A trio of lettings to tech companies at The Base is proof that Warrington’s position between Manchester and Liverpool – for years a major factor in its growth – can continue to sustain and grow the town as Britain’s economy changes.
That’s the view of Steve Park, managing director of Warrington & Co, the council’s public-private sector regeneration arm.
He says that easy rail and road links into Warrington from its bigger neighbours is helping tech-led businesses such as Cube32 Studios and DAT Draughting Services attract and retain the skilled staff that they need.
“We don’t have a Northern Quarter or a Baltic Triangle in Warrington, but we’re growing a cluster of hi-tech companies here because they see the locational advantages. They can tap into two established labour pools yet access vital business support in somewhere like The Base. There’s an exciting tech cluster developing here that is helping future-proof our economy.”
The three new occupiers at The Base on Dallam Lane, which also includes JSA Design, take the number of tech and engineering occupiers at the space to 16. More than 130 staff now work in the 50,000 sq ft grade A office, which is managed by Langtree on behalf of Warrington & Co.
Chris Bain, the managing director of Cube32, said: “Attracting and retaining talent is key to our whole business plan and being in Warrington makes that much easier. Draw a map showing a 30 minute commute and you’re looking at a workforce of more than three million people.”
At a recent presentation at The Base by Siemens’ chief technology officer, Alan Norbury, the audience heard that technology-led manufacturing companies could expect to see a 30% boost to productivity as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ took hold. He predicted a significant boost for the north west, with its strong cohort of advanced manufacturers.
“Norbury’s comments really chimed with us in Warrington,” says Steve Park. “We want to have our cake and eat it: be a home for the tech businesses that are driving productivity gains for our existing manufacturers. That would set us fair for years to come.”