North West Issue 84
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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 2018





your Leisure

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




Pankhurst family.

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

districts grow.

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 a


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 (91,000


) of

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

design centre.

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




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 (350,000



India Building, which is owned

by Shelborn Asset Management,

has created something of a

supply crisis.

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.



Frankel Brow

are hosting an open

day on Friday 17th March to

howcas 910 Birchwood Boulevard

Business Park, their latest

refurbishment of an 8,500


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.

NW Editorial March 2017:Layout 1 6/3/17 16:04 Page 4