Property round-up: Fleetwood Trust; Lovell Partnerships; New Care; OTB Legal; Liverpool Office Agents Forum

Work under way at Fleetwood Trust Youth Hub

The next phase of redevelopment at a former hospital site is set to open next month.

Some eight organisations and charities are currently operating from The Hub – a former NHS hospital in Fleetwood – thanks to an ambitious scheme to transform the property led by the Fleetwood Trust.

Now, the next phase of the redevelopment work – the creation of a dedicated youth hub – is progressing with the £1m project expected to be completed in June.

Once up and running the Fleetwood Trust Youth Hub will offer a bright open space for younger people to help them to gain confidence and skills so that they can enjoy a bright and positive future.

Lord Tom McNally, Chair of the Fleetwood Trust’s Board of Trustees, said: “I think we are all delighted with the number of organisations already operating from The Hub and the positive effect that this is having upon the whole area.

“This next phase of the building’s redevelopment is particularly exciting and it’s fantastic to see how much is happening. We are on track to complete the work this summer.”

He added: “The Youth Hub has been co-designed with young people themselves. Their input into the layout and facilities it could provide in the future has been invaluable.”

The Fleetwood Trust is a charity formed in 2018 to breathe new life into the Fleetwood Hospital building.

Completed sections of the hub are already home to the NHS, Blackpool & Fylde College, The Pantry Food Bank, Regenda Homes, Healthier Fleetwood, Macmillan Cancer Care, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Volunteer Centre and other groups.

Located on the ground floor of the Pharos Street building, the youth hub will have a dedicated entrance so that it can operate separately when required – a feature that young people in the area felt would work well.

Charley Wilkinson, Fleetwood Trust CEO, said: “The transformation of this building represents a significant redevelopment project and the phased approach means that the vital services and organisations that are now embedded here in the heart of the community are already making a difference.

“The youth hub is taking shape superbly and we’re starting to really see the plans coming to life as each week goes by. It will represent a brand new chapter for children and young people in Fleetwood – something we are all incredibly passionate about.”


Lovell completes on affordable Wirral scheme

National regeneration housebuilder, Lovell Partnerships, has completed the final handover at its Fiveways redevelopment project in Wirral, a partnership with Wirral Council and housing association Riverside.

The multimillion-pound regeneration had been brought forward as a Housing Market Renewal site, a government initiative that aimed to renew and restructure housing markets in the North and Midlands.

Located on the former Fiveways estate in Rock Ferry, work has been delivered in three phases. The area has been transformed with the creation of 283 homes including properties for sale, rent and shared ownership.

Tahreen Shad, regional partnerships director at Lovell, said: “This project has been a significant undertaking with hugely successful results, helping to regenerate this area and creating a place for communities to thrive.

“Our team acquired the project through a tendering process, and we have been able to use our expertise in Housing Market Renewal and brownfield regeneration to bring this forward. Working alongside Wirral Council and Riverside has demonstrated the power of collaboration and is testament to our strength of working alongside local authorities and housing associations.”

The completion builds on the success of the completed Fountain Court development in Tranmere, consisting of 75 homes – 55 new houses, eight bungalows and a dozen new flats built on five sites around Church Road.

Lovell has also recently been granted planning permission to start work at the former Foxfield School site in Moreton, for 66 affordable homes in partnership with Onward housing association.

The school that previously occupied the site closed in 2015 when a replacement facility was built on New Hey Road in Woodchurch. The development will consist of a mix of Mews and semi-detached homes with two-, three-, and four-bedrooms available on a variety of tenures including shared ownership, affordable rent and Rent-to-Buy.

Marc Cole, interim director of regeneration and place at Wirral Council, said: “The council is pleased to mark completion of the final stage in the delivery of this transformational housing initiative, providing much-needed high quality, energy efficient affordable homes for the area.”

Nick Jones, director of development and growth at Riverside, said: “We want to thank Homes England (the government’s housing and regeneration agency) for their funding and support in the delivery of these homes through our strategic partnership.”


Dominic Kay, New Care Chair, at the Bowdon site

Build is now officially under way on a new state-of-the-art £20m care facility on the site of the former Mercure Hotel in Bowdon, with practical completion confirmed for May 2025.

At the start of the year Altrincham-based New Care began remediation works on the site, including demolition of much of the old hotel. Over the course of the past few weeks work has gathered pace and construction has now started on the foundations of the new care home.

Helping to increase the provision of quality beds in Trafford, New Care’s ‘new generation’ care facility is purpose-built to deliver the highest standards of care in a safe and stylish home-from-home environment, it says.

The care home will feature 51 bedrooms, each with its own private wet room. Residents will be encouraged to personalise their bedrooms with soft furnishings from home. There will also be several stylish communal lounges and dining rooms, along with a nail bar and hairdresser. There will also be landscaped grounds with secure garden and outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy.

Residents will receive individual person-centred compassionate care enhanced with a meaningful programme of daily activities from a permanent and highly skilled professional team.

With a portfolio of 15 well established care facilities across the UK, this is the latest care facility for the company in Trafford, complementing Ashlands Manor in Sale, and it is New Care’s 11th care home in the North West.

Dawn Collett, Commissiong Director at New Care, said: “The foundations will soon be complete, which means the brickwork can commence, and it won’t be long before the shell of the building will be seen above the hoarding. All is on track for practical completion in May 2025, which is great news.”

Bowdon is the latest new care facility for New Care. The operator also has another care home under construction in Herne Bay. Principal contractor, McGoff Construction – New Care’s sister company and also part of the McGoff Group – is managing all build programmes.


Hannah Bowers outside Bloc

OTB Legal, a Nottingham-based UK immigration law firm, has announced a new Manchester base as it continues to expand its offering across the country.

The firm, which is ranked as a top tier immigration law firm in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, will be based at Bloc on Marble Street.

With demand increasing for immigration services in the region, OTB Legal’s Marcus Worthington says the time is right to expand the offering north.

He said: “Expanding our leading immigration team into Manchester is a strategic move aimed at better serving our clients in the area.

“Manchester’s vibrant and diverse community provides an excellent backdrop for us to deepen our connections with individuals and businesses navigating complex immigration laws.”

He adde: “Our expansion into Manchester aligns with the city’s role as a magnet for talent and investment, positioning us to provide crucial guidance and advice as clients navigate the evolving landscape of immigration regulations and pursue their business and personal goals.”

The Manchester office will act as a northern hub for OTB Legal’s growing team. Hannah Bowers, OTB Legal’s marketing manager, said: “We have a thriving and growing team and have plans for further growth in terms of expansion across the UK. I am based here at Bloc and the space is fantastic. It has a vibrancy to it that I know our team will love and I can’t wait to welcome them here.”


Exchange Flags

Vacant office space acquired in Liverpool in the first quarter of 2024 has more than doubled from the same time last year, thanks, in part, to the rise of the gaming industry in the city.

Figures released by the Liverpool Office Agents Forum (LOAF) showed 95,905 sq ft of space was transacted across 24 deals in Q1 – a 132% increase from the 41,171 sq ft of space let in Q1 2023.

A significant proportion of the activity was driven by companies within the gaming, creative and professional sectors, with game developer Wushu Studios behind the biggest move of the quarter after taking on 13,320 sq ft of space at Walker House, in Exchange Flags.

Gabriel Davies, Associate at Fisher German and Chair of LOAF, felt the figures delivered on the promising signs of the market in 2023. He said: “Q4 2023 ended on a positive note with 116,000 sq ft of offices being transacted, this positive sentiment has continued in the first part of this year and demonstrates that occupiers remain eager to be located in the city.

Gabriel Davies

“Seeing more than 95,000 sq ft of office space transacted in Liverpool is a fantastic result for a first quarter – it’s actually more than was achieved in the first six months of 2023.”

He added: “While the games industry has played a key part in an excellent Q1, other creative sectors such as music, and more traditional Liverpool sectors like shipping, have also contributed strongly. Sentric Music took 13,000 sq ft at Walker House, while international shipping firm, Hapag Lloyd, moved into 8,858 sq ft of space at No 1 St Paul’s Square.

“We’re hopeful that this performance continues into 2024 as more occupiers value having high quality office space in prime locations.”

Mark Worthington, of Worthington Owen, said: “We have had a good run for the past six months and it is particularly pleasing to see the growing importance of knowledge-based companies in driving demand.

“We anticipate take-up for 2024 to be solid but not spectacular and the primary obstacle going forward is the lack of investment in new office space within the business area.”

LOAF is made up of Fisher German, CBRE, Avison Young, Worthington Owen, Mason Owen, Keppie Massie, Mason Partners, Eddisons, Hitchcock Wright & Partners, LM6, SK Real Estate, and B1 Real Estate.

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