As the UK emerges from the pandemic flexible workspace provider Kinrise, which has just acquired Martins Bank Building in Liverpool. is reporting a rise in office occupation. Tony McDonough reports
Workspace provider Kinrise, which is transforming the Grade II-listed Martins Bank Building in Liverpool, is reporting a “strong resurgence in occupier levels”.
And the firm, which is undertaking a multi-million pound refurbishment of the 210,000 sq ft building to create a new business hub, says there are signs companies want to return to city centres in significant numbers as we emerge from the pandemic.
Kinrise owns 400,000 sq ft of offices across Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. It says businesses in the creative and professional services sectors are leading the charge. It reports that use of its spaces rocketed 451% between the first and second quarters of this year. It continued to rise by 7.2% from Q2 to Q3.
Founded in 2015, Kinrise restores historic buildings into inspiring work and cultural hubs to accommodate individuals renting a desk for a day, up to a global business on a 25-year lease.
Ground floors across each Kinrise building are transformed into community spaces dedicated to coworking desks, meeting and events rooms and open plan cafes run by local baristas.
It announced its acquisition of Martins Bank Building in Water Street in August. The building was built in 1932. It remained as a bank for many years until the departure of Barclays in 2009. And, despite various proposals to turn it into a luxury hotel, it has remained largely empty since.
Kinrise says it will create new flexible workspaces, while keeping its best features. It has also pledged to utilise the impressive former banking hall on the ground floor as public space for community events and exhibitions.
Co-founder Sam Lawson Johnston said: “We have seen the strongest interest in our ground floor coworking spaces as businesses crave the uplifting, buzzing atmosphere of the pre-pandemic office.
“This has reinforced our belief that social interaction lies at the very heart of the creation, curation and sustenance of company culture. Our community managers have also been kept busy during the pandemic, helping to hone each building’s collective culture and acting as chaplains to offer mental health and well-being guidance to tenants.”
According to Knight Frank research, while the overall levels of demand for offices in the UK are modest, where it exists it is driven to better quality floorspace that provides occupiers with the ability to attract and retain talented employees.
Sam added: “There has been a significant uptick in activity over the past three months as more occupiers return to the office and business starts to regain some sort of normality. The pandemic has highlighted the true role of the office and how central it is to fostering collaboration, creativity and culture, causing a divide in the market.