Mark Wright, 2014 winner of the BBC television program The Apprentice, bagged more than a £250,000 investment and partnership in his digital company from Lord Alan Sugar. He also convinced the business magnate that Manchester is an excellent place to set up office space.
After successfully trading for two years, Wright decided that he wanted to open a regional office in Manchester. Lord Sugar was initially not keen on the idea and wanted Wright to focus on developing the London office. After persuasion by Wright, the billionaire reluctantly agreed to opening a Manchester office.
The Manchester division of Climb Online was successful very quickly. Lord Sugar was so pleased at the performance, he now wants all the businesses he has invested in with The Apprentice winners to look for office space in Manchester.
The Climb Online Manchester office is located in Headspace’s Group 15,000 sq. ft work and events hub. It opened in June and has five employees, but expects to soon double this number.
Wright said that one good thing about Manchester is that he could attract high-quality skilled staff. He said that it is easier than London, where tech workers want to work at high-profile companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. This makes it difficult to recruit the best staff without paying them top wages. In Manchester, highly qualified people are prepared to work for lesser salaries.
Lord Sugar’s new found enthusiasm for office space in Manchester echoes the views of many entrepreneurs who see the high value of leasing offices in the city.