Doug Tweedie MRICS

At first I felt quite flattered when FHP asked me to front a new Birmingham office for them. Having spent nearly 15 years working in the city and the West Midlands region, most recently as head of Cushman & Wakefield’s retail and leisure team, I knew that the opportunity to join FHP was one I couldn’t turn down.

Opening the Birmingham city office has been a natural step for FHP, having established a market leading business in the East Midlands, building on a strong base of clients in the West Midlands, and making the most of the opportunities this growing city has to offer, it’s a really exciting time to be part of it all.

Officially opening the 122 Colmore Row office on Valentine’s Day was a proud moment, and a sure sign that if FHP were going to expand into the West Midlands, they were going to do it properly.

The first quarter has been a great success. We’ve had great support from our clients, winning six Shopping Centre leasing mandates in Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Mansfield, Stourbridge, Wolverhampton and Derby, adding to other key current instructions such as Intu Derby, Victoria Centre and Broadmarsh in Nottingham.

Our portfolio of out of town and roadside development instructions continues to expand with Stove Works in Leamington Spa, and further instructions in Burton Upon Trent and Mansfield. Leisure wise we have recently secured two great operators in Franco Manca and Flight Club, both of which are new to Birmingham, and our High Street leasing and investment portfolio continues to strengthen with instructions in Cheltenham, Birmingham city centre and Coventry. I’m also excited to be launching the retail and leisure element of a new mixed use development in Birmingham city centre later this year.

We really couldn’t have asked for more in terms of our Birmingham launch, and look forward to developing the business further, and in different areas.

Whilst the retail and leisure sectors have had a somewhat bumpy ride over the last couple of years, it’s still a hugely important part of the world we live in and presents so many opportunities to existing owners, or developers who remain keen to explore anything with an angle.

It’s also great to see clients becoming more receptive to trying something a bit different in terms of the offer, be it a mixed use development, High Street or Shopping Centre environment. All in all the customer (as all of us are) will benefit massively from change being delivered in the sector, and being at the forefront of it all is very exciting.