Branding and digital agency AHOY have today announced their expansion into Liverpool’s Commercial District, with offices in the trading rooms of the Grade II-listed Cotton Exchange.

The news comes as more and more creative businesses are moving to the District, taking advantage of the Commercial District BID’s continued efforts in developing and improving the area.

AHOY’s founder, Mark Stringer, spent three months researching suitable Northern cities that would fit with the agency’s culture and allow them to leverage their food & drink, hospitality and fashion portfolio. Liverpool came out as the obvious choice for the agency, with bonus of Antonio Giansante, one of AHOY’s Account Directors, being from Merseyside.

The decision to move into the Cotton Exchange (a Bruntwood property) was based on a mixture of good location, competitive rent, beautiful rooms with parquet flooring, as well as a refurbished historic hall and a large, contemporary roof garden that will serve as networking space.

Mark Stringer, Managing Director of AHOY said: “As an agency, we’ve spent a lot of time at Liverpool over the past few months and been warmly welcomed by a host of lovely business people in the process.

We’ve just gotten the feeling that Liverpool is a city that’s not afraid to try something new. It’s an unorthodox and fearless city that perfectly fits with our ‘Brands of Tomorrow’ mantra, encompassing businesses that genuinely challenge the norm. We will look to grow our Liverpool presence slowly but surely, self-funding it along the way. Of course, if we get offers of investment, things could grow much quicker, and the flexibility of the Cotton Exchange means we could easily move to a bigger space in the future.”

Antonio Giansante, Account Director at AHOY said: “I grew up in Merseyside and went to Liverpool John Moores University too. There is a lot of chatter in the business press linking Manchester and Liverpool, and we have put our money where our mouth is and taken a risk making that link more tangible. This is a dream situation for me – I love Manchester, but now I get to return home with the backing of one of the best branding agencies in the North West.”

Colin Forshaw, Head of Property at Bruntwood said: “We’re delighted that a digital agency as innovative as AHOY have joined the ever growing creative community in the Cotton Exchange, at the heart of our Cotton Quarter scheme. It’s great to have AHOY onboard!”