The Tootal Buildings, Manchester - Ashdown Phillips & Partners
Dare to be Brilliant
April 17, 2020
Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough
March 23, 2017

The Tootal Buildings, Manchester

The Tootal Buildings (as Broadhurst and Lee are collectively known) have history. Lots of it. They also have a future. A bright one.

Tootal Broadhurst Lee was a Victorian textile company (famous for the Tootal Tie) who built this now Grade II* and Grade II listed property in 1896 to house their textile manufacturing warehouse and offices. Its location was perfect at the time for receiving and sending materials via the Rochdale canal.

More than a hundred years on, its location is just as perfect but for 21st century reasons. We took over its management in 2016 and found a great building in a prime location, right in the heart of Manchester’s bar and restaurant scene.

We believe buildings are just as much about the people who use them as the materials that make them, so it was important for us that anyone working there felt connected to that bar and restaurant scene. We set to work delivering a programme of activities and events that bring its communal areas to life. Music, competitive table tennis and Easter egg hunts are some of the ways we have turned The Tootal Buildings into a place to enjoy as well as a place to come to work. We’ve noticed that people now say hello to people they don’t know.

Our ‘connected team’ ethos has also led to operational improvements.

Unsurprisingly, the Victorians didn’t design for wifi, but that hasn’t stopped us working with our client to make connectivity improvements. It has been an adventure in more recent history to find all the old wayleaves, working with lots of different telecoms suppliers. We’ve also worked with Metronet and Vodaphone to try and install one, single master wayleave rather than each having to install their own – more efficient for them, easier to manage for us, and a streamlined service to our occupiers. We have achieved a Platinum WiredScore rating at Broadhurst and a Gold WiredScore rating at Lee. We think the Victorians would be proud.

Collaborating well with building surveyors and M&E consultants is important to deliver pretty major improvements to the fabric of this special building successfully. When replacing the roof and upgrading the loos, we managed both programmes of works and worked with contractors and occupiers to make sure facilities and services remained accessible. The result? A good job done well, happy occupiers, happy clients… and no leaks (of any kind!)

At The Tootal Buildings, our people-centred approach means our client has an almost fully occupied property where people want to be, now and in the future.