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Global accounting firm KPMG is expanding its Manchester presence with extra tech workers and a revamped office space with meetings at its core. KPMG UK will spend £5.5 million ($6.6 million) on redesigning its office in the English city to enhance the services it offers to businesses in the region and provide improved working spaces for colleagues.

KPMG is the latest international firm to grow beyond London, with banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. finding it easier to secure lower costs and skilled graduates outside the UK capital.

The plan includes launching a 25,000 square-foot hub next spring for its tech-focused Ignition program, which helps staff collaborate in dozens of cities globally.

Jon Holt, Chief Executive of KPMG UK, said: “Manchester’s thriving tech centre is a hive of activity and the city has really established its reputation on the world’s stage as a leader in this field. Its strong business community and access to talent makes this the perfect location for us to invest as a firm."

“Our new Ignition Centre in Manchester will support a huge range of incredible businesses in the region and more widely, bringing together insights, people, and technology to accelerate innovation and help them solve some of their most complex problems."

KPMG’s Manchester office is home to 1,200 employees, including more than 260 people in technology roles. Ignition North will create jobs in the city as the firm recruits to support its new offering.

Together with its Big Four rivals PwC, Deloitte and EY, it’s part of a rare corner of the economy where hiring sprees are still the norm.

KPMG’s new Ignition hub will feature so-called sprint rooms -- spaces where employees and clients can team up for weeks and months to develop ideas. It will also include a data center where companies can test scenarios and explore real-time data.

Warren Middleton, Manchester Office Senior Partner at KPMG UK, said: “Bringing Ignition to Manchester really demonstrates the potential and growth trajectory of the office and the region more broadly. It’s been fantastic to hear the enthusiasm from our clients and stakeholders about the programme.

“When it comes to the office redesign, we believe it’s important to listen to what people want to see in the space and how they want to use it, so we will be reflecting their thoughts in the changes. Once the work has been completed, the office will feature a range of different workstations, ranging from traditional desks to collaboration tables for teams and informal ‘touch down’ spaces for people who might be in-between meetings.

“I am delighted we can make these significant changes and commitment to our Manchester office, supporting our own growth and that of our clients in the region." (With Agency Inputs)

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