Manchester’s landmark first skyscraper is up for sale

New life for the CIS Tower?

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 28th June 2022

The first skyscraper ever built in Manchester has gone up for sale.

The CIS Tower is a familiar pillar of the city centre skyline, standing in the NOMA development near Manchester Victoria and the Northern Quarter.

The 26-storey building was previously home to Cooperative Insurance but is currently vacant.

Built in the 1960s, the Grade II-listed tower was briefly the tallest building in the UK.

Last year, the building was relaunched as ‘vertical community’ Society, promising to deliver the ‘best working environment in the city’.


The hunt is now on to find a new owner for this landmark commercial property, which will have food, drink and retail space at street level as well as 143,527 sq ft of workspace in the tower, and a further 207,379 sq ft in the podium element.

Marketing materials from Castlebrooke Investments, BSB (Bampton Satchwell Bull) and Colliers state: “Society has been designed to provide a vibrant stimulating working environment at the heart of Manchester’s most exciting district.


“The design philosophy has been to respond to occupiers needs and aspirations – both “work and play”, and create a “vertical community” that connects to the wider community and is accessible to all.

The CIS Tower in Manchester city centre, now known as Society. Credit: SocietyMCR

“The creation of such an iconic building whilst cognisant of technical and operational needs in the form of best design guidance – has responded to create a place of enjoyment and fulfilment which will help in attracting and retaining talent and a place that occupiers customers and partners will enjoy.”

A spokesperson from Castlebrooke said: “Castlebrooke has worked strategically alongside core stakeholders to put measures in place to deliver what is now believed to be the best ‘oven ready’ redevelopment opportunity in Manchester.


“The global prestige and iconic reputation of the former CIS Tower, alongside Castlebrooke’s compelling vision for the scheme, has brought about interest from investors/developers across the globe.

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“As such, we believe now is the right time to offer the opportunity up to one of the many interested parties to take the asset forward.”

At the time the Society plans were revealed last year, Sir Richard Leese, then-leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This is a landmark site with a proud history which has been honoured through Castlebrooke’s sympathetic redevelopment programme.

“Society complements the established neighbourhood of vibrant communities in this part of the city and marks an exciting new era for the building and a creative re-imagining of an established working environment, which Manchester’s business community will no doubt embrace.”

Featured image: SocietyMCR