Jon Woodall on moving Space 48 to Manchester
There’s something special about commuting, working and socialising in the Big Smoke; the North West city we fondly call Manchester. Having been in our new office just over a month, we’re settling in well and enjoying the perks of city life, including the endless amount of lunch options, mouth-watering coffee shops, and busy itinerary of local events & meetups. Plus, we’ll never get bored of that Manchester skyline view!
If you want to find out where it all started and what’s lead Space 48 Founder Jon Woodall to set up camp in Manchester, then please read on…
Space 48 was first established in 2008 by Managing Director, Jon Woodall, and two years later Jon met Tony Brown, our Technical Director and now renowned Magento Master. Combining their knowledge of ecommerce and web development they were able to set up a business module that not only enabled them to grow but also offered real value to retailers wanting to achieve success. Jon and Tony continued to recruit the right people and by 2014 the team had quadrupled in size. In October 2017, Space 48 took the next step in terms of growth and moved its team of 30+ from Warrington to the centre of Manchester; a city at the forefront of global digital innovation.
We recently caught up with Jon Woodall on why he chose to relocate the Space 48 head office to Manchester and what it means for him and his team…
What are your thoughts on the tech movement in Manchester and how will the new offices in the centre of Manchester help Space 48 grow and prosper?
I was fortunate enough to read a study a couple of years ago that proved businesses, on the whole, are more successful the closer their proximity to major hubs. Manchester is well known for its strong business community, leading universities and thriving tech scene which makes it the perfect home for Space 48.
You often talk about the Space 48 DNA and culture, how important was it that this was reflected in the new office?
A huge component of the Space 48 DNA is our culture, “We encourage leadership, learning and innovation.” The environment we’ve created embodies this. Careful thought was given to each aspect of our office, from our desk configuration to our wonderful use of breakout and learning space, we didn’t leave a stone unturned. After all, we are all a product of our environment!
The space allows for internal and external training and events. Why is this important for you and do you have anything planned in yet?
Learning is a key part of our culture, so we wanted to create a space that would be the perfect environment to take it to the next level.
For a long time, we’ve regularly held internal workshops and training with some of the world’s greatest Magento and ecommerce minds. Taking it to the next level means we need to have a greater impact outside of Space 48, on the Manchester business community and into the global ecommerce community too.
Some of our partners have already used the new training space, and it will be hosting this year’s Mage Titans Dev Exchange (10th November). Lots more is planned for the training and event space, and we will continue to contribute to the community around us.
Employees and visitors are bowled over by the new office. What was your vision for the interior and are you happy with the result?
I’m not the visionary type, but I know what I’m good at and how to get the right people around me. We’ve got some super talented people at Space 48 that contributed amazing ideas, all I had to do was knit them together and find a designer that shared the same ideas. I’m sure if you’ve seen the office, you’ll know I’m more than happy with the result. I see smiling faces every day, who wouldn’t be happy with that!
Finally, moving to Manchester has many benefits, but what is your favourite perk?
It’s not so much a perk, just a feeling that we’ve made the right move and it’s the start of the next phase of growth for Space 48!
Check out this video of the office before the fit-out commenced. A video of the breathtaking new office, as it is now, is coming soon! Watch this space…