Regional arm contributes to construction giant’s progress

Warrington Time Square

Urban regenerator and property development company, Muse Developments, which has offices in Manchester, London, Leeds and Glasgow, has contributed to year-end results released today (February 20), by parent company Morgan Sindall Group, the construction and regeneration group.

Morgan Sindall delivered strong profit growth in 2019, with profit before tax up 10% to £88.6m on revenue of £3,071m, up three per cent.

In addition, the group’s balance sheet remains strong, with average daily net cash in the year increasing to £109m and year-end net cash of £193m.

With its secured workload up 14% to £7.6bn, the group is well-positioned for future growth and another good year of progress is expected in 2020.

Muse had a strong year continuing to deliver innovative new places through collaborative partnerships across the UK.

The company currently has 17 projects on site, with a gross development value of £750m, and is expecting to commence construction on a further 18 projects in 2020.

Planning consent was achieved on eight projects with a total development value of £550m at Cheadle Royal, Canning Town, Millbay, Hucknall, Leeds, Brentford and Salford.

The company’s order book and forward development pipeline now stands at £2.3bn, including three major new projects secured in Slough, Rotherham and the Wirral, of which Muse’s share totals a gross development value of £400m.

Muse was also selected as preferred developer for a Grade A office development at City Park in Bradford.

More than 1,000 new homes are currently under construction within Muse’s portfolio, across a variety of tenures, including private sale, build to rent and affordable.

Matt Crompton, managing director at Muse, said: “2019 was another strong year for Muse, with performance in line with expectations and significant progress on many of our key regeneration schemes across the UK.

“We continue to collaborate with our partners to create innovative new places, bringing together the best of the public and private sector to deliver real transformational change and maximise social impact.

“One of our key focus areas going forward is working closely with local authorities to help them ‘re-imagine’ their high streets by looking at alternative, complementary, sustainable uses for town centres.

“We already have a strong track record of creating vibrant new places, specifically designed to serve their local communities.”

He added: “Some of the year’s highlights include another major pre-let and forward funding deal at our flagship industrial and distribution development, Logic Leeds, six complementary phases under construction and numerous new occupiers at Salford Central, plus residential sales in Brixton, Brentford, Manchester, Plymouth and Stockton-on-Tees.”

Some of Muse’s key developments in the North West include:

  • Time Square, which is being delivered in partnership with Warrington Borough Council, is repurposing a key part of Warrington town centre into a vibrant leisure destination and civic hub. 2019 saw the main leisure phase complete, with Cineworld opening its state-of-the-art 13-screen multiplex experience, as well as The Botanist launching a flagship bar and restaurant. This year will see a European-style market hall, Warrington Borough Council’s new 103,000 sq ft civic office and public spaces completing at scheme.
  • The £650m Salford Central regeneration project which is transforming 50 acres of the city’s historic core. Five projects are currently under construction, including office schemes Two New Bailey Square and Three New Bailey, as well as residential developments Valette Square, Atelier and the third phase of build to rent apartments at The Slate Yard. Riverside House, a beautifully-restored historic building converted into high-quality office space, completed towards the end of last year. It is now fully let and was recently sold to Legal & General’s UK Property Fund. The scheme is being delivered by The English Cities Fund – a joint venture between Muse, Homes England and Legal & General, in partnership with Salford Council.
  • Stockport Exchange – construction is nearing completion on 2 Stockport Exchange, a new 60,000 sq ft office building due to complete in Spring. The wider £145m regeneration scheme is being delivered in partnership with Stockport Council and has already delivered a 1,000-space multi-storey car park, 50,000 sq ft office and extensive public realm and highway improvements. Global chemical company, BASF, is the latest occupier to announce they are taking space at the scheme, after signing a lease for 21,500 sq ft for their UK headquarters.
  • Wirral Growth Company – 2019 saw legal agreements completed between Wirral Council and Muse, forming a new 50:50 joint venture to deliver a major regeneration vision across the borough. One of the first projects will focus on Birkenhead town centre, where the first phase of consultation is now complete and is shaping an emerging masterplan for a new business district of Grade A offices, alongside new retail/leisure space and extensive public realm improvements.

Following a continued period of expansion, Muse’s London and Manchester teams moved into new, state-of-the-art offices, embracing a new agile and collaborative working environment.