There has been a noticeable increase in activity
in the commercial property market of Cheshire
in the past year with Warrington and Birchwood
Park standing out.
Other parts of the county have also seen activity,
as shown by JLL being appointed to manage the
Winsford Cross Shopping Centre which has been
recently acquired by Cheshire West and Chester
Council (yet another example of the trend of local
government purchasing shopping centres).
The council bought the 20,446 sqmetres (220,000
sq ft) centre to help unlock the potential for a
comprehensive development of the town centre.
Jordan Jeffery of JLL said: “Winsford is set to go
through some exciting changes over the next few
years, with inward investment from many different
sectors supporting its regeneration”.
At the former Hooton Park Airfield, Ellesmere
Port, a 4,754 sq metres (51,173 sq ft) aircraft
hangar built in 1940 and used to service RAF aircraft,
is on the market through Fisher Gorman whose
Julian Mellis said: “It has excellent storage space
suitable for a range of uses, subject to planning”.
Hooton Park is adjacent to the Vauxhall car plant,
and is in a convenient location close to the M53.
Commercial Property Register
June - September 2018www.compropregister.com
The next phase of Orbit’s Linkway West development of a leisure complex in St Helens has started
with construction for a Superbowl twelve lane, ten pin bowling facility.
This will enhance the existing retailing with the new £1.8 million bowling alley.
Orbit’s Paul Hubball said: “The Linkway West scheme has been challenging from the outset, including
the remediation of a contaminated site which has been vacant for years, with the aim of making it a space
that can be used and enjoyed by the public. We are extremely close to offering a leisure scheme for local
residents to enjoy.”
St Helens Council Leader, Barrie Grunewald, said: “We know that the regeneration of our town centre
is top of most residents’ wish lists and I can assure those residents that this is one of the council’s biggest
In his view a bowling alley will help attract families to live and shop in St Helens, thus boosting the local
Manchester has a long
thinking that has made it
such a strong business centre
- from the free traders such
as John Bright through to the
This deep perception
of their strength continues
to play a vital role in the
performance of the city and
the North West which is amply
shown by so many sectors,
such as sport and music apart
from business and finance.
The city hasmade a historic
leap in the past decade, it
would seem, from major UK
city to a global status that
continues to feed growth and
pull in foreign investment,
notably from China.
At the moment the mood
is more settled and steady,
rather than buoyant but with
an underlining strength as the
business district expands its
boundaries and more people
live in the city as residential
Looking ahead, there is
no reason why the economy
should not continue to grow
steadily because Manchester
has the right ingredients for
this, not least being a thriving
media industry (maybe with
Channel 4’s HQ) and avast
Media City to cope with it.
Technology is a strong as
anywhere in Europe and a
mark of the city’s attractions
is the high percentage of
graduates that remain living
there after leaving university.
Gone are the days when
they moved south in large
An indication of the current
confident mood in Manchester is
that the big NOMA development
is moving along with a contractor
appointed for the £34 million
refurbishment of Hanover, a
city centre warehouse.
It is being remodelled to provide
8,434 sq.metres (91,000sq.ft.
Grade A offices and 1,672 sq.metres
) of retail and leisure.
The developers, Hermes and the
Co-op, hope to attract technology
and creative companies to the property
in the emerging district for innovative
businesses. Ben Tolhurst of Hermes
said: “Hanover will offer prime
heritage space that will appeal to
businesses wanting the connectivity
to Victoria station and the amenities
offered by the Northern Quarter”.
On the move
One of the more interesting
deals in Manchester brought
the largest Indian bicycle maker
to the city to open a £2 million
Hero Cycles produces one in 20
of all the bikes produced in the world
and is now likely to open a production
plant in the city, which is well known
for being the home of British Cycling.
Ideally, Hero would like to supply its
top bikes to the UK team.
Pankaj Munjal, Hero’s Chairman,
pointed to Manchester’s history of
innovation, citing computers and
graphene as examples, as another
reason for the move, together with
the large student population.
Hero already owns Avocet, a
Manchester based bike designer that
FOR THE CITY
If any company has influenced
the life of a major city, then
surely it has to be Peel with its
huge scheme for Liverpool
following on from the magic
it has created in Salford.
This is evident from JLL whose
Stephen Hogg said: “Growth in
Liverpool, in part led by
regeneration schemes such as
Peel’s £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters
and the new £1 billion knowledge
quarter, is drawing further interest
from institutional investors”.
Such is the success of the office
market that HMRC’s leasing of the
32,515 sq.metres (350,000sq.ft
India Building, which is owned
by Shelborn Asset Management,
has created something of a
The problem has been caused
by the city’s success in the past year
which has taken so much out of
the market through lettings and
conversion to residential while
developers sat on their hands so
that a shortage became inevitable.
Noting the shortage of available
space, Ian Steele of GVA said:
“Given the current levels of
demand and absorption rates, it is
likely that this supply will diminish
within the next 6 to 12 months,
leaving the city without any
buildings that can offer occupiers
large Grade A floorplates”.
He added that this is likely to
reduce future levels of demand as
well as Liverpool’s ability to attract
large scale inward investment.
One major scheme going ahead
is in Lime Street, with ISG set to
deliver the £39 million mixed use
project for a partnership of Neptune
Developments, Liverpool City
Council and Sigma Capital on a site
owned by the Curlew Student Trust.
The scheme will have 5 retail
units, a 10 storey building of
student accommodation with 412
units and a Premier Inn with 101
bedrooms. Andy McLinden of ISG
commented: “The Lim Stre t area
has been in desperate need of a
catalyst scheme to revitalise this
key thoroughfar near the centre
of the city. The mixed use scheme
represents the first phase of the
knowledge quarter master plan
and is a hugely important regional
project that will enhance the
character and aspiration of this
key gateway in the city”.
Through boom and bust,
Manchester continues to
perform as it follows the long
settled path of being a
world-class city to match its
soccer teams and music scene.
The ambition is being stepped
up at MIPIM with an enlarged
corporate participation in a pavilion
on the Croissete. The market is also
holding up in all areas with the city
centre notching up a big take up figure again and steady
performances in Warrington, south Manchester and Salford Quays
to complete the picture.
The outlook for new development in the city centre is favourable,
particularly because of a shortage of prime stock and further indicated
by the forward momentum of the major NOMA scheme by the
Co-op and Hermes. Bew development is also occurring elsewhere in
the region, such as another town centre project in Rochdale.
An important par of the equation is that former Chancellor of
the Exchequer, Georg Osborne’s enthusiasm for the Northern
Powerhouse is continuing with sufficient energy b hind the
campaign to make it work.
The other important dimension is that Liverpool ppears to have
broken out of the decades long cycl of decli e and has lots of
positive things happening in the economy and property industry.
The fact that it has a growing city centre populati n of young
professionals surely says something about its attractions.
are hosting an open
day on Friday 17th March to
howcas 910 Birchwood Boulevard
Business Park, their latest
refurbishment of an 8,500sq.ft.
detached office building in
Birchwood, Warrington and also to
discuss further plans for Birchwood
Boulevard Business Park. All are
welcome - contact the agents,
BE Group or Knight Frank.
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