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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2023

New appointments at Ross + Liddell

Ross + Liddell, the property people, have made a series of senior appointments as part of an ongoing strategy to recruit staff in response to a significant expansion in business activity.

The four new recruits are: Grant Craig, New Business Manager; Caroline Clark, Head of Residential Letting; Ian Tupman, Building Surveyor and Alison MacGregor, Residential Property Manager. In addition, Sharon Blyth has relocated from Ross + Liddell's Paisley office to its Glasgow head office to bolster its expanding commercial department as Commercial Property Manager.

Commenting on these new appointments, chairman of Ross + Liddell, John Harris, said, "I'm delighted to welcome my new colleagues into the firm. The valuable skills and experience they bring will help take Ross + Liddell to the next stage of our development. These appointments, together with a recent corporate restructure at board level, mean that we are now better placed than ever before to expand both the range of services we provide and the markets we serve throughout Scotland."

Ross + Liddell currently employs a staff of 80 from offices in Glasgow, Paisley and Edinburgh. Recent years have seen the firm expand the range of residential and commercial property services it provides, including property management, estate agency, surveys, valuations, rent reviews, letting, insurance and building surveying.

Kenmore secure new letting at Clydebank Business Park

Jones Lang LaSalle and joint agent Neil Munro have achieved a new letting to Business Gateway at Erskine house, Clydebank Business Park, Clydebank after Kenmore's recent purchase of the building.

Business Gateway, a subsidiary of the Scottish executive, has taken a 2,044 sq ft suite on a 5 year FRI lease. Erskine House extends over four floors, and now has three suites available on the second floor providing accommodation from 190 sq m (2,045 sq ft) to 627.6 sq m (6,756 sq ft). The accommodation is being offered at a rental of £12.50 per sq ft on flexible lease lengths.

Clydebank Business Park is opposite Clydebank Shopping Centre and houses major occupiers including: Clydesdale Bank; NAG Life; Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire; Radio Clyde; Scottish National Heritage; Response Handling Ltd.

Neil Munro comments: "This new letting proves there is a market for good secondary space in Clydebank and with the second floor at Erskine House being refurbished, there is very little accommodation of this quality available for £12.50 per sq ft within the West of Scotland."

Kerr Smith from Jones Lang LaSalle comments: "The refurbished office accommodation has a lot to offer, not only is Erskine House available at a competitive rent with flexible lease options, but Clydebank Business Park is in a key location for access to Glasgow city centre and is only ten minutes from Glasgow airport."

Jones Lang LaSalle Scotland announces promotions

Jones Lang LaSalle has announced the promotion of four employees in its Scotland offices.

Colin Finlayson, of Edinburgh, and Mike Buchan and David Rodger of Glasgow, have been promoted from associate directors to national directors.

Meanwhile, Angela Pirie of the Glasgow office, has been promoted from senior surveyor to associate director.

Alan Robertson, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle Scotland, said: "All the individuals concerned have demonstrated the high standard of team work, leadership ability and commitment to client service that is required."

Ultimate Leisure acquires Living Ventures for £28m

Ultimate Leisure Group announces the acquisition of Living Ventures for a total consideration of £28m. Living Ventures owns The Living Room brand. Founded in 1999, The Living Room is a high quality restaurant and bar business, operating from 13 sites situated in England and Scotland. This acquisition represents a further step in Ultimate's stated aim of developing the food-led side of its business. Following the acquisition, Living Ventures Ltd is to be renamed The Living Room Ltd.

The consideration is payable in cash and will be funded from the Company's current financial resources and debt facilities.

Ultimate will not be buying the group of restaurants trading under the Blackhouse Grill and Est Est Est brands. These will be retained by The Restaurant Group, Tim Bacon, Jeremy Roberts and other shareholders as defined by the restructuring of the assets of Living Ventures Ltd that took place immediately before this acquisition.

In the financial year to 31st March 2007, The Living Room delivered sales of £29.2m and site EBITDA of £6.050m. Ultimate Leisure will be taking on a number of key executives from Living Ventures, representing an associated central overhead of £850k per annum. The deal represents a cost per site of £2.151m and 4.6 x unit EBITDA. The food mix is considerable at 36% of total sales. The Living Rooms sales since the end of April have performed well and are +3.2% on a like for like basis.

Danny Fox, who has played a central part in building The Living Room business, will be joining Ultimate Leisure as Managing Director of The Living Room. He will also bring his highly-regarded operations, marketing and training teams.

Ultimate Leisure also announces that KBC Peel Hunt has been appointed as nominated adviser and broker with immediate effect.

Mark Jones, Chairman of Ultimate, commented: "The Living Room is an excellent brand with a very attractive customer offer. This acquisition represents a big move towards meeting our strategic priorities and at a sensible price. At the same time, The Living Room will benefit from much greater investment, particularly as we look to more than double the number of its sites in the next 5 years".

Wednesday, June 20, 2023

Old Trafford is Europe's top stadium

Drivers Jonas, the property consultancy, commissioned the survey to better understand what fans want from their stadia.

Old Trafford, home of Premiership Champions Manchester United, has been voted Europe's best football stadium by the UK's travelling fans while Liverpool's Anfield boasts the best atmosphere of any European club.

The news is set to perpetuate the two clubs' old rivalry off the pitch as fans debate the virtues of stadia facilities over atmosphere.

In the study fans were asked to rate the European clubs they had visited, other than their own, in terms of the facilities, view of the pitch, and access to and from the ground. Old Trafford topped the league followed by Arsenal's Emirates stadium, Barcelona's Nou Camp, Newcastle's St James's Park and Manchester City's City of Manchester Stadium.

However, fans also voted unanimously that the single most important thing that makes a top quality football stadium is atmosphere and none do that better than Liverpool fans at Anfield, according to visitors to the ground. Celtic Park came second for atmosphere followed by Portsmouth's Fratton Park, which beat the Nou Camp into fourth place with Newcastle's St James's Park propping up the top five.

Geoff Aucock, Partner at Drivers Jonas and head of the company's sports division, said: "Atmosphere is the most important criteria for fans when assessing the quality of the stadium but the view of the pitch, quality of seating, ease of access and the standard of the facilities provided are also important. It's about getting that mix right as well as providing top quality football that clubs have to consider when building or developing their stadia and this survey shows we're more successful at that than clubs in Europe as far as British football fans are concerned."

The passion of the fans is what the majority of supporters think is the key ingredient for creating a great atmosphere along with the singing, scarf-waving, colours worn and flags waved by the supporters. Anfield does each of these well above the average of any UK or European club, say fans.

When it comes to food, Delia Smith's Norwich City is famed for its pies but they only make third spot in the European football food league, according to visiting fans. Arsenal and Barcelona jointly serve the best food in Europe, with Kilmarnock - home of the award-winning "Killie Pie" - fourth and Wigan fifth best among the culinary giants of Europe.

Security at football stadia on mainland Europe has been in the headlines this season, an issue borne out in the survey results. Barcelona's Nou Camp was voted the best ground for security in Europe while Rome's Stadio Olimpico being the worst by far. But overall fans are more likely to feel safe when visiting a German club than those of any other European nation, although Bayern Munich is the only German club to make the top five for safety.

Travelling fans are best placed to judge how easy it is to get to and from a football ground, and the majority of them voted Spurs' White Hart Lane the worst club in Europe for its transport - while half the top ten best stadia for transport are foreign - Barcelona's Nou Camp, Ajax's Amsterdam Arena, Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium and Milan's San Siro - perhaps highlighting fans' frustration at Britain's troubled transport system compared to those of Europe.

Geoff Aucock said: "The study clearly shows that fans' enjoyment is not just measured in terms of the quality of the football, it's about the whole match-day experience. Fans appreciate good stadia facilities, ease of access and most of all, a fantastic atmosphere. With Wembley now open for business it will be interesting to see if this magnificent stadium can steal the top spots in future and whether Liverpool can replicate the atmosphere of Anfield within their new stadium development plans."

The study follows a similar study in 2005 where fans voted Hull's KC stadium the best with Old Trafford the fans favourite.

James Barr acquires space for the Scottish Nursing Guild at Onesixty in Edinburgh

The Scottish Nursing Guild, a leading nursing agency in Scotland for NHS trusts and private healthcare organisations is relocating its Edinburgh operation to Onesixty, Fountainbridge.

The Scottish Nursing Guild has taken a 10 year lease on a first floor suite at a rate of £21.00 per sq ft. The suite extends to 2,860 sq ft (265.70 sq m) of high quality office space.

James Barr acted for The Scottish Nursing Guild and CB Richard Ellis and Cushman & Wakefield represented the Landlord - Halladale.

Will Sandwell of James Barr's Edinburgh Office Commented: "Onesixty is located in an area which promises to be a well established business district, with the aid of our building consultancy department handling the space planning and project management we have been able to provide a complete solution for The Scottish Nursing Guild's future business needs."

Caroline Smillie of CBRE said: "We are delighted that the Scottish Nursing Guild decided to locate their new premises at Onesxity. The building offers good quality, cost effective space in a central location which fits their needs. Since completion of the building in October last year we have had significant demand for the space with 56% of the building already let and a further 25% under offer."

James Barr is a multi disciplinary property consultancy with offices in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, combining the skills of chartered surveyors and chartered planners, to offer value added services to investors, developers and corporate clients across all sectors.

The directors of the business work with highly motivated teams offering a hands on personal service to clients across the UK and internationally.

Aberdeen firm to move to £1.75 million office development

An Aberdeen-based firm is set to move to a £1.75 million custom modified office and warehouse development in July.

Freight forwarding and ships agents, Seletar Shipping (Scotland) Limited, is to complete a major refurbishment of Steadfast House, on the city's Greenwell Road in East Tullos, prior to moving operations next month.

Seletar has operated from its existing Merchants House offices and warehouse facilities, on Waterloo Quay, since implementing a £400,000 refurbishment project in 2001. The firm appointed Morrison Construction to carry out the renovation of Steadfast House, with work already underway.

The move will allow Seletar, which also specialises in quayside property rental, to appoint an additional four members of staff - which the firm is currently unable to do due to space constraints.

Managing director, Shaun Eardley, says the firm can now take on three new warehousing employees as well as adding another person to the operations team.

He said: "We have been unable to actively look to bring in new members of staff as we have simply run out of space. Our new premises are substantially larger than we have at present and will give us scope to continue to grow our team in the future."

Steadfast House comprises 12,000 square feet of offices, 8,800 square feet of warehousing space and 30,000 square feet of yard space.

Mr Eardley continued: "We will have four times more office space than we do at present, the same volume of warehousing facilities, albeit of a far better quality, and six times the level of yard space, so we will have a lot of capacity for expansion, not only in terms of bringing in additional personnel, but also operationally.

"We have enjoyed a great period of growth over the past two years, increasing turnover by 20% from 2005 to in excess of £15 million in 2006. We look forward to continuing with this success in Steadfast House."

Seletar will move the majority of its operations to Steadfast House on July 23. The firm will continue to have a presence on Waterloo Quay, however, with its five member property team working from a newly refurbished office sited in Pioneer House.

The firm currently leases out office space in Ocean Spirit House, Nautilus House, Voyager House, Navigator House, Pioneer House and Horizons House to more than 50 tenants, and is about to begin a £11 million redevelopment of a half acre site at the eastern end of Waterloo Quay to form what will become New Horizons House. This will be a development of 46,500 square feet of Grade A office accommodation with substantial car parking.

Seletar first branched into quayside property rental in 2003, with the purchase of the Prospect Point East buildings. A £750,000 investment was made in 2005 to redevelop Voyager House and a £1.2 million project to renovate Ocean Spirit House is due to be completed in August.

Knight Frank LLP acted on Seletar's behalf to source Steadfast House and is providing design and project management services for its refurbishment.

Established in 1987, Seletar Shipping provides a comprehensive, multi-faceted service to a diverse range of clients in the offshore, general cargo, freight management and logistics sectors.

Through its broad range of in-house services, Seletar - which has offices in Aberdeen, Peterhead and Great Yarmouth - provides its clients with a cost-effective, professional solution to the ever-changing demands of their business.

Carillion Developments sells first office building at The Square, Sheffield

Acting on behalf of Carillion Developments, joint agents Jones Lang LaSalle and Crossland Otter Hunt have sold the first office building at The Square, Castlegate; a £80m mixed use development which fronts Park Square Roundabout in Sheffield. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority (SYPTA) has acquired the freehold interest of Office No. 4 for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, which effectively comprised a pre-sale ahead of practical completion, follows the recent sale of the 114-bed Travelodge and the Q-Park multi-storey car park which formed Phase One of the scheme. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive will occupy Office No.4, moving from its current Sheffield base on Exchange Street to take sole occupancy of the 43,000 sq ft building. Sanderson Weatherall acted for SYPTE.

Joint agent, Jeff Pearey from Jones Lang LaSalle commented: "We fought off stiff competition to conclude this deal and SYPTE?s intended occupation of Office No. 4 reinforces the attractiveness of this city centre development."

Neil McMillan, Development Director for Carillion Developments added: "The positive interest received in this sale means that we have fast-tracked our plans and will push forward with the next stage of the development, Office No 1. This will comprise a further 43,000 sq ft of high specification office space to be completed in summer 2008."

The Square represents a key element of the regeneration of the Castlegate site, which is the principal gateway to Sheffield city centre. It currently comprises a 114-bed hotel, 400-space multi-storey car park and supporting leisure and retail units and will offer 250,000 sq ft of Category 'A' office space when completed.

Joint agent, David Crossland of Crossland Otter Hunt concluded: "The Square is a prime location for businesses, offering high specification office space in a superb city centre environment. Carillion's confidence in the Sheffield market has been rewarded and we believe the next phase of the development will continue to generate significant demand."

Derby Cityscape welcomes £16m blueprint plans

Plans to transform part of Derby city centre with a £16m mixed used scheme have been welcomed by Derby Cityscape, the urban regeneration company spearheading the £2 bn regeneration of the city centre.

The site in Bold Lane, in the shadow of Derby Cathedral, was bought in 2004 by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) on behalf of Derby Cityscape as the URC's first strategic acquisition. The site is now being delivered by blueprint.

blueprint, is a Limited Partnership.( The East Midlands Development Agency (emda) has a 25% share, English Partnerships a 25% share and igloo a 50% share), blueprint represents a unique marriage of the public and private sectors. By stimulating and delivering sustainable and well designed development the partnership will assist the East Midlands to deliver the regions social and economic agendas as well as acting as a device through which partners, such as Derby Cityscape and other public sector bodies can deliver their physical regeneration plans including sourcing new premises for business/commercial occupiers.

blueprint has appointed, through a design competition with Derby Cityscape London-based architects Ash Sakula to redevelop the site in line with Derby Cityscape's development Masterplan for the area.

A planning application is due to be submitted by the end of the year and, if successful, work could be completed by summer 2009.

The first phase of development will involve the demolition of the former Prince's Supermarket and creating a 87,000 sq ft development incorporating six or seven shops with café bars and 24 flats above complete with ecology-friendly roof gardens.

An alleyway will be built between the buildings leading to an area earmarked for a future development and centring on a new public open space, Sadler Square, which will be a focal point for further leisure, residential and office space linked by a series of meandering lanes.

Derby Cityscape Chief Executive John Cadwallader said: "We recognised from the outset that the Prince's supermarket site would be key to transforming this area in the city?s historic Cathedral Quarter, and the mixed use of this site is perfectly in tune to service the proposed commercial property, residential and leisure and tourism plans in the surrounding area.

"This first phase will be a catalyst for the regeneration of this entire area and perfectly complements the unique character of the neighbouring Iron Gate area which is a fascinating collection of popular individual shops and interesting enclosed courtyards. Incorporating roof gardens which will attract wildlife into this urban environment is key to preserving and promoting this unique area of the city.

"It will also reinforce the pedigree of the Cathedral Quarter as a vibrant shopping destination and the announcement of these plans could not have come at a better time with the imminent completion of the £340m Westfield Derby Shopping Centre at the other end of the city centre.

"This will clearly attract many more shoppers into Derby who also have a clear and easy pedestrian route through the city centre itself to the historic Cathedral Quarter."

Peter Connolly development director of blueprint said, "we are excited by the way this project is progressing and this has been aided by the excellent working relationship we have with Derby Cityscape. People have embraced the scheme as the architecture is sympathetic to the location. The design will also ensure that the space developed will meet the future business needs of commercial occupiers and provide an environment for residential living that will be unique".

Wednesday, June 13, 2023

Scarborough Development sells Buchanan Gate unit for £5m

The Edinburgh office of UK development firm Scarborough Development Group plc, has sold building 3B at Buchanan Gate Business Park, Stepps in Glasgow for circa £4.981 million.

Reflecting a net initial yield of 5.6%, the 20,000 sq ft modern office pavilion has been bought by MJG Developments Ltd. The building is fully let to HBG UK Limited on a FRI lease for 15 years at a rental of £295,000 per annum.

Andy Richardson, director with Scarborough Development Group plc in Edinburgh, explained: "This letting and sale reflects the continued success of Buchanan Gate from both occupiers and investors alike and has provided significant confidence for us to proceed with a planning application for the next phase which will include 50,000 sq ft of offices and a nursery facility."

Alasdair Steele, investment partner with Donaldsons, stated: "This deal further illustrates the strong interest in Buchanan Gate as the out of town office investment market in Glasgow continues to grow."

Donaldsons and Ryden acted for the Scarborough Development Group plc and MJG Developments Ltd were represented by Montagu Evans.

RSP Consulting Engineers move to Centurion Business Park

Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of MNOPF Trustees Ltd, has let space at Centurion Business Park, 3 Seaward Place, to RSP Consulting Engineers LLP.

RSP Consulting Engineers LLP, one of the largest private practices based in Scotland, has taken part of the second floor on a 10 year lease at a rental of £15.50 per sq ft. The 184 sq m (1,987 sq ft) unit will be used to relocate the firm from its current Scottish operation at the Pentagon Business Centre.

Alistair Reid, from Jones Lang LaSalle's Glasgow office comments: "Centurion Business Park is an ideal fit for RSP Consulting due to its prime motorway links, modern open plan office space and secure entrance. It also benefits from 13 dedicated car parking spaces.

"The remaining 1,690 sq ft of space at 3 Seaward Place has also just gone under offer to an electronics company, reinforcing the business park as an excellent location for SMEs."

Jones Lang LaSalle advised MNOPF Trustees Ltd, owners of 3 Seaward Place and through their Project and Development Services department managed the sub-division of the second floor to help facilitate the letting.

Lovells advises on Salford Quays move

The BBC has reached an agreement with developer Peel Holdings for it to occupy a new broadcast and production centre at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester. The development, which forms the first phase of the mediacity:uk scheme, will become the BBC's new base in the North of England and five departments will relocate from London by 2011. Lovells advised the BBC throughout.

The mediacity:uk site, which is being developed by a partnership comprising the Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, the North West Regional Development Agency, Peel Holdings and Salford City Council, will eventually cover 200 acres. Plans for three BBC buildings at the site were approved by Salford City Council's planning committee in April.

On 31 May, the BBC finalised with Peel Holdings the detailed terms - including the provision of long term studio operation - under which the BBC will occupy the buildings, and the BBC Trust approved the deal, paving the way for five London-based BBC departments to move to mediacity:uk by 2011. BBC Sport, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Children's, BBC Children's Learning and parts of Future Media & Technology will join 800 staff presently based in Manchester. The move will ensure employees are provided with better technology and buildings, as well as greater opportunities for career development.

Lovells worked alongside the BBC property legal team led by its head of property legal, Peter Farrell. The Lovells team was led by real estate partner Dion Panambalana and projects partner Adrian Walker, with assistance from, among others, associates Stephen Elliott and John Condliffe (real estate), and Sarah Hayes and Alex Harrison (projects). Shapna Roy and Rosemary Miller (projects) also advised.

Dion Panambalana said: "We are delighted to have worked with the BBC property legal team, led by Peter Farrell, in securing this agreement for its relocation to the mediacity:uk development. This is a critical development in the implementation of the BBC's strategy and is evidence of the strong working relationship we have with this important client, following our work for them in connection with Broadcasting House last year."

Peel Holdings was advised by Cobbetts, led by partner Stephen Kinsey, and Addleshaw Goddard, led by Nancy McGuire.

Davenham Group expands to Glasgow

Asset based lender Davenham Group plc is continuing its national expansion with the opening of a new office in Scotland, situated in central Glasgow, bringing the number of offices throughout the UK to eight.

The news comes only eight weeks after Davenham announced the opening of their South Western office in Bristol.

Davenham's CEO David Coates commented: "Davenham's geographical growth is continuing apace which is excellent news - as an SME specialist we know how important it is to be close to our clients and increasing our presence geographically is a key part of our growth strategy.

"We see Scotland as a thriving market with literally thousands of businesses being able to benefit from the kind of finance Davenham has to offer and we?re really looking forward to getting to know them."

Davenham's first appointment to the Glasgow office is property specialist Jack Dinwoodie. Jack has spent 30 years working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, with the last four as business development manager for the south and west of Scotland. Although Jack will be based in Glasgow, he will cover the whole of Scotland.

Mr Coates continued: "Jack has a wealth of experience which makes him perfect to establish and grow our Glasgow team. Having worked in the region for many years, he joins with an impressive network of clients, referrers and contacts."

Mr Dinwoodie commented: "This is an exciting opportunity for me and I'm very much looking forward to communicating the innovative products, flexibility and speed of decision making Davenham promotes to SMEs."

Davenham is headquartered in Manchester with regional offices in Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol and London.

New director joins Elphinstone

Elphinstone, the innovative Glasgow-based land and property developers, has appointed a new main board director.

Alasdair Carlyle, has responsibility for the Procurement and Delivery of Elphinstone's commercial and residential developments across Scotland. Elphinstone controls 2.2 million sq. ft. of commercial development and 3,000 acres of developable land. The group is undertaking several major projects in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth and Inverness, as well as in East Lothian, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire.

With over 20 years of experience in construction and development, Alasdair has worked for some of the UK's top property development companies including John Laing Construction Ltd - now Laing O'Rourke - CALA Group and Taylor Woodrow Group.

Ken Ross, Chairman and Chief Executive of Elphinstone, said: "Alasdair is an important new member of the senior team and his appointment is a strategic part of increasing the capacity and scale of the business."

Alasdair said: "With a substantial portfolio of development opportunities across Scotland I?m looking forward to embracing fresh challenges as the business continues to grow. It?s an exciting time to be joining the company."

Jones Lang LaSalle Leeds team adds value to city centre office building

Acting on behalf of Standard Life Investments, Jones Lang LaSalle has successfully completed a series of transactions at No.1 Trevelyan Square, a 50,000 sq ft office building located on Boar Lane in Leeds.

Existing tenant, the NHS Information Centre, has taken a new lease on over 21,000 sq ft of office space, at the same time acquiring an additional 8,400 sq ft on the fourth floor. Agreeing a new 10-year lease at a rental of £19.50 per sq ft, plus £2,500 per car parking space, the NHS Information Centre now occupies a total of 29,100 sq ft in the building. GVA Grimley represented the NHS Information Centre.

In addition, Jones Lang LaSalle has negotiated early lease surrenders with the Department for Work and Pensions, partly to accommodate NHS Information Centre and the remaining 22,000 sq ft will be refurbished and marketed in the immediate future.

Jones Lang LaSalle manages No.1 Trevelyan Square on behalf of Standard Life, and as well as acting for its client to conclude these latest transactions, the firm's Building Surveying team has also been appointed to project manage the refurbishment of both the vacant suites and the building's common parts. This £300,000 investment programme will ensure No.1 Trevelyan Square remains at the forefront of the Leeds office market.

Jeff Pearey, Head of Jones Lang LaSalle's Leeds office said: "These latest transactions have resulted in rental and capital uplift for Standard Life Investments, combined with the opportunity to set new benchmark rents once the refurbishment is complete.

"Our current role perfectly illustrates Jones Lang LaSalle's expertise to successfully deliver a complementary range of commercial property services, with our Investor Property Management, Building Surveying, Lease Advisory and National Office Agency teams working together to achieve the best results for our client."

Dunbar Bank appoints Andy Traynor to drive North West business

Dunbar Bank has appointed a Preston banker to spearhead its strategy to grow its regional loan book in the North West.

The specialist residential and commercial property funder has appointed Andy Traynor, as its new Regional Lending Manager in the North West. He has been specifically brought on board to head up the Manchester office which will incorporate all areas between North Wales and Carlisle.

Traynor had been with Barclays for 26 years as part of its mid-corporate team based in Preston. Neil Leitch, Regional Director, said: "Andy's appointment shows how committed the bank are to the city and indeed the region as a whole and we are delighted to welcome him on board.

Traynor said: "This new role is an exciting challenge for me and the area I will be responsible for has massive potential for Dunbar's style of lending. I feel it is important that in today's business environment, property funding should always be regarded as much more than a mere department within a conventional bank. It deserves a singular focus, proven expertise and a proactive stance, which is why it's Dunbar's speciality."

He added: "Dunbar appreciates that clients need a highly efficient funding package coupled with maximum flexibility so the facilities we offer are never the "one size fits all" variety. Individual project financing means just that, unique and innovative solutions together with pro-active thinking."

Dunbar Bank, which is a member of the Zurich Financial Services group, only operated in London and the South-East until 1991 but since this time has built up a regional network of branches. Dunbar also has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle.

Dunbar's Chief Executive, Andy Deller said: "It would be fair to say we have a greater proportion of our loan book domiciled in London and the South-East however we now have 25% of our business in our regional branches. The level of service clients can expect from Dunbar is however, fast differentiating us from other banks. From the initial concept to the conclusion of the project, their ongoing contact is with an individual, not an institution. We focus on developing strong relationships that help our clients grow and achieve their goals."

Deller concluded: "This year the challenge is to maintain the momentum of the business. This will be demonstrated by the bank writing in excess of £500m of new business to our balance sheet, with a net increase in total balances of more than £100m."