Six year old digital agency Building Blocks has moved into a new purpose-designed 9,000 sq ft office in central Manchester and is planning an increase in its headcount from the current 55 to 65 over the next 18 months.

Jonathan Whiteside

Jonathan Whiteside

The agency was co-founded by Andy Iddon and Jonathan Whiteside in 2007 and they remain the sole joint shareholders.

The company positions itself as a designer and builder of content managed systems-based web sites, particularly for companies and organisations with global operations.  Building Blocks only builds sites on commercial CMS platforms (rather than open source) and its primary partner is SDL Tridion, based in Maidenhead.

Whiteside told Prolific North that for the year ending April this year he was forecasting sales of just under £4m.

The company has just recruited its second US member of staff who will also be based at the agency’s San Francisco office. Whiteside added that they were hoping to increase the US headcount to around five as soon as is practical with probably two more this year. The US staff are technical rather than sales, supporting Building Blocks’ growing US customer base.

Back in Manchester there are 55 staff and Whiteside expects this figure to rise to 60 by the end of this calendar year. Although the majority of the agency’s clients are based in the South East, Whiteside said it was unlikely they would be opening an office there although it was a subject which periodically arises at board meetings.

The agency’s clients include GE Lighting, Royal Caribbean, Butlins, Regus, Macmillan Cancer Support and a Norwegian multi-national mineral fertiliser Yara International.

The new offices were designed by the Sheila Bird group,  whose MD Atul Bansal is also currently acting as the UK client and design director on ‘Tomorrow’, the much-talked ‘secretive’ brief Project Digital’ on behalf of an unnamed, collaboration of global companies seeking to establish their first UK base in Manchester.