Commercial Property News

Our magazines are published bi-monthly with in-depth features and news for the commercial property industry. On this page we have the latest news to keep you constantly updated on the market. On the left hand side of the page you can search our archived news which is stored monthly.

Friday, November 18, 2023

Scottish Legal Aid Board named Scottish Employer of the Year 2005

Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), based in Edinburgh, was named Working Families/Lloyds TSB Scotland Scottish Employer of the Year 2005 at a ceremony at the Bank's headquarters in Edinburgh earlier today. Lindsay Montgomery, Chief Executive at Scottish Legal Aid Board received the award from the Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Scotland.

The Award is designed to reward innovation and creative thinking in work-life balance, spread the word on best practice and encourage pioneering approaches to improving working lives and building business success.

Lindsay Montgomery, Chief Executive at Scottish Legal Aid Board said: "We're delighted and honoured to be named Scottish Employer of the Year 2005. This Award provides the recognition that our staff and their representatives deserve for their willingness to work together to improve our business - as has been evidenced by our business measures - during a period of great change in our business. In a spirit of trust and co-operation they have worked towards a 'win-win' solution to meet our business and their personal and family needs."

Steve McDonald, head of human resources at Lloyds TSB Scotland, and one of the judges, explained why SLAB won: "Scottish Legal Aid Board really impressed us with their methodical approach to the introduction of their flexible-working policy. They undertook a highly effective pilot process, which meant that there was a clear strategy when the flexible-working policy was rolled out to all their staff this year. On-going measurement of the benefits to the business, and a thorough and effective communications strategy have been key to their success, with employees involved throughout the process."

Working Families chief executive Sarah Jackson, who chaired the judging panel said: "The Scottish Legal Aid Board won through a very strong field because they were able to demonstrate clear business benefits for their well thought through flexible working strategy. We hope that employers around Scotland will be impressed by the improved client service they are able to offer, as well as the loyalty and commitment of their staff. They send out a clear message that trusting people and treating them like adults can improve business and service delivery across the sectors."

Scottish Legal Aid Board will also be presented with their award at a UK ceremony to be held at Le Meridien, Piccadilly, London on Friday 7 December.

A special commendation was also awarded to South Lanarkshire Council in Hamilton for their partnership with employees, trades unions and the community; and for their holistic approach to enhancing the well-being of their employees as people who deliver a service to the wider community and as members of that community themselves.

Former picture house in Bradford up for grabs.

Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has been appointed to market The Marlboro, a former cinema on Carlisle Road in Bradford.

The striking 8,551 sq ft building is available freehold and may suit a variety of uses, subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents. A consent had previously been approved to extend the mezzanine floor which would have extended the useable floor space by approximately 4,000 sq ft.

Graeme Walker, property agent from LSH's Leeds office, says: "This is quite a unique opportunity. The site has been subject to controversy in the past, and has also been rebuilt following a fire. The property has been used as a cinema in the past and is now used as a wedding and function hall and is a very lucrative operation."

"It is unlikely that it will reopen as a cinema, especially with the popularity of new multiplex cinemas. But, its high profile roadside location means that a steady income is also receivable from an advertising hoarding."

The building consists of two storeys incorporating the main function hall with additional mezzanine level, service kitchen, storage rooms and offices.

Offers are invited in excess of £700,000 for the freehold interest and alternative uses can be considered subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents.

New Ryden let at Longman Industrial Estate in Inverness

Ryden has successfully let 3 Harbour Road on the Longman Industrial Estate in Inverness to leading supplier of insulation, roofing and commercial interior products, SIG Trading Ltd. This will be SIG's entry into the Inverness/Highland market as they continue their expansion throughout the country.

The warehouse unit, which extends to 13,034 sq ft, was let by Upland Developments Ltd to SIG Trading Limited on FRI terms for 15 years at £65,000 per annum reflecting £5 per square foot overall. Ryden acted for Upland Developments Ltd and SIG Trading Ltd were represented by CRCL, an English Agent.

Ryden has also concluded an assignation of the lease on Unit 4, 51 Seafield Road on the Longman Industrial Estate to Highland Industrial Supplies, a local wholesaler who has branches throughout the Highlands and whose main base is located on Seafield Road. This will allow further growth of the company's Inverness operations.

The warehouse unit, which extends to 4,015 sq ft, was assigned from Home Shopping Network (UK) to Highland Industrial Supplies and at the same time the rent review was agreed at £22,000 per annum reflecting approximately £5.50 per square foot. Ryden acted for Business Express/Home Shopping Network (UK) and Highland Industrial Supplies represented themselves.

Andrew Wilson of Ryden's Inverness office comments: "These transactions continue to demonstrate the popularity of the Longman Estate as the prime industrial location in Inverness with rental levels comparable with the other major Scottish cities".

Ayr Central to be Scottish retail hit

Ayr Central, the new £65 million 350,000sqft shopping complex will catapult Ayr to fifth strongest retail destination in Scotland, when it opens in March 2006.

The new research completed by CACI takes account of a number of factors including retailer line up, size, demographic quality and consumer loyalty to their local shopping centre. The significant factors are that loyalty will increase from 34% to over 60% and the number of shoppers coming to Ayr will increase to circa 330,000 - increasing consumer spending to £196m per year.

When trading, the centre is expected to attract an additional 400 new jobs to the area and will double the size of retail in Ayr, lifting Ayr as a shopping destination above East Kilbride, Braehead, Perth, Falkirk and Stirling in terms of quality and number of retailers.

Featuring Debenhams, H&M;, Next, Primark, Au Naturale, HMV, USC and 19 other high street names, the development is currently 70% pre-let. Debenhams, the development's flagship store, which began fitting out its shop in August 2005, will offer a mix of international brands, own brands and exclusive designer-ware when it opens for business in spring 2006.

Ayr Central is the first hybrid shopping centre to be developed in Scotland. It is essentially a retail warehouse concept behind a high street façade and all retail units are capable of taking a 100% retail trade mezzanine. Integral to the scheme is the largest single level underground car park in the UK with 495 dedicated spaces.

BCSC Conference set for Manchester in 2006

Retail property organisation BCSC will hold its 2006 Annual Conference & Retail Showcase in Manchester it was announced.

Speaking on the final day of the BCSC's 2005 Conference & Retail Showcase, which took place in Belfast, BCSC Vice President John Strachan, Head of Retail at Cushman & Wakefield Healy & Baker, said that the 2006 Conference would take place from 6-8 November.

Strachan has also named Charlie Parker, Executive Director for Regeneration at Liverpool City Council, as 2006 Conference Chairman. BCSC will announce the Conference theme and speakers next year.

Monday, November 07, 2023

Knight Frank wins massive North East England instruction

The Newcastle office of international property agents Knight Frank has secured probably the largest industrial instruction in the North East for a number of years.

LG Philips Displays, which recently announced the closure of its premises on Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham, has appointed Knight Frank to market the site. The extensive premises provide 45,491 m2 (489,668 sq ft) of factory and office space on a prominent site adjacent to the A1 of 13.54 HA (33.45 acres).

Offers are sought for the premises in excess of £5 million.

Originally built in 1971 and extended in 1995, the site at Belmont has been LG Philips' main UK facility for the production of cathode ray tubes for television sets. At its peak the factory, which boasts over nine miles of internal conveyors, produced 3.5 million tubes a year and employed 1,450 personnel.

White Young Green in Scotland returns to Gartcosh scheme

The Scottish operation of White Young Green (WYG), consultants to the built, natural and social environment, has won a further commission to provide consultancy support on one of Scotland's most strategically significant regeneration schemes after winning a competitive tender.

The £122m development at the site of the former Gartcosh Steelworks in Lanarkshire, is on target to create 160,000 sq m of new business space and as many as up to 2,200 jobs once the development is complete. Located in the heart of central Scotland, the business park is to be developed as a joint initiative between Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council.

West Lothian Council to grant planning permission for Livingston development?

Land Securities has been advised of West Lothian Council's resolution to grant outline planning permission for its £90 million expansion of Livingston town centre following a period of public consultation. The proposals, which detail a mixed-use development to extend the retail space and create a new heart for the town, went through unopposed.

As a standard procedure, this resolution to grant outline planning permission will now be referred to the Scottish Executive for consideration. The development team is hopeful of a favourable outcome as the application is in line with national planning policy, which requires all new retail and leisure developments to take place in existing town centres, as well as the finalised Edinburgh & Lothian's Structure Plan, which outlines the need for provision of new homes in the area.

Thursday, November 03, 2023

Record Month for Mansell in Scotland

Construction and property services company Mansell, part of the Balfour Beatty Group, is set to record its highest-ever monthly total of new contracts in Scotland, having secured over £40 million of work so far in September.

Among the awards are two design-and-build projects for Argyll & Bute Council, as part of its Public Private Partnership for the renewal of the schools estate. The £35 million allocation from ABC Schools Limited, advised by Precept Programme Management Limited, includes the construction of the new Dunoon Grammar School, plus the development of a joint primary and secondary school campus in Lochgilphead.

At Dunoon, Mansell will build a new two and three-storey school on a site adjacent to the existing secondary school, which will remain open during construction. Upon the new school's completion in summer 2007, pupils will be transferred across, with the old school to be demolished to make way for new sports facilities.

At Lochgilphead, a single-storey primary school and two-storey secondary school are to be built on a site next to the A83. The project includes the construction of sporting facilities, play areas and landscaping, and is also due for completion in summer 2007.

Other projects currently underway include the construction of two "student villages" for the University of Dundee, valued at £11.5 million and due for final completion in September next year, and a £1.75 million refurbishment of the University's Carnegie and Peter's Building.

Mansell has also started work on a £3 million project to construct a new departure lounge for BAA at Aberdeen Airport. The lounge, a new build project, is to be situated in front of the existing International Lounge. Other projects in Aberdeen include the £6 million redevelopment of the Westhill Hotel (due for completion next Autumn) and the refurbishment of the Grampian Hotel in the city centre.

BBC Scotland Queen Margaret Drive site up for sale

Commercial property consultants, Lambert Smith Hampton, have been appointed to act on behalf of BBC Scotland to sell its Queen Margaret Drive premises and land in Glasgow.

The 5.3 acre site is located within the heart of Glasgow's West End adjacent to the Botanic Gardens. BBC Scotland relocates to a new, purpose built digital headquarters at Pacific Quay, on the banks of the River Clyde in 2007.

The Queen Margaret Drive site provides the opportunity for a significant new build development combined with the conversion of three Grade B Listed buildings. The most significant of these was designed jointly by architects Honeyman and Keppie and their associate Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

New Manchester office for CNP

CNP, one of the UK's largest independent building and project consultants, has opened a new office in Manchester.

The move is part of a major expansion programme by the company which plans to double turnover from £5m to £10m by 2010.

It already represents many of the UK's top fund managers and major property organisations and has just been retained nationally for Costa Coffee acquisitions.

The company recently completed due diligence surveys on 93 Littlewoods stores in four weeks across the UK for the subsequent sale of the stores to Primark, which was one of this summer's major property deals. This involved some seventeen stores across the north west including Chester, Lancaster, Bolton and Wrexham.

The Manchester office is also currently overseeing the fit out of Scandinavian furniture giant ILVA's first UK store at Piccadilly basin. The company, Denmark's answer to Ikea, hopes to open in early 2006 and will created 250 new job opportunities.

Photo shows from left to right Elaine Clarke (Chartered Building Surveyor), Alan Coleman (Building Surveyor), Mary Twemlow (Secretary), Ian Spencer (Associate Director) and Martin Willis (Director)

New City Vision enters trades union recognition agreement with UCATT

Urban regeneration specialist New City Vision (NCV) has signed what is believed to be the first ever trades union recognition agreement of its kind with UCATT, the leading construction industry trades union.

Says NCV Managing director, Bob Millar: "this agreement reflects the importance we place upon direct employment of site staff and is a natural progression of the productive discussions NCV has had with UCATT over recent months. A good quality relationship between developer and unions is a key priority for NCV."

The main elements of the agreement are that it gives official recognition to UCATT and covers all directly employed operatives and all relevant sub contractors, specifies the role of UCATT officials, sets out negotiation and consultation arrangements, and covers health and safety matters.