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Cool Offices: UKFast, City Tower

We start at the top seeking Manchester's coolest workplace: is your office better looking than this?

Published on November 3rd 2010.

Cool Offices: UKFast, City Tower

Confidential whilst spinning around the city can't help noticing that some offices are more aesthetically pleasing than others.

One that literally stands out is UKFast's workplace on the 28th Floor of City Tower. City Tower was completed in 1965, designed by Covell, Matthews and Partners.

UKFast is the baby of Lawrence Jones and is a successful internet hosting company. It began in 1999 and has grown with the web but also through the collective nous of the people there. The company has had a bewildering number of premises in the last decade, but has been settled here for five years. It arrived in City Tower with thirty people, and now has more than 100 staff. Turnover has risen from £3m a year to almost £10m. Clients include Barclays, Mulberry and UK TV.

Jonathan Bowers, the Communications Manager, explains the effect of the move: “It was a big step (“or rather 400 steps up,” Confidential weakly joked) for us. But the location has played a part in our success. For the people who work here it makes them feel confident when they step out of the lift, for visitors the views and the way we've set out the office always impresses them. The place seems to makes people achieve, seems to give a boost to the sales team. It's also a brilliant thing for recruitment days, says something about the company which makes people want to work here ahead of competitors.”

It's not just about the views too, but about the games room and the decorative details. North and south on the outside of City Tower there is an apse which is the top of an 28 storey bay window. In the south side apse is Lawrence Jones' cycling machine apparently hanging over the 300ft drop. On the north side we've got a seating area through the office kitchen.

Then there's the art. Jones likes his North West office to showcase North West work with pieces by Kate Davies, Helen Bradley, John Thompson, Liam Spencer plus - Jones is Welsh - the North Welsh artist, Kyffin Williams.

It all adds up to something special. And a couple of curious thoughts. Given the largely glazed nature of the office, you could say that UKFast has the city for wallpaper. Nor can there be many people who can easily see their place of work from twenty miles away.

Although it might depend on the type of week you've had whether that's a good thing.

Anyway can you do better, is your office cooler, funkier than this skyriding place of work? Does it put UKFast in the shade?

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BauhausJanuary 27th 2010.

Nice position, but it is the coolest office? I've been in Computerlove office behind Piccadilly Station and that is amazing.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2010.

Here' what I got when I went to the bit about the Star and Garter.
Are you still recovering from New Year in the Mancon cellar?

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