Pizza Express, Starbucks, Indian Tiffin Room, Kettlebell Kitchen, School for Scandal, Junkyard Golf Club, Bunny Jacksons, WOOD Manchester and Gasworks Brewbar – will have special offers, deals and discounts for skaters visiting First Street. Winter warmers, such as hot toddies and mulled wine will also be served from Simon Wood’s, WOODSHACK pop-up bar, and people can enjoy drinks and watch the skating from the terrace of the INNSIDE Manchester hotel overlooking the rink.

HOME, First Street’s destination for international arts and culture, are showing two family-friendly theatre shows whilst the rink is in town – White, for ages 2-4, and Dutch musical Slapstick for slightly older children. In addition, they’ll have regular screenings of classic feel-good festive films – you can find the full line-up on their website.

Bookings are now being taken and the rink will be open every weekday from 3.00pm with the final session at 8.00pm and open every weekend from 10.00am.

Online ticket sales are now live at or call 0161 8209718

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ODEON to move Manchester office to N08 First Street Image
10th September, 2018

ODEON to move Manchester office to N08 First StreetRead More

Cinema operator ODEON is to take the whole third floor (26,285 sq ft) at No.8 First Street, Manchester at £29.50 per sq ft.

ODEON is to move its team from two floors in Lee House, 90 Great Bridgewater Street, where they have been for over 20 years, onto the single floor at the new 170,000 sq ft Grade A building.

Ken Taylor, Group Property Director, Odeon said: “As we upgrade our cinemas across Europe to give our guests the best experience, our colleagues also need a truly modern and comfortable working environment. The generous floor plate at No.8 First Street will allow us to create collaborative space and facilities that support ODEON’s identity and values.”

“The location is fantastic. Not only are we a couple of minutes’ walk to the Deansgate/Castlefield Metrolink tram stop and Oxford Road train station, but there’s an abundance of great facilities at First Street for our colleagues to enjoy with some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.”

Dan Williams, Head of Development at PATRIZIA in the UK, said: “ODEON is a great addition to our line-up tenants at No.8 First Street which will act as an excellent location for them. The building itself is due to complete within the next month – Gazprom is now in occupation on the fifth and sixth floors while WSP is currently fitting out the first and second floors which will complete in October when they move in 850 staff. We have strong interest in the final remaining fourth floor.”

Mark Baldwin, Associate Director at GVA who advised on the letting and manages the scheme on behalf of GMPF, added: “ODEON is another great name joining Gazprom and WSP at No.8 First Street. The location is perfect for the team as it is at the cultural heart of the city with neighbouring HOME and an array of bars, restaurants and leisure offerings at Tony Wilson Place. ODEON were attracted by the large open floorplates and the fantastic winter gardens, which are unique in the city, along with the easy access for staff from the city’s main transport hubs. We look forward to welcoming them later this month and we will be marketing the final remaining 4th floor at No.8.”

Andrew Cowell, transactions and asset management, OBI said: “We worked closely with ODEON to find them a new suitable home in Manchester and No.8 First Street fitted their bill to a tee. Being on one floor will support open innovation, collaboration and growth and the building will provide them with an impressive presence in the heart of one Manchester’s thriving new districts.”

Designed by Fletcher Priest Architects No.8 First Street has achieved BREEAM Excellent rating.

OBI and DWF represented Odeon. GVA, Savills and Metis are joint agents on No 8 First Street on behalf of GMPF and PATRIZIA with Ask Real Estate acting as development manager.

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WSP confirmed at N08 First Street Image
1st August, 2018

WSP confirmed at N08 First StreetRead More

WSP has confirmed that it will be moving to No8 First Street later this year.

The leading engineering and professional services firm is taking 55,000 sq ft across the first and second floors of the building which is due to complete in September. The move to No8 will see WSP merge its four existing Manchester offices into a single location, bringing up to 850 staff to First Street.

WSP will benefit from two of No8’s winter garden spaces on the first floor which provide double height breakout space for occupiers to use. They will join Gazprom which signed as a pre-let occupier early in the construction process taking c40,000 sq ft of space across floors 5 and 6. Following a fit out programme Gazprom has now taken occupation of its new offices.

Occupier interest in the remaining office space remains high and a number of the retail and leisure units on the ground floor are also under offer.

Commenting, Mark Hurley, Head of Environment and WSP leadership sponsor for the move said: “WSP has around 850 engineers, planners, environmental experts spread over four offices in Manchester and this move will combine all of our teams under one roof, improving collaboration and increasing creativity amongst our people.

“Having looked at a number of office buildings, both refurbished and new build, across the city, we chose No.8 First Street due to its central location in an area which is emerging as a vibrant, creative quarter of the city. It also offers us the opportunity to put our stamp on a brand-new space, marking a major milestone for the company as one of the biggest professional services and engineering consultancies in the city.

“As part of our commitment to become a carbon neutral business by 2025, our new office will also be FitWel compliant, ensuring that the health and well-being of our staff is incorporated in the design of the space.”

Chris Cheap, Regional Senior Director at GVA who both advised on the letting and manages the scheme on behalf of GMPVF, added: “WSP is a great signing at No8 and they will shortly be commencing their fit out with a view to being operational by the end of the year. They were attracted by the large, open floorplates of No8 and the wide range of amenity which is right on the doorstep. It’s a great building, in a fantastic location, and we look forward to welcoming WSP’s team to First Street over the coming months.”

Dan Williams, Head of Real Estate PATRIZIA UK, said: “With both Gazprom and WSP choosing to locate to No8 First Street it is a clear endorsement of both the building’s success as well as the wider estate. We also hope to announce further office and retail lettings very soon.”

Ask Real Estate is managing the development of No8 on behalf of GMPVF and PATRIZIA UK. GVA, Savills and Metis are joint agents and Cushman and Wakefield advised WSP. No8 is designed by Fletcher Priest Architects and construction is being managed by Rayner Rowen.

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