The Hut Group (“THG” or the “Group”), one of the world’s leading online beauty and wellbeing businesses, and Stoford Developments, one of the UK’s leading property development specialists, have broken ground on ICON, the new 11.6-acre logistics and global content creation studio at Icon Manchester Airport.
The ICON development, which will be one of the largest in Europe, will provide a logistics and content creation facilities, totalling 168,000 sq. ft. and additional 104,000 sq. ft. of office space over four floors. Housing up to 2,000 people, the development of ICON builds on THG’s acquisition and integration of the UK’s leading content studio, Hangar 7, in 2017 – which has recently rebranded to THG studios.
The completion of ICON will allow for circa 2,000 new roles to be created across THG’s workforce, including those in video production, photography and logistics departments. Since 2015, THG has brought more than 4,000 jobs to the North West.
Matthew Moulding, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of THG, comments: “Today marks the start of an exciting next step for THG as we continue to expand the Group’s creative content production and logistics capabilities in Manchester. We have experienced staggering global growth over the last few years, but our Northern roots are still incredibly important to us, which is why we are building ICON and our new HQ here. These facilities will bring thousands of additional jobs to the region and will help transform the area surrounding Manchester Airport into a hub for employment and creativity.”
Dan Gallagher, Joint Managing Director of Stoford Developments, said: “It’s always exciting to begin work on site and ICON is no exception. We will deliver a highly specified Grade A warehouse/logistics and office development for THG, which will enable it to access its global market, thanks to the superb strategic location of Icon Manchester Airport. THG choosing Icon Manchester for their new logistics and content creation studio is of significant importance to Manchester and the scheme, adding to the scheme’s already very strong list of tenants.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This is big news for Manchester and the development of Airport City. We are thrilled to have an international company of THG’s significance based in Airport City generating jobs and investment.”
The development is being delivered by Icon Industrial, a strategic joint venture by Stoford Developments and TPG Real Estate, and is expected to be complete July 2020.
Within the next 12 months, THG will be breaking ground on ‘THQ’, the company’s new landmark business campus, which will be built over 16.8 acres in four phases. Phase one will comprise office buildings totalling 280,000 sq. ft, while an option agreement has been reached between THG and Airport City Manchester for phases two, three and four of the business campus. THQ will support up to 10,000 jobs and represents the UK’s largest bespoke office development outside London.
Winvic Construction Ltd is the principal contractor delivering ICON on behalf of Icon Industrial.