Property round-up: LFC; The Hub; Preston College; Northern Trust; fresh; Capital& Centric; Burley Browne; ECD Architects

The Huyton warehouse

Acting on behalf of clients of Swiss Life Asset Managers UK, B8RE has completed the disposal of a single let logistics warehouse in Huyton.

Let to Liverpool Football Club, the site has been sold to an institutional investor. The 94,000 sq ft unit benefited from 4.25 years term certain at a rent reflecting £5.02 psf and offering good reversion.

The asset attracted strong interest, resulting in two rounds of competitive bidding and achieving a significant premium to the quoting price of £6.78m, 6.50%.

John Burrows, Investment Director at B8RE, said: “Having advised on the acquisition of the asset in 2016, B8RE are delighted to have remained involved throughout the client’s ownership, cumulating in the successful disposal at a premium to our quoting price.

“The strong interest generated demonstrates that significant investor demand remains for well specified assets, let to strong covenants in core locations.

“This is exacerbated by the current lack of industrial investment stock available within the market, restricting the opportunities available to investors.”

B8RE acted on behalf of Swiss Life Asset Managers UK.

Leo Nicholson, of Gerald Eve, acted on behalf of the purchaser.


A new co-working space, named The Hub, has opened in Flynn House, Bramhall.

The Hub boasts eight fully furnished spaces for freelancers and remote employees to work in a modern office environment. It is located within Flynn House, and users of the space will have full access to the shared facilities, a fully equipped kitchen, complementary snacks and refreshments, high-speed Wi-Fi, air conditioning during the warmer months and heating during winter.

Owner, Darren McHugh, said: “We have created a new space in Flynn House where freelancers, remote workers and people can come to work without the commitment of leasing an office. Whether it’s one day a week, a couple of days a month, or just a one-off, The Hub provides flexibility to those wanting a space to work for the day.

“Conveniently located in the heart of Bramhall, the office space is less than one minute’s walk to independent coffee shops, bustling cafes, quaint bookstores, large car parks, and local supermarkets. Thanks to this central location, The Hub has convenient access to major transportation routes.”

The Hub’s individual pods are available to book daily for £20, with an introductory offer of £15 per day.

Darren added: “This is the first of its kind in Bramhall. We have seen many co-working spaces open up in Manchester and in bigger towns nearby, but we feel this type of space would thrive here in Bramhall.”

As well as the brand-new Hub with spaces which can be booked on an ad hoc basis, Flynn House also has two spacious meeting rooms available to hire by the hour, for half a day or a full day. Also, the last three offices in the newly transformed Flynn House are available to rent.


CGI of Preston College scheme

Work has started on a new £1.4m centre at Preston College that will help to create the next generation of digital experts across a range of employment sectors.

The development is being project managed by Preston-based architecture, design and masterplanning practice FWP.

Once completed it will provide a home for T-Level courses in a range of digital and creative subjects, including media production, accounting, games design and digital production, design and development.

The project will see the transformation of existing music, recording and changing facilities in the Visual, Performing Arts and Digital (VPAD)School on the Fulwood campus, into cutting-edge digital suites, creative and design studios, and a gaming testing room.

The building work is being carried out by Longridge-based construction company Carefoot and is scheduled to be completed by the first week in August.

It is the second major Preston College refurbishment involving FWP, using funds granted to the college by the Department for Education as part of the development of T-Level courses.

Kate Simmons, associate at FWP, which is headquartered in Preston and has offices in Manchester and London, said: “We’ve remodelled spaces in the existing VPAD building on campus and the result will be an accessible, modern, state-of-the-art facility perfect for developing and nurturing creativity.”

Mike Turner, associate at FWP, said: “The transformation of Preston College’s facility will be a game changer for their students. FWP’s design includes flexible learning spaces and collaborative workstations which will provide an immersive and interactive learning experience for students to thrive in the digital age.”


Allscott Heath, Northern Trust site with planning permission for up to 470 homes

Chorley-based Northern Trust Company has rebranded its in-house strategic land business, Metacre, to Northern Trust Land. This strategic move aims to align the subsidiary with the overarching Northern Trust brand and enhance its visibility in the market.

Northern Trust Land says it has an impressive track record of achieving planning consents for its own and third party landowners’ sites.

John Tootell, Head of Strategic Land at Northern Trust Company Ltd, said: “This change not only reflects our commitment to streamlining our operations under the Northern Trust name but also signifies our dedication to providing exceptional strategic land solutions. The rebrand to Northern Trust Land, alongside the release of our new website, marks an exciting chapter for us as we continue to innovate and drive growth in the land promotion sector.”



Global brand experience agency fresh has taken on new headquarters this month in a prime Manchester city centre location overlooking the town hall in Albert Square.

In its 20th year, and after more than a decade in South Manchester, fresh has finally found its home in Manchester. Its new hybrid working space provides a flexible environment for its team of more than 80 people to work, host client and team presentations and workshops in the building’s purpose-built auditorium and soak up everything the city’s creative community has to offer.

CEO, Lee Harris, said: “We are incredibly excited about our relocation to Manchester city centre. Our new hybrid office in Albert Square supports our fresh green promise with excellent public transport links. We’re proud to be moving to a Bruntwood building, who are collaborating with Manchester Climate Change Agency to develop new building standards, supporting the Greater Manchester Local Energy Market initiative.”

The move will drive the agency’s future creative strategy which its Chief Creative Officer Stuart Whittle is leading: “With creativity being the beating heart of fresh, Manchester couldn’t be a better fit, immersing us in rich culture and artistic influence at every turn. Being bystanders isn’t our style; we’re influencers, and this move puts us in prime position to do just that.”


A first look of the overhaul of Wigan’s brutalist civic centre has been released, as the team behind the project reveal it aims to make it one of the town’s most sustainable workplaces.

Social impact developers, Capital&Centric, has given a sneak peek of what the project, dubbed ‘Civic’, will look like once complete next year. Enabling works are now done, with construction set to start next month. The team is aiming for the workspace to achieve an EPC A energy efficiency rating and be BREEAM ‘excellent’ – viewed as the gold standard for best practice in sustainable design.

Civic is set to feature a raft of sustainability features such as smart, high-efficiency lighting to reduce energy consumption and electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage to encourage active travel and improve air quality in Wigan’s centre. Introduction of lush gardens and planting – as seen in the first look artist impressions – will see biodiversity at the site increased by more than 500%.

The first Civic workspaces are expected to be available as early as summer 2025, with initial expressions of interest already being taken.

John Moffat, Joint Managing Director at Capital&Centric, said: “Concrete 70s buildings like Civic really divide opinion and too often they’re flattened in favour of new-build. But, with the mission to reach net zero emissions, overhauling existing buildings has to be the first choice. But we’re not relying on the carbon savings when compared to the alternative, we’re reducing the operating emissions by about 40% and packing the building with smart technology to further reduce energy consumption.”

Aidan Thatcher, Director of Place at Wigan Council, said: “This redevelopment will bring this iconic building back to life and create a modern and sustainable workplace of choice in our town centre. This is an innovative project to restore an old building, give it a renewed purpose, and ensure it is fit for the future.”


Tytherington Shopping Centre

Commercial property consultancy, Burley Browne, has been instructed to manage a popular retail parade in a Cheshire town.

The West Midlands-based company will provide a full range of property management services at Tytherington Shopping Centre, Brocklehurst Way, in Macclesfield, on behalf of a national investment company which owns the development.

The retail parade of eight units includes a convenience store, veterinary practice, dry cleaners, takeaway and pharmacy.

Burley Browne’s property management team will deliver proactive day to day management of the property, rent, service charge and insurance demand and collection, tenant management, property maintenance, administer service charge budgets and reconciliations, and advise on lease related matters.

James Merrick, joint managing director of Burley Browne and head of professional services, said: “We are thrilled to have won the property management instruction at Tytherington Shopping Centre. This success clearly demonstrates the strength of our growing property management division which is being recognised across the country and not just in our traditional West Midlands heartland.”


James Traynor

Sustainable architectural practice, ECD Architects, has opened its first office in England outside London, in Preston.

As a practice specialising in energy-conscious design, the opening of this office is in response to demand outside the capital for its low energy, low environmental impact design services, and aims to create up to 25 jobs over the next five years.

Currently retrofitting more than 10,000 homes through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), including large schemes in York and Newcastle, ECD works with local authorities, housing associations, government departments and developers throughout the UK, and the new Preston office will provide an efficient service for the north’s exciting regeneration schemes.

ECD is also providing expertise on building safety and cladding remediation projects, including tower blocks, viable decarbonisation and Passivhaus – the company has a Passivhaus Certifier in house and 25% of its operational staff are Passivhaus designers.

James Traynor, RIBA architect, author and Managing Director of ECD Architects, said: “Our new Preston base links our existing offices in London and Glasgow and means we can act on the imminent requirement for sustainable housing, retrofit and cladding remediation at scale in the North. The Levelling Up fund is turbocharging regeneration here – as a northerner myself, I’m excited to be back, see what is happening and be part of this change.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...