A Week In My Life: Chris Reay, Spinningfields Estate Director for Allied London

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

This week Allied London's Chris Reay, the Estate Director for Spinningfields in Manchester, runs us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email david@prolificnorth.co.uk

Monday December 12th

I arrive early to the Allied HQ at Old Granada Studios to review my movements and workload for the week. First meeting of the day is with 90 Degrees, our marketing agency, regarding our new hospitality offering on the 7th floor of XYZ. The XYZ building is five years in the making and it marks the start of a new phase of Spinningfields evolution - bringing with it a permanent XYZ events space, bars, restaurants and the very latest in innovative workspaces - including the co-working XYZ workspace and Fintech hub, The Vault. We review interior plans for the 7th floor, which will have ground-breaking technology, both within the space and the digital membership features.

Tuesday December 13th

Israeli fintech company opens Manchester baseI start the day with a PR and events planning meeting for 2017 with our PR agency Toast PR.

We have been taking the XYZ brand on tour around the city for the last 12 months – and last month we held a great event on the subject of Digital Detox – as workplace wellness will be a big focus for us within XYZ.

I am certainly guilty of spending far too much time on my phone and computer and making time to have a digital detox is important – especially when you get over 400 emails a day! We finish the day off on a high when we find out that we at Allied London are to receive £2million funding from Manchester Council to develop a tech hub at St John’s Enterprise City working in partnership with Tech North and Manchester Growth Hub. Our funding will be used to stimulate digital growth for SMEs in the North as part of 600,000 sq ft of digital and creative tech space. I finish the day off taking my daughter to her guitar lesson.

Wednesday December 14th

Wednesday is another early start and I arrive at OBi Property’s office for a meeting with Will Lewis, our long-established leasing agent. We discuss office requirements and the ever growing TMT sector in Manchester, which is now the fastest growing sector in the commercial office market, and already equals the law industry in size.

I then head to the new XYZ restaurant and bar Refinery and meet with one of our soon to be new XYZ occupiers; Global Radio. They are in the process of fitting out their space and will be broadcasting from the building.

My day then takes me to Carrington where I present a Sake Sharks yellow card to the whole squad. Spinningfields has sponsored Sale Sharks for many years now and we value this partnership and the symbiotic relationship. The players seem pleased with what the card entitles them to – I just want them to feel a part of and always welcome at Spinningfields. I return to the office to a mountain of emails which I tackle before heading to football training later on in the evening.

A visual depicting the inside of the XYZ building Inside the XYZ building

Thursday December 15th

Thursday is all about D&D Conran, the world class restaurant operator, who has signed for the rooftop restaurant/bar at No. 1 Spinningfields. They are in Manchester for the day, accompanied by their New York based architects Centra Ruddy, who will be designing the restaurant. Their visit is treated as a collaborative workshop day, talking openly about the restaurant scene in Manchester, business clubs and the future. They present their restaurant concept and design ideas to us and we take them onto the construction and up to the highest floor we can get access to (level 17) – it’s windy but the views are amazing. After a full day, they are intrigued to sample Australasia, one of our most famous restaurants at Spinningfields and the only one underground!

Friday December 16th

We are installing substantial sized digital screens at XYZ; one outside by the main entrance and one inside, by the main reception lobby. I meet with the signage company, Kin Design, and we discuss the practical issues around the installation. These screens will talk to each other and have transformed what we can do in a building reception.

The bobbins (feature rain cover areas) are also being installed outside the front of the XYZ Building and I can see these are going to look great once the hoarding is removed shortly. Later on, I meet with a company interested in the fintech hub we will be creating in XYZ and this connection soon leads to other opportunities. The week ends on a high for me as I receive news that a business at No 1 Spinningfields has signed, taking the building beyond the 50% let point nearly a year ahead of the building being completed.

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