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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Big Lottery Fund signs lease at Apex House, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Birmingham has hit the jackpot with the largest city centre office letting in almost three years.

Wrenbridge, the Palmer Capital Partners backed development company, has signed up Big Lottery Fund, advised by DTZ, for its high profile, 58,000 sq ft Apex House in Edgbaston.

The high-spec landmark building will become a new operational centre for the Big Lottery Fund - the UK's largest distributor of lottery good cause money. The expansion is a result of the Fund's decision to establish key operational centres in Birmingham and Newcastle to take the lead in distributing lottery cash, a role previously carried out in London and eight other regional centres.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of Big Lottery Fund, said this investment in the region was a positive outcome of the Lyons Review, which identified and promoted the relocation of civil service jobs from London and the South East.

He commented: "We opened our Newcastle office in May and have looked at several other cities across England as potential locations for a second new centre. We were very impressed with Birmingham's many facilities, its excellent transport links and high calibre employment potential."

Big Lottery Fund plans to re-locate to Apex House in December. The move will bring up to 200 new jobs to the city and comes within a month of The Gambling Commission setting up its national offices in Victoria Square House, Birmingham city centre.

Jamie Hockaday, Development Director at Wrenbridge responsible for the original acquisition and letting, said Big Lottery Fund was attracted to the building for a number of reasons including its excellent location, extensive car parking facilities and because the headline rent represented a discount of almost 15 per sq ft on prime alternative locations in the city centre with no compromise on specification.

Alex Price, Fund Manager of the 200m Palmer Capital Development Fund, which financed the development, said: "We are delighted to have secured such a prestigious tenant and we believe the project will generate exceptional returns to our investors."

David Tonks, head of Birmingham office agency DTZ, who advised Big Lottery Fund on their move to Apex House, said: "The deal represents the largest office letting in central Birmingham for almost three years and is a massive boost for the Edgbaston office market.

"We are confident it will act as a catalyst for major investment in the area where plans currently being considered include a major new shopping centre providing 160,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, a 100 bedroom extension to the Marriott Hotel and 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities."