Diocese buys Grade A offices to accommodate 100 staff

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THE Church of England diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales has acquired 17-19 York Place in Leeds.

Consultants Eddisons helped complete the deal, with the firm’s team in Leeds acting on behalf of the diocese to purchase the self-contained grade A office building from Bilfinger GVA, acting on behalf of LPA Receivers.

The four-storey building, which comprises three Georgian townhouses, provides 17,590 sq ft of office accommodation.

10,000 sq ft of floor area, on the top two floors and part of the ground floor, is currently vacant and will be occupied by the diocese’s resource team, which is spread across East Leeds, Wakefield, Steeton and Harrogate currently.

Part of the ground floor and first floor are let to property developer Moorgarth and construction consultancy Mace, providing an annual rental income of £82,660.

Steven Jones, associate director and head of agency at Eddisons in Leeds, said: “The client had very clear criteria for this purchase; that the property must be freehold, within 10 minutes walk of the train station and be available for occupation from late 2015.

“It is rare to find an office building in the central business district that precisely meets a client’s freehold requirements, but York Place really stood out above all the other properties we looked at and offered the diocese everything they were looking for.”

Matthew Tootell, director and head of office agency at Bilfinger GVA commented: “After a full, comprehensive marketing campaign we were very encouraged by the high level of interest shown in 17-19 York Place and also from where the interest was coming, including property companies and private individuals in London.

“However the higher bids were coming from owner occupiers in the market rather than investors or developers looking at alternative uses.”

The joint diocesan secretaries, Ashley Ellis and Debbie Child, added: “We have been looking for somewhere in Leeds which can accommodate about 100 staff and would provide meeting and training rooms, all within easy reach of the main transport links. York Place offers us just what we need, and will allow us to support parishes and schools more effectively and efficiently.”

The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales covers an area of 2,425 sq miles, made up of 471 parishes, 656 Anglican churches and 250 church schools.

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