Property round-up: Astmoor Point; Glenbrook Investments; Qure Group; Christie & Co; Mailbox; Stretford Town Centre; Marketgate Shopping Centre

Astmoor Point

A new £5.8m industrial development in Runcorn has secured its first tenant less than a month after launching.

Fast-growing chemical company, Manchester Organics, has signed a lease for 4,499 sq ft of space at Unit 9 Astmoor Point.

Chorley-based property and asset management firm, FI Real Estate Management (FIREM), only launched the nine-unit development last month but it is already attracting significant levels of interest. The lease is understood to represent a record headline rent for industrial space in Runcorn.

Astmoor Point is conveniently located beside the Mersey Gateway and totals 25,829 sq ft of prime industrial space, with units ranging from 2,666 sq ft to 10,644 sq ft. Each unit comes complete with private parking, individual loading areas and personnel access.

FIREM has also recently undertaken extensive refurbishments to a number of owned assets on the Runcorn-based Manor Park Industrial Estate. Investments include full new roof coverings, synthetic-coated floors and enhanced energy performance credentials.

Both sites form part of FIREM’s extensive 15 million sq ft portfolio of commercial property in the UK, with seven million sq ft of continuously evolving new build industrial development in the pipeline.

Tim Knowles, founder and managing director of FI Real Estate Management, said: “Astmoor Point reflects our ambition to significantly enhance the quality of industrial space in Runcorn through the provision of prime commercial units. Signing a deal that sets a new headline rent, less than a month after launching, is testament to what we have achieved.”


Glenbrook Investments has partnered with Manchester-based charging network Be.EV to install four ultra-rapid electric car chargers at St Mary’s Retail Park in Rochdale.

The eight-bay charging hub is equipped with cutting-edge Kempower chargers, which can charge a typical electric vehicle (EV) to 80% in as little as 20 minutes. Thanks to the site’s two 550kW power banks, the site is 10 times faster than the chargers currently available in Rochdale.

The state-of-the-art chargers keep track of the charge level for each vehicle and use load balancing technology to distribute power to those that require it the most.

Powered and now available for use, the project sees Glenbrook Investments join the largest public EV charging network that is connecting communities across the North of England and boasts impressive reliability – 99.6% operational availability across the entire network.

Mike Armstrong, property manager at Glenbrook, said: “This development not only supports the tenants of the retail park but also contributes to the local community. By facilitating the expansion of essential sustainable infrastructure, Glenbrook Investments aligns with its commitment to driving positive change through its investment initiatives.”

Asif Ghafoor, CEO and co-founder of Be.EV, said: “This project truly levels up the local area and will help speed up Rochdale’s transition to electric vehicles. EV ownership in the borough has been slow compared to the rest of Greater Manchester, but our work with Glenbrook will help change that.

“Retail sites are the ideal location for high quality charging facilities, and Glenbrook really understands the value of providing reliable EV chargers for drivers. Other retail developers take note, this is the gold standard of approach.”


Resolution services provider Qure Group, formerly known as QASSS, has rebranded and opened its first office in Manchester amid a period of continued growth.

After securing several new client contracts, including a major UK point of sale finance lender and one of the UK’s longest-serving trade associations, the business’s new name, Qure Group, reflects the broad range of services it offers, it said.

It has taken up a new headquarters in the Grade II-listed building, Clayton House, where the 2,573 sq ft office has the capacity to support the needs of the company’s office-based, hybrid and remote workforces.

Having worked remotely for the past two years, the newly renovated central hub will enhance the company’s internal efficiencies and aid in increased team collaboration. The office will also enable greater client interaction and play an important role in due diligence proceedings, with large clients often requiring the ability to audit Qure Group’s operations.

Ciarán Harkin, Qure Group managing director, said: “We have experienced great success over the last two years and are immensely proud of the team’s hard work and commitment to providing exceptional client care. Our new brand name and office in the heart of Manchester marks a hugely exciting step in our journey as a company.”


Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has introduced a new specialist care provider tenant to a vacant, former boys SEN school premises in Congleton, rural Cheshire.

The premises – which sit alongside the historic Buglawton Hall, a site of 16 acres – is a 20-bedroom new residential block building providing accommodation over two floors which was built in 2008 offering lodging for the children from the adjacent school. The school was previously owned by Manchester City Council and first opened in 1954 catering for children with SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) and SLD (Severe Learning Difficulty), going on to close its doors in 2017.

Following a confidential sales process through Sofia Beck at Christie & Co, the new residential block has been leased to Nestlings Care, an independent group organisation registered with the CQC and Ofsted to provide specialist therapeutic, residential placements for young people and young adults with mental health difficulties.

Sofia Beck, director – Childcare & Education, at Christie & Co, said: “Nestlings’ provision is extremely well suited to the premises and Dr Faeza Khan’s unique vision and plan for expansion across this site will offer children and young adults in need of their provision the invaluable opportunity for a more positive future. There is an ever-increasing urgent need for education to sit alongside the care package and, of course, securing premises that fit the criteria is crucial.”


Carl Brown and Kaylie Crompton

The MailBox, which was once described by its owner as ‘the ugliest building in Stockport’, has been fully transformed with apartments and an expansive, stylish multi-functional co-working space.

The final piece of the puzzle that has just been completed is a college for disabled young people embarking on their journey into adulthood, developing the skills and knowledge needed to fulfil ambitions in life and employment.

Manchester based Select Interiors (Cheshire) worked on the £750,000, six phase non-residential element of the redevelopment. This started with transforming part of the old sorting office into innovative co-working space and has just been completed with the task of repurposing a former furniture showroom into a specially designed Pure College facility.

Kaylie Crompton, head of college, said: “Pure College was launched in 2022, and we very quickly outgrew our previous space. Our new building can better accommodate the needs of our growing cohort. We have moved into a beautiful space that has been perfectly designed to consider the day to day working needs of both staff and students.”

Sustainable Losnay heat recovery units were incorporated which have 95% energy efficiency. They also offer fresh air circulation and this type of ventilation works well for neurodiverse needs as it circulates fresh air so no smells linger in the environment.

Select also completed the coworking space upstairs. The two-storey offce features 17 separate office units with a shared boardroom, kitchen and lockers. Select owner, Carl Brown, said: “Working on the Mailbox has been a joy for us as it’s an iconic landmark in Stockport that was once an eyesore and now is a great space for residents, workers and college goers. Neurodiversity is something that’s very close to my heart and it was an honour to be able to design the Pure College space and make it functional on a number of different levels.”


CGI of Stretford Town Centre plans

Following the start of the King Street and Kingsway works, Bruntwood and Trafford Council are inviting the community to share their thoughts on the latest proposals for Stretford town centre.

That includes plans for up to 800 new residential properties and further improvements to the town centre.

Residents can give their views online and in person at the Stretford Socials event at The SQ in Stretford Mall on Saturday, October 7, from 12pm to 4pm as part of the monthly community meet-up.

The event will be attended by the project team who will be discussing the proposals and listening to the community’s views. For anyone unable to attend, the proposals and survey will be available online via the Stretford Town Centre website from Friday, 6th to Sunday 15th October.

The ambitious town centre regeneration project includes plans to transform Stretford Mall into a greener, healthier and more sustainable town centre. The first phase already in progress includes reinstating the historic King Street as a revitalised high street to attract independent businesses, establishing a covered market hall to include retail, eateries and bar areas, and widespread landscaping to provide green spaces for the community to come together.

The Hybrid planning application for the scheme’s wider master plan was given the green light in March 2022, following an extensive period of consultation with the local community. The approved plans set the parameters for future redevelopment, which will provide places to play, work, eat, shop and live in Stretford town centre.

Rob Elsom, development director at Bruntwood, said: “The needs of the local community are right at the heart of the plans to transform the town centre, which is why gathering feedback on the latest stage of the ambitious project is so important to us.”

A spokesperson for Trafford Council, said: “Our regeneration masterplan for the town centre will be pivotal in helping Stretford to thrive, and most importantly, it’s been shaped by long term community engagement. We’d encourage as many local residents, organisations and businesses to attend and share their thoughts, so they can be included in the conversation as the plans evolve.”

The design team includes architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Exterior Architecture, Avison Young and Civic Engineers.


A flurry of new leasing deals have been announced at Marketgate Shopping Centre in Lancaster.

Chris Beckerman, of Roubaix Group, owner and asset manager, said the UK’s largest specialist outdoor retailer, Mountain Warehouse, has signed a 10-year lease to join the line up of retailers at Marketgate, taking on 17-19 Market Street.

Mountain Warehouse will sit in a prominent position on the Market Street entrance, occupying 3,529 sq ft of ground floor retail space.

In addition, the Lancaster shopping centre hass signed Poundland to replace New Look in the 22,000 sq ft store. Poundland is upsizing from its existing store in the city to agree a new 10-year lease.

New leases have also recently been agreed with existing tenants, Meet the Makers and Designer Clearance, with both committing to longer lease terms, reflecting positive trade over the past year.

Finally, a new tenant has signed up for Slip Inn Lane, with sushi restaurant and takeaway, Sushi Cat, completing a new six-year lease, complementing the food and beverage offering, joining the likes of Caffè Nero and popular local restaurant, Vincenzo’s.

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