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LIVERPOOL CITY REGION CHESTER MANCHESTER

EXCLUSIVE

Feb-Apr 2013

FREE

MOVE COMMERCIAL 8 PAGE PULL OUT Liverpool Commercial Office Market Review 2012

The north-west’s guide to property and business

Market health check The Commercial Office Market Review 2012

ICONIC OFFICES Royal Liver Buildings RETAIL REVIEW What’s next for the industry?

Issue 30

TO LET - Grade A offices suites from 3,000 sq ft upwards


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ROYAL LIVER BUILDING THE INTERFACE OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY

TO LET GRADE A OFFICES SUITES FROM 3,000 SQ FT UPWARDS

THE ICONIC FACE OF LIVERPOOL

mark.worthington@cbre.com

www.royalliverbuilding.co.uk


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Issue thirty Move Commercial

Contents News

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Welcome to Move Commercial Welcome to our first Move Commercial of the year. Following the recent turbulence on the high street, in this issue we put the spotlight firmly on retail. We’ve got interviews with the co-founder of Utility, Richard Skelton, on his independent high street success and Steve Prosser from St Modwen on why north Liverpool’s Project Jennifer has taken longer than expected to get started. With the first Liverpool city region apprenticeship awards set to take place on 12 March in St George’s Hall we take a

look at the growing popularity of apprenticeship schemes and the benefits of these schemes to commercial property employers. Plus we speak to Laing O’Rourke’s Kelly Foy who started out as an apprentice and is now swiftly rising through the ranks. We also debate another hot topic in the business world when we ask whether networking and events still have value in the current economic climate and as always we’re also got all the biggest news from the North West business and property sectors.

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move publishing ltd Advertising Director Fiona Barnet Tel: 0151 709 3871 Account Manager Jo Tait Tel: 0151 709 3871 Editorial Team Christine Toner. Email: christine@movepublishing.co.uk Tel: 0151 709 3871 Kate Hanratty. Email: kate@movepublishing.co.uk Tel: 0151 709 3871 Emma Griffiths. Email: emma@design-foundry.co.uk Tel: 0151 709 3871

Designer Rob Whyte. Email: rob@movepublishing.co.uk Published by Move Publishing Ltd Directors David O’Brien, Kim O’Brien, Fiona Barnet Printed by Precision Colour Printers Ltd Distribution Liaison Manager Barbara Troughton Tel: 0151 733 5492 Mobile: 077148 14662

06 Success at Gateway House 07 Bright future for Herculaneum Dock 08 T.G.I. Friday’s comes to Liverpool 09 New offices at Merchants place 10 Last few units available at Meridian Business Village 11 LSHP announce £22m Mersey Care deal 13 Local glass firm win Wentworth Castle contract 14 Royal visit at Jaguar Land Rover 15 Employment lawyer advises on changes to employment tribunal fees

Features 16 Appointments Who’s moving where? 17 Bitesize Thinking Food for thought 18 Mover & Shaker St Modwen’s regional director Steve Prosser on the progress of Project Jennifer in north Liverpool 20 Entrepreneur Utility co-founder Richard Skelton talks about the high street and his independent stores success 24 Spotlight We shine the spotlight on apprenticeship schemes in the commercial property sector. 27 Commercial Office Market Review 2012 An in-depth look at commercial space across the Liverpool City Region 36 Rising Star Interview with Laing O’Rourke apprentice Kelly Foy 38 Founding Business Deloitte Real Estate 40 Focus The future of the high street 43 Lunch Debate Conferencing in 2013 46 Ask the panel What are your predictions for the market in 2013?

Copyright Move Publishing Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced copied or transmitted in any form or by any means or stored in any information storage or retrieval system without the publishers written permission. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published, Move Publishing can accept no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by advertisers.

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News Latest

Units up for grabs at Tiger Court

Occupation rates soar at Gateway House

Tiger Court

CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle have been appointed as the joint agents to market three new office units at Tiger Court within Kings Business Park in Knowsley on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The self-contained units, which total 11,000 sq ft, are available on leasehold basis at £11.75 per sq ft or a freehold basis from £399,999. Two selfcontained units of 4,123 sq ft and 5,093 sq ft are available, plus a single floor within a further unit of 1,600 sq ft. Neil Kirkham, associate director of office agency at CBRE, says: ”The units at Tiger Court have been completed to the highest standard and offer occupiers the chance to be part of one of the most prestigious business parks in Liverpool. “The competitive rates that these units are available at together with our client’s ability to offer bespoke, flexible packages means that we are able to accommodate a number of requirements and we have already had significant interest from prospective occupiers.” Julian Stott of PwC’s Real Estate team adds: “Kings Business Park is one of Merseyside’s most prestigious business destinations. Tiger Court is situated in a mature, landscaped estate and we believe that this is a fantastic opportunity for both occupiers and investors to obtain quality office accommodation at competitive prices.”

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Gateway House

A COMMERCIAL development in Bromborough is bucking the downward national trend by going from 80% vacant to 80% occupied in a period of twelve months. Gateway House, a grade A, high quality office building on Old Hall Road has benefited from exceptionally high interest levels over the last year due to a range of attractive incentives. Brian Ricketts, partner at Hitchcock Wright & Partners, says: “Gateway House really has captured the imagination of the market recently and we are delighted with a

year of lettings success. Highly competitive rental rates and flexible lease terms have piqued interest from both small and large companies, while generous incentives such as rent free periods and discounted rents have increased demand.” New tenants within the last twelve months include Iberdrola Engineering Construction Network, medical technology firm MSoft eSolutions and accountancy firm Bennett Brooks. Antonia Martin-Wright of Commercial Estates Group, says:

“Interest in Gateway House has gained momentum in the past year and we are delighted with the results. The individuality of the property and a convenient location, close to amenities such as Croft Retail Park, Bromborough Rake Rail Station and easy links to the A41 and M53 makes this a premier business destination and one we are very proud of.” Hitchcock Wright & Partners is the sole agent for Gateway House. For further details on remaining office suites, please contact Brian Ricketts on 0151 227 3400.


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Latest News

Office space available in one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings

Liver Building interior

NOW IS YOUR chance to work at one of the most iconic buildings in the city as office units are now available to let in the Royal Liver Building. When the Royal Liver Building was built complete with the famous Liver Birds it was regarded as Europe’s first skyscraper and was the tallest storied building in Europe from 1911 until 1934. The building is already home to some of Liverpool’s most wellknown companies including Princes Foods, USS, Deutsche Bank, Pershing and Grant Thornton. Two new occupiers moved into the building last year, Charles Taylor Consulting and Publiship which both took around 4,000 sq. ft of office space. Sue Kelly, operations director at Publiship, says: “We moved into the Royal Liver Building after residing in several other office spaces in Liverpool. The welcome

was extremely helpful and unprecedented. The whole management team take great pride in the building and the service that they offer and are quick to respond to the smallest of queries.” “We do all feel very safe, secure and cared for here and the team arranges events for all of the tenants to enjoy. Whilst we all know the Royal Liver Building as an iconic feature in the city, you should not underestimate the reaction of our visitors, all are astounded at the quality of the interior and the overall experience of visiting the building. I cannot recommend this property highly enough, it is beautiful, yet practical and functional and it is a pleasure to come to work.” CBRE are currently in discussions with a number of occupiers. For more information on taking office space in this stunning building contact Mark Worthington at CBRE on 0151 471 4971.

Seeds sown for Herculaneum Quay plan LIVERPOOL PROPERTY developer Elliot Lawless has acquired Liverpool’s historic Herculaneum Dock site with planning permission to build two residential blocks containing 101 apartments, all with balconies, and 113 underground car parking spaces in the new development, aptly named Herculaneum Quay. Herculaneum Dock played a vital role in the City’s industrial heritage in the Port of Liverpool. The site was used a dock handling everything from copper, pottery and petroleum and then a graving dock until 1972 and then filled in during the1980, primed

for redevelopment. Elliot says: “I am pleased to have acquired such a landmark waterfront site in Liverpool city centre. “The site represented an excellent opportunity to acquire a fantastic strategic development site with massive potential. “Herculaneum Quay will play a vital role in the redevelopment of the City’s south docklands area, creating high quality living spaces with views across the River Mersey”. The site is north of Langtree’s recently re-launched waterfront park, Festival Gardens.

Herculaneum Quay

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News Sales & Lettings

T.G.I. Friday’s comes to Liverpool INTERNATIONAL restaurant brand T.G.I. Friday’s is set to open its first Liverpool city centre outlet at Merepark’s new £160 million Central Village development. The American style brand is the

latest name in a rapidly expanding list of newcomers to the city to sign up to space in the development. It joins the likes of European hotel brand Adagio, which is opening its first Adagio Aparthotel in the UK

Central Village

at Central Village; and Pan-Asian restaurant Cosmo, which is opening its first branch in the North of England. Other newcomers to the city which have signed up to space in the multi-million pound development include Coast to Coast, Zouk Tea Bar and Grill, budget 24-hour gym chain Pure Gym, and restaurant brand Chiquito. T.G.I. Friday’s has taken 7,650 sq. ft. of space on the development’s Plaza level and will be situated within the new station extension. The scheme is the city centre’s largest

current regeneration and leisure development. It spans six-acres from and including the former Lewis’s department store, through to Bold Street and the newly revamped Central Station. Work is advancing quickly on site with the redevelopment of the former Lewis’s department store, which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Work is set to start on the Boardwalk phase, which includes a new public plaza and water feature off Newington Square, this year. The scheme is scheduled to be complete in 2014. David Carroll, T.G.I. Friday’s UK director of acquisition and development says: “We’re excited that plans for our first restaurant in Liverpool are coming together, and our preparations are already well underway to make it one of our best restaurants in country.”

LIVERPOOL COMMUNITY HEALTH JOINS LIP IN LARGEST 2012 OFFICE DEAL ASHTENNE/SPACE NORTHWEST secured the largest office transaction in Liverpool in 2012 by letting 30,000 sq ft at Liverpool Innovation Park (LIP) to Liverpool Community Health (LCH) NHS Trust on a 10-year lease. LCH, which delivers community healthcare to over 750,000 people in Sefton and Liverpool, will relocate to its new address in April, bringing together 390 members of staff who are currently working from a number of sites throughout the city region. Emily Armstrong, regional manager at Ashtenne/Space Northwest, says: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust to Liverpool Innovation Park. The team has worked closely with LCH to ensure that the accommodation met with its occupational requirements and to guarantee its successful transition to LIP. “We let over 90,000 sq ft of space 8

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at Liverpool Innovation Park in 2012, illustrating the increasing popularity of LIP as one of Liverpool’s premier business locations.” Chris Lloyd of DTZ, agent at Liverpool Innovation Park, says: “This represents the largest office transaction in Liverpool in 2012 and is a culmination of lengthy and detailed negotiations. This letting demonstrates Liverpool Innovation Park’s ability to provide occupational solutions to all sectors and sizes within Merseyside.” Bernie Cuthel, chief executive of Liverpool Community Health, says: “This move is part of our wider estates strategy, and the aim of it is to increase our efficiency as an organisation by housing our staff in flexible work spaces or ‘hubs’, supported by technology that better facilitates agile and mobile working.” CBRE acted for Liverpool Community Health in the lease negotiations.

Emily Armstrong


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Sales & Lettings News

Open Labs moves into the Knowledge Quarter

Open Labs

Mason Owen and Keppie Massie to let L1 office space GROSVENOR has appointed the office agency team at Mason Owen to complement existing agents Keppie Massie in the letting of 15,500²ft of high-quality refurbished office space in Liverpool One. The available buildings - Compton House and the Russell Building - are located on School Lane within the heart of Liverpool One and range from 2,200 to 3,200²ft. Mason Owen are instructed as joint letting agents alongside existing agents

Compton House

Keppie Massie. Compton House is a five-storey former warehouse built in the 1870s, while the six-storey Russell Building was built in the 1860s. Both have undergone comprehensive refurbishment to provide attractive office space benefitting from excellent levels of natural light and all of the features required by a modern office occupier. Andrew Owen of Mason Owen says: “We are delighted to continue our association with Grosvenor and be instructed to market these high-quality offices within Liverpool ONE. We are confident the space will attract good levels of interest given the location of the buildings and high quality of the refurbishment that has been undertaken by the Grosvenor team.”

AN INITIATIVE designed to help digital technology businesses in Liverpool go global has taken up residence at Liverpool Science Park. Open Labs, a department within Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), has taken up a number of suites at the science park’s Innovation Centre One (ic1) building. The project helps small businesses in Liverpool link up with researchers at the University to create new, innovative products and services which could be turned into high growth opportunities with a global market reach. With a particular focus on next

generation internet technologies, Open Labs work with a number of small companies on a range of projects thanks to an investment of more than £1m from the European Regional Development Fund. (ERDF) Lindsay Sharples, director of Open Labs, which has five staff at the science park says: “It’s great to be based right at the heart of Liverpool’s thriving knowledge quarter. “Our mission is to link the vibrant community of Merseyside businesses with leading academics at the university and the science park offers the perfect location to base ourselves.”

NEW OFFICES AT MERCHANTS PLACE

Merchants Place reception

NORTH WEST Industrial Estates latest project - Merchants Place, at Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool - has been officially launched by agents Mason Partners. The scheme consists of 27,151 sq ft of newly remodelled, contemporary and superbly equipped space within the historic Century Building. Agents from Liverpool and Manchester along with members of Liverpool Vision were invited to tour the scheme, which cost over one million pounds to complete. Guests where then invited to a luncheon at Delifonseca, also located in Brunswick Business Park. Merchants Place, designed by

architects Falconer Chester Hall, provides stylish and contemporary office space featuring a large double height reception area, resulting in a clever fusion of original architectural features with contemporary slate floor finishes, innovative fittings and large windows all ofwhich combine to create a stunning and welcoming environment for both occupiers and visitors. For more information and to arrange a viewing contact the joint agents: Jon Swain, jonswain@masonpartners.com, Mark Worthington, mark.worthington@cbre.com or Neil Kirkham neil.kirkham@cbre.com MOVE COMMERCIAL

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News Sales & Lettings

Last few units available at Meridian Business Village JUST SIX high specification units are still available to let at Meridian Business Village after a busy 2012. The business park off Woodend Avenue has enjoyed a lot of activity in the past 12 months with the completion of ten letting deals totaling 18,967 square feet of office space. Ranging in size from 1,374 square feet to 2,695 square feet, the final six offices can be adapted to serve a range of purposes. Developer Prospect GB is confident of more of the same in 2013 at the business village. Chris Walker, head of Prospect GB’s Commercial Property Division says: “Meridian Business Village has become a stand-out business address in this region through a combination of flexible lettings offered to tenants, an excellent strategic location and

investment in a high specification with a focus on efficiency, comfort and convenience for tenants. We offer generous parking allocation and even an on-site nursery.” “The business park also enjoys a wide range of local amenities and superb logistical benefits with convenient access to the motorway and public transport links. Our joint agents Keppie Massie and Hitchcock Wright and Partners have been busy talking to interested parties and coming up with bespoke lettings solutions for their needs. They will be doing more of the same with our final six units.” Further information is available from Andrew Byrne of Keppie Massie on 0151 255 0755 or Brian Ricketts of Hitchcock Wright and Partners on 0151 227 3400.

Meridian Business Village

Four commercial properties available to let A SOCIAL HOUSING provider has four commercial properties available to let across Liverpool and the Wirral. Pierhead Housing Association

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provides homes for people in need as well as offering commercial properties at competitive rates. The provider currently looks after over 1700 residential properties

and has 58 self-contained commercial units in Liverpool, Sefton and on the Wirral. Pierhead Housing currently has commercial units available to rent at Antiques Triangle in Birkenhead, Brandon Street in Antiques Triangle Birkenhead, Stanley Road in Bootle and Dovecot Place in Liverpool 14. The units range in size from 28sq m to 76.5 sq m. Lorraine Cunningham, property sector manager at Pierhead Housing says: “The benefits of renting from Pierhead Housing are that as a commercial property provider we offer both long and short-term leases on our units. There is the

possibility of rent free periods alongside flexible terms and very competitive rates.” The properties are fitted out to a standard specification by the association and the units can then be enhanced or upgraded by incoming tenants to meet their own requirements. Each unit is available under the terms of a new lease with varying periods of between three and 10 years, and is subject to an annual rent and service charge, which is collected on a quarterly basis. Lorraine says: “People looking for commercial property should come to us as Pierhead Housing is a well established landlord with a good reputation. The commercial properties also have a dedicated commercial property manager who deals with all queries.” For further information or to check availability, contact Venmore Estate Agents on 0151 236 6746, or visit www.venmores.co.uk.


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Developments News

LSHP announces £22m Mersey Care deal LIVERPOOL AND SEFTON HEALTH PARTNERSHIP is to start building work on a new £22m Mersey Care mental health facility on the former Walton Hospital site in North Liverpool, after the government gave the final go-ahead for the project. The new hospital off Rice Lane in Walton will provide short-term inpatient care for local people in modern, therapeutic environments.

Construction is now expected to get under way on the site within the next few months, and the facility is due to be opened in 2015. Mersey Care has been working for several years to improve its facilities under the TIME Project To Improve Mental health Environments – as some of its Merseyside inpatient units are very out-dated. Mersey Care’s TIME project

director, John Doyle says: “The Treasury Office announcement is great news for the people of Liverpool, Sefton and Kirkby, who deserve modern, high quality healthcare in accommodation which will be one of the best in the country. “This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build new inpatient facilities exactly how we want them to be built.”

Liverpool welcomes Richmond Luxury Living LIVERPOOL IS SET to welcome Richmond Luxury Living to the city in the first quarter of 2013. The new accommodation concept will open in March and will combine serviced apartment and hotel services in its design, making it ideal for residential conferences and events of various lengths. The collection of 51 spacious apartments, suites, executive and classic rooms, all within a Grade II Listed iconic building, will offer free Wi-Fi, a secretarial service, smart TVs with video calling, and onsite conference and meeting facilities for up to 150. There will also be free transport to ACC for conference delegates. Furthermore, delegates will be able to take advantage of other facilities including the Olympus Health Club & Spa, full entertainment systems within the apartments, 24 hour room service and special nightlife offers with local bars and restaurants. Steven Hesketh, group director of Richmond Luxury Living, says: “We are delighted to be opening our new serviced apartment concept in Liverpool, which has work, rest and play at the heart of its design.”

Richmond Luxury Living

Peel restores historic dock police hut THE PEEL GROUP has restored the historic ‘Policemans Hut’ located at Collingwood Dock in Liverpool. The hut stands just north of the Bascule Bridge at Collingwood Dock and although largely hidden behind the dock boundary wall its chimney is just visible from Regent Road. The hut, built in the 1890’s was used by the dock police force who patrolled the quaysides and checked on the goods coming in and going out of the docks. In the 1890s a number of small policemen’s huts were built at intervals along the inner face of the wall, providing shelter from the cold and rain. Each is built of decorative brick with a slate roof and was equipped with a fireplace, a bench and a window from which to keep watch. The works are part of an ongoing programme of repairs and maintenance by the Peel Group to historic structures within the Liverpool Waters site. The restoration works to the hut (including its leaning chimney which has recently been saved from collapse) have been carried out by local conservation contractors Repair Services and included repairs to the brickwork, reroofing and the securing of the openings. Ian Pollitt of Peel says: “The Police Hut is an important part of the dock heritage and it was important for us to retain this and other historical buildings within the Liverpool Waters site. Peel is keen on ensuring buildings such as this can be preserved or restored where possible and we are delighted with the work Repair Services has done on the hut”.

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Commercial News

Merseyside safety firm sees New Year growth

Paul Jasper

A MERSEYSIDE health and safety company is celebrating its growth only two months into the New Year. Coresafe Consulting, which has just expanded from Crosby to the Liverpool Connect Business Village on Derby Road, specialises in construction, workplace and property health and safety. The company has seen its construction and environmental health and safety consultancy client

base grow steadily along with CDM Coordinator wins across all sectors. Coresafe also ensured that none of its construction clients have been issued with any punitive notices or more importantly any fines following the recent Health and Safety Executive crackdown on construction sites all over the UK beginning on Merseyside. Managing director Paul Jasper says: “We are delighted to be growing in this difficult market but through our professional delivery we have secured repeat work with our clients. We’ve had project wins in the areas of

leisure, healthcare, residential and demolition and having been notified of the HSE’s plan to carry out a crackdown, we contacted all our clients and made certain all their sites were exceptionally safe places to carry out construction work. We have now moved office and taken on staff thanks to steady growth over the last year.” Paul adds: “We are still offering companies a free initial consultation to ascertain any failings or deficiencies with regard to their health and safety systems and workplace”.

Local glass firm wins Wentworth Castle contract AFTER A RECENT successful partnership with William Anelay on the restoration of the Florence Institute, Bootle Glass will be working with the building and restoration contractors on its next project, Wentworth Castle. The firm, which has twelve employees, will be involved in glazing the conservatory of the castle, in Barnsley South Yorkshire, which has been painstakingly dismantled and is being re-built frame by frame. The frame will be re-glazed with specialist glass imported from Germany. Sharon Clarke, director of Bootle Glass, says: “Bootle Glass has been established for over 25 years. We have continued to grow the business and in June 2009 we moved to our new larger premises. This has enabled us to move into the manufacturing side of the Industry. This will ensure

our service continues to improve and also the range of goods we are able to provide. “ Bootle Glass previously worked with William Anelay to glaze the Florence Institute in Liverpool, known locally as the Florrie, which was re-opened by Prince Charles. This includes leaded lights, fire glass and etched glass designs. The firm also worked in closely with the architects to ensure as much of the original design and colours etc were retained. The restoration of the castle and

conservatory is lottery funded and re creating the old style glass is expected to take up to eight

weeks. The Bootle glass team expects to be on site at the castle before the end of the month.

Florence Institute

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News Commercial

Royal visit at Jaguar Land Rover HRH The Prince of Wales visited Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood operations as part of a series of visits to support UK manufacturing. His Royal Highness toured the production facility meeting young apprentices and speaking to employees building Land Rover Freelander 2 vehicles.

Land Rover, in a partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund, is supplying five Freelanders to support rural communities across the UK. Working together with The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Land Rover will offer bursaries to five individuals or groups who can demonstrate how the use of a

Freelander for a year would enable them to support their rural community. They could be a young entrepreneur starting a rural enterprise, an apprentice hill farmer or an organisation offering transport to rurally isolated people or access to training opportunities for young people dedicated to building a sustainable future for

The Prince of Wales visits Jaguar Land Rover

rural communities. Victoria Harris, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, says: “We are delighted that Land Rover has committed to supporting the Fund. The bursaries will make a real difference to five rural communities and as one of the UK’s leading employers, it is great that they are offering support to fledgling rural British businesses and entrepreneurs.” Victoria adds: “It is amazing to be here at Halewood today seeing these young engineering apprentices building the Freelander vehicles that will be going on to support five rural communities, it really shows how investment into UK industry can have a farreaching impact.” Jeremy Hicks, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover UK says: “Our agricultural industry is central to the UK economy and as a British manufacturer we realise the support needed to not only to improve the sustainability of farming and rural communities but to encourage young people to want to be an integral part of the future of the British countryside. We are committed over the next three years to help HRH Prince Charles and The Prince’s Countryside Fund reach these goals”.

Solar PV firm signs up installation partner

Terry Hughes

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SOLEN ENERGY UK has signed up Utilitri as an installation partner for its solar PV panels. Terry Hughes at Solen Energy UK says: “Solen Energy UK’s experience in the solar PV sector means that we understand the importance of providing a skilled, reliable installation team, high performance panels that offer excellent service life, and a tangible return on investment. That clear focus has helped us to grow and just as we’ve grown, so too has demand for solar energy.

“Our customers come to us because we can tailor their installation to match their building and meet their needs, offering the highest levels of expertise alongside fast, dependable, local service.” Utilitri is an experienced specialist in solar energy installations with national capabilities. The two firms have been working together for some time and have now chosen to develop that relationship as a joint venture partnership.


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Commercial News

Iconic building opens following major refurb

Shorelines

ONE OF WIRRAL’S most iconic buildings, Shorelines, a former Victorian train depot, has re-opened following a major £3m refurbishment programme, restoring and enhancing the stunning building to become home to a leading insurance brokerage. Shorelines is part of the Cheshire Lines complex. Property Consultants, Smith and Sons, has managed the large scale project on behalf of client, Merseyside Estates. The building is now under long term lease to MD Insurance, one of the UK's leading

brokers of Structural Warranty and Insurance Service, who now occupy some 90% of the building totaling some 30,000 sq ft. Over 70 guests joined together to celebrate the official opening, including leading business figures from across Wirral, alongside representatives from various stakeholder agencies who have been involved in the scheme. Merseyside Estates Chair, Peter Bowskill, presented MD Insurance Managing Director, Jacki Goodman, with a landscape photograph of the building

and described the incredible journey that the building had been on since it was built in 1889. Originally constructed as a large shed to store and repair train engines for Cheshire Lines Railways, the building has stood solid amongst a changing surrounding landscape. Shorelines has now achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’ having benefited from a fit out using a range of sustainable materials, systems and engineering. Sean Seery, partner at Smith and Sons, says: “This has been a lengthy

journey that has involved long periods of consultation with several partners and agencies that have supported us in ultimately achieving the necessary European Grant funding. “To see Shorelines brought back to life in a way that not only enhances its period features but brings the building right up to date in terms of energy performance is incredible. As a rapidly growing Wirral based business, who are leaders in their field, it’s fitting to see MD Insurance Brokers make Shorelines their home for many years to come.”

Changes to employment tribunal fees could benefit small businesses A LOCAL employment law expert says that upcoming changes to employment tribunal fees this year could benefit small businesses. The government plans to introduce a two stage fee process in the summer of 2013 where a fee will have to be paid when making an employment tribunal claim and a second fee payable before the final hearing. Currently the tax payer funds employment tribunals and employees are able to make a claim without paying any fees. Joe Davison, employment law specialist at Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors says: “Small businesses

are likely to benefit from the changes as they often find themselves defending a claim without merit from a disgruntled employee and then having to pay legal fees for defending the claim without being able to recoup any expenses from the employee if successful.” “Employers will also be able to assess the strength of a claim and how far an employee is willing to go based on whether the employee is willing to pay the tribunal fees. The current position allows employees to exploit the system by bringing weak claims hoping that their employer

will settle on a commercial basis without incurring legal costs. However the introduction of new fees may make employees think twice before bringing a claim against their employer.” Joe says that the changes will mean parties will be encouraged to attempt to settle disputes through mediation or ACAS before bringing a claim. Employees on low income may avoid paying fees as seen in the Civil Courts and there has been some debate as to whether employers are being favoured by the changes in order to create a more open and

flexible employment market. For more information on employment law contact Joe at Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors on 0151 264 7363.

Joe Davison

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Appointments Prospect GB appoint a new commercial property division Property GB, a leading development organisation with Chris residential, Walker commercial and development investments, has appointed Chris Walker to head up its commercial property division. Chris is an experienced operator in the global corporate lettings market and has managed commercial transactions and portfolios from New York to the Far East for blue-chip clients of BNP Paribas and CBRE. He will now be overseeing a range of commercial investments and developments across the North West, including Meridian Business Village in Hunts Cross and will also play a key role in acquisition and disposal activity for Prospect GB’s commercial portfolio. Chris says: “I have joined Prospect GB at an exciting time, with a commercial portfolio which is active and performing well despite a sluggish market.” Key appointment boosts Brabners Chaffe Street’s construction team Leading construction lawyer Barry Goodall has been appointed as a partner by North West law firm Brabners Chaffe Street. A specialist in construction and engineering dispute resolution, Barry has 17 years of experience acting for contractors, Barry Goodall sub-contractors, developers, suppliers and companies of all sizes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Barry joins from international law firm DAC Beachcroft, where he was a partner. At Brabners Chaffe Street, Barry will cover the Liverpool and Manchester offices, working with clients on dispute resolution and providing noncontentious contract advice. Barry says: “I am delighted to join Brabners Chaffe Street. The firm has an outstanding reputation across the North West and beyond and I look forward to being able to support and add to the firm’s expertise in the construction and engineering sectors.” 16 MOVE COMMERCIAL

Promotions at GAD Gregory Abrams Davidson Solicitors has announced a series of appointments and promotions following a successful quarter. Partner Lisa Lunt, who has spent 17 years with the firm as a legal secretary has been promoted as the new head of clinical negligence. She is based in the firm’s Penny Lane office. Ian Kay has been promoted to partner status, heading up the Lisa Lunt Personal Injury team at GAD’s Garston office. Ian is also an expert in employer’s liability, public liability and Highway Authority claims. In addition, Alison Flaherty who has been with GAD for nine years is now dual qualified as a chartered legal executive lawyer and solicitor. Also, London School of Economics-trained Richard Jones has joined GAD as a consultant following more than 35 years of experience in the industry. The firm currently has three offices across Liverpool and one in London. New innovation manager at Merseyside Business Park The Liverpool Innovation Park has a new innovation manager, Delyth Lloyd. Delyth joins the park Delyth Lloyd from the Optic Centre, in North Wales, where she was business incubation manager. During her five years of work at the Optic Centre, she was also involved in an 18-month secondment working on a European funded project for the Welsh Government. Lloyd's new role at the innovation park will involve supporting the expansion of companies on site and managing stakeholder relationships. She will also promote the park as a facility and manage on-site events and workshops. Launched in April 2008, Liverpool Innovation Park is a strategic location for investments in the growth of knowledge intensive and IT dependent businesses. Home to over 80 organisations and over 500,000 sq ft of buildings set in landscaped surroundings on Edge Lane, LIP attracts new businesses from technology start-ups to subsidiaries of multi-national corporations.

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Liverpool’s Local Lawyers


p17-34_Move Commercial 20/02/2013 15:29 Page 17

Move Commercial Bitesize thinking

RICHARD FORMAN Delph Property Group, owners of The West Tower, Liverpool

In my crystal ball… 2013 will be a year of renewed confidence and momentum in the city centre’s residential market. The limited availability of finance for home buyers has kept the market in a prolonged period of stasis. So, recent news from the Bank of England’s credit conditions survey that more money - and crucially competitive rates – is becoming available for buyers, is very welcome. A resurgence of owner occupiers is definitely on the cards. There’s a clear sense in the market that prices have bottomed out and that now is the time to buy.

If only I’d known…. ...what an excellent city Liverpool really was. We generally purchase residential investment property around London and the South of England, but the quality of the West Tower piqued our interest to consider investments further north. When we first visited the building we were naturally very impressed by its spec and fantastic views, but it was also clearly evident how much of a thriving city Liverpool is. Sustained investment in the city centre over the past ten years has been hugely successful and as a result we believe that Liverpool’s property values are in a strong position to benefit from capital growth over the next 10 years.

‘Synergy’ Buzzword Meaning: Synergy’s official dictionary meaning is ‘the working together of two things to produce a result greater than the sum of their individual effects’. But as with most business speak, buzzwords run the risk of sounding not only silly but losing the core meaning of the word completely in translation. It’s also likely to make you cringe when you hear it used in

sentences such as ‘creating synergy in an effort to develop value-added paradigms.’ Business people of the world, it is time to drop overused corporate language and get back to basics. What is wrong with clearing out the smoke and mirrors and over exaggerated vocabulary and, God forbid, actually saying what you mean for a change? People might thank you for it.

Vital statistics

£32m

Is the amount the Liverpool city council has to save in its budget from the financial year starting in April due to a reduction in grants from the government funding. So far the council has discussed plans to shut half of its libraries, increase council tax by 1.8% and the cuts could affect around 400 council workers jobs. There are also plans to introduce junior football league charges at the start of the August 2014 season, to recoup costs.

&

Home Away

FAVOURITE BUILDINGS VICTORIA ALDERTON BA (Hons) BArch RIBA, architect, Purcell HOME I'm perhaps slightly bias as it's a building Purcell have been involved with for many years, but I think the Florence Institute in Toxteth, affectionately known as the Florrie, is

a fantastic example of how great buildings are about so much more than bricks and mortar, they are about people. Since its opening in 1890 as a boys youth club the Florrie has always served the community and when it looked as though it Florence Institute would be lost forever following years of neglect it was the community that fought hard to save this impressive Victorian landmark.

Kunsthaus

AWAY It's such a tough choice but the building that first springs to mind is the Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. It's a building I discovered at University that I immediately fell in love with because it was just so different from anything I had ever seen before. For anyone who doesn't know this building I can only describe it as a gigantic biomorphic blob that nestles amongst the baroque pitched roofs of the historic city. MOVE COMMERCIAL 17


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By Christine Toner christine@movepublishing.co.uk

As work begins to turn Great Homer Street into a thriving area once more, we talk to Steve Prosser, regional director at St Modwen to find out what's in store for the area and why it's taken so long to get started.

Making progress

18 MOVE COMMERCIAL

also a board of regional directors, one of which is Steve Prosser. St Modwen's involvement in the Great Homer Street site began in 2003. “The city council came out for competition for a new regenerative development in North Liverpool,” explains Steve. “It had identified a site of about eight acres and believed there was capacity for a food store development in that area of the city but people who were bidding were invited to come forward with their own regenerative proposals. St Modwen put forward plans for Project Jennifer. “We considered that just putting a food store in that part of the city actually wouldn’t assist substantially with the regeneration of the whole area,” says Steve. “And so we drew a line around what is effectively 40 acres 15 hectares of a much wider area to say there actually needs to be a whole new district centre here that would contain food retail but also local and more convenient retail. We needed to put in homes, we needed to put in employment and we needed to put in leisure facilities. Our bid was effectively for a whole new district centre for north Liverpool. That was the basis on which we were selected and Project Jennifer as it’s now known is really the focal point of a lot of other regeneration initiatives for north Liverpool.” The Project Jennifer site sits between Great Homer Street and Scotland Road. It starts immediately to the north of the Kingsway Tunnel and runs between Great Homer Street and Scotland Road until the two meet at the top. Everton Sports Centre, which is situated within the site, will remain

in its current location and work is currently underway on the development of a new school building for Notre Dame Catholic College (currently situated on Everton Valley). Of course, residents of the area could be forgiven for thinking the scheme has ground to a halt as nine years on from the date St Modwen signed a development agreement with the council, very little seems to have happened. So what has been behind the hold up?

Our bid was effectively for a whole new district centre for north Liverpool.

Just outside Liverpool city centre, a short walk away from the city's famous Scotland Road lies Great Homer Street. Well-known for its Saturday market, which draws crowds from all over the city, it is in itself a pretty nondescript street. If you were going to comment on its appearance at all you may say it looks tired and run down but for the most part it is a run of the mill area. However, in just a few months work will begin to turn Great Homer Street into a bustling hub of shops, cafés and businesses thanks to the plans of developer St Modwen. Great Homer Street was once one of the most well-known areas in North Liverpool. Nearby Scotland Road was known for being one of the most exciting roads in the city, packed full of pubs and shops and this thriving atmosphere spilled over onto Great Homer Street. A weekly market, scores of shops and a strong community spirit helped Great Homer Street to thrive. Today, though, it's a very different story. The area has experienced a steep decline and while the market in Great Homer Street is still going strong, it is proving something of anomaly. It's for this reason that Liverpool City Council pinpointed the area as one which was most in need of regeneration. After putting the project on the open market, inviting ideas from developers, St Modwen was chosen to create its vision in the area. St Modwen PLC was created in 1986. It has a board of non-exec directors and three executive directors, Bill Oliver, chief executive, Mike Dunn, finance director and Steve Burke, construction director. There is

“I couldn’t point to a single hold up because on a scheme of this scale there are all sorts of hold ups and hurdles we need to overcome,” explains Steve. “We signed our development agreement with the council in 2004 and we obtained outline planning permission for the

whole scheme in 2007. One delay we didn’t see was the credit crunch in 2008 and 2009. Therefore we had to spend time with the city looking at how the scheme needed to work to ensure it was viable and happily we were able to do that. “There are close on 200 different land interests within that site, you can imagine how complicated putting a site of that size together so close to the city is and so we always knew that while we would acquire as much as we could by private negotiation actually ultimately we would need a compulsory purchase order (CPO).” Without the CPO Steve admits it’s been very difficult to sign up and commit retailers to the site, however on December 17 last year the CPO was confirmed by the government. The developer signed Sainsbury’s up as the main food store anchor back in 2010 but a challenge to the signing from supermarket giant Tesco also risked causing delays. “The Tesco challenge took about 18 months to resolve but frankly because we were working on viability in that time in a way it didn’t really cause delays. I suppose the city could have done without the expense of having to deal with the challenge but in practise the conclusions that that process drew tactually all enforced the need for more than just a food store in Great Homer Street so in many ways the report that resulted from that process actually set a very good tone for the compulsory purchase because they said no it needs comprehensive regeneration.” St Modwen used the British Council of Shopping Centres annual


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Steve Prosser, regional director at St Modwen Mover & Shaker

conference, held in September at the Liverpool ACC in September 2012, to formerly launch Great Homer Street to other retailers. “We spent our time at the conference meeting with retailers, showing them the scheme and we were very pleasantly surprised with the response we got,” says Steve. “We’re in discussion with a number of retailers but it’s too early to say just yet who they are.” With the CPO now in place Steve says St Modwen is able to move on to a detailed planning application. “This won’t be very different to the scheme, which we’ve got outline planning for,” he says. “But you can imagine, after getting outline planning in 2007, the retailers needs will be a bit different when we come to detail them in 2013. We’ll then move forward with the detail planning or reserve planning application, that’s the next step, and an application will probably be lodged by the end of the year.” As work begins on the project residents can be hopeful of further change in the area. “The council has since gone on to develop a strategic framework for north Liverpool,” says Steve. “Project Jennifer sits at the heart of that and there are other initiatives happening around it. Those other initiatives don’t have big elements of retail to compete with our plan, they all seem to be complimentary to it, so what you get is actually a comprehensive regeneration framework for the whole of the north of the city. Project Jennifer is critical to the immediate area but also contributes to all sorts of things happening in the wider area, it’s really very important.”

St Modwen File Established 1986 Property portfolio: £1.1bn Notable projects in the region: - Project Jennifer, Liverpool - Widnes Leisure Scheme, Halton - Connah's Quay, North Wales What’s next: Detailed planning application to be submitted this year.


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By Kate Hanratty kate@movepublishing.co.uk

Grand Designs When Entrepreneur Richard Skelton set up Utility he admits he took a risk. It was, of course, a risk that paid off. The design store now has 32 staff, four shops and a strong online offering. Richard spoke to Move Commercial about how it all began, his passion for originality and why he will never rest on his laurels.

Set up in Liverpool and now shipping goods internationally, Utility is a store which sells designled products ranging from furniture to gifts and stocks innovative designers such as Alessi, Kartell and Vitra. When the store was formed in 1999 its out of the ordinary stock stood out and gave the public something above and beyond its original expectations. Since then Utility has continued to wow local consumers and has won numerous nationwide awards such as ‘Best Small Shops in Britain Award for Interiors 2011’ from The Daily Telegraph and ‘Gift Retailer of

anything becomes too mainstream we tend to move on.” “We’re very much coming from a design angle, selling cool products to a design savvy customer base but we’re also very commercial minded, if we don’t think a product is likely to sell we won’t give it a shelf space.” Utility was set up in 1999 the brainchild of Richard, Dick Mawdsley and Kate Cowie. Having spent time working in London the three co-conspirators came to Liverpool to set up a coffee shop. The trio set up ‘Coffee Union’ on Bold Street and after a year in business they mentioned to their

We offer original design and are always seeking out the new, alternative, quirky, fresh and championing new designers.

20 MOVE COMMERCIAL

The Year 2011,’ from The Greats Retail Awards, to mention just a few. Richard Skelton, co-founder of Utility says: “We offer original design and are always seeking out the new, alternative, quirky, fresh and championing new designers and new manufacturers. As soon as

landlord that they were interested in setting up another venture on the same street, from here Utility was born. “Unlike Coffee Union, which we set up as an ideal example of a first business, we took more of a risk with Utility,” says Richard. “We painted

the shop ourselves, had inexpensive shop fittings made and purchased all of the stock on credit cards. Fortunately as we opened in early November of 1999, we hit the Christmas rush and Utility took off right from the start.” In 2002 the decision was made to expand the flagship store on Bold Street into stocking furniture and the store expanded into another building which became known as the Liverpool Gift Boutique. The same month the trio sold the Coffee Union business to concentrate solely on the growing Utility. The business continued to steadily grow adding a store in Liverpool ONE in 2010 (becoming the only independent retailer in Liverpool ONE) and later a new store on Pentonville Road in London. Why does Richard think Utility has been so successful and continued to grow while other companies have floundered? “We have limited borrowings and run an extremely tight ship,” says Richard. “We’ve nailed our purchasing down to a fine art and don’t carry huge stock surpluses. We’re also never complacent or rest on our laurels. Improving and developing the business and its efficiency is part of everyday life.” Richard’s background working for Bass Plc in various roles including as an operations manager in which he raised turnover by £3million in two years at the company, means that even for this surprise

independent business success a keen business brain is never too far away from it all. Speaking of the recent businesses which have been forced into administration on the high street including HMV and Blockbuster, Richard has strong opinions on the state of the UK high street. “The high street is in a constant state of flux and retailers need to match their bricks and mortar stores with an equally as strong online offer,” says Richard. “HMV and Blockbuster have seen their businesses cannibalised by Amazon, iTunes, LoveFilm, Net Flix etc as consumers can access all this information and product group digitally and generally cheaper.” Utility’s online sales represent 28% of the company’s turnover and Richard says that it is important to have a strong online presence to compliment Utility’s bricks and mortar stores. “We have invested a great deal of time and money in our website from the early days and this has paid dividends. We could no longer just rely on our physical stores.” With so much business now coming from online and popular retail chains dropping like flies on the high street, I asked Richard just how important is it to keep a physical presence in today’s online heavy retail environment? “We sell a great deal of product which customers are unlikely to purchase online due to the


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Richard Skelton Entrepreneur convenience factor and associated delivery charges such as greetings cards,” he says. “Granted the likes of MoonPig and Funky Pigeon do cater to the online market but we don't sell the mainstream cards that they do. A lot of our customers believe a handwritten card is a lot more sincere than one printed, written and sent by a machine.” More recently, Richard said that he has found that suppliers are refusing to supply pure online businesses due to constant discounting tactics and failure to show products in a physical setting. “This has proven to be a positive move for us as suppliers support real shops,” says Richard. Since its conception Utility’s customer base has expanded nationally and internationally and the Liverpool based store and head office regularly ship furniture to Australia and the Far East. “I am really proud that we have maintained our Liverpool base and the city has supported us from a fledgling business to what we have become today. “ Coming up in 2013, Richard has plans to open a further two stores in London and further Utility’s own label product range. But keeping an eye on the fast moving online market the store launched a ‘click and collect’ service and will continue to develop Utility’s online presence and develop a mobile site to make sure that both online and in store Utility continue to keep it covered.

Skelton file DOB: 14/11/1968 Education: University of Westminster Career: 1991 - 1998 Bass Plc, Estate Surveyor. Lease Operations Manager. Operations Manager, Restaurants and Hotels. 1998 - 2002 Co Founder, Coffee Union 1999 - Present Co-Owner, Utility

MOVE COMMERCIAL 21


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Some Surprising Advice… if you think you can’t afford solar PV at the moment. Have you been thinking about investing in Solar PV, but delayed a decision because of cost? If so this will interest you. Whilst energy prices continue to go up, draining your pocket, the cost of Solar PV panels are actually coming down… in fact the price today may really surprise you. It certainly makes sense to reduce your building energy costs, no doubt about it. It certainly makes sense to generate a valuable income stream through Feed in Tariffs…but how do you justify the initial expense and do the figures stack up? With a little advice it could all make sense, one way or the other. Talk to us and we will provide you a detailed ROI calculation for your building… that way we can arm you with your own business case. With Solen Energy UK’s guaranteed 25 year service life, local installation and engineering quality, what have you got to lose by calling us? To see if the numbers add up for you, why not give us a call?

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p17-34_Move Commercial 20/02/2013 17:03 Page 23

OVER 300 LOTS

THE NORTH’S

NO. 1

FEBRUARY AUCTIONS 4 VENUES INCLUDING LIVERPOOL & MANCHESTER

COMMERCIAL AUCTIONEERS

COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL • LAND • INSOLVENCY • LOCAL AUTHORITY AND PLC DISPOSALS LOT 068

LOT 074

LOT 091

567 West Derby Road, Liverpool L13 8AD

142 Ford Road, Upton, Wirral CH49 0TQ

167 Lord Street, Southport PR8 1PF

• Retail investment • Let to Ladbrokes • Producing £8,750 p.a.

• Retail investment • Let to L Rowlands & Co Ltd • Producing £10,000 per annum

• Vacant retail unit and residential investment • Producing £8,263 p.a.

LOT 136

LOT 101

LOT 142

Units 1-4 Hammond Road, Knowsley Industrial Estate L33 7UL

Morris Barn, Dean Head Lane BL6 7SJ

Hathersage Road Offices and Land M13 0EH

On behalf of LPA Receivers

On behalf of United Utilities

On behalf of United Utilities

• Vacant warehouse divided into 4 units • Approx. 1,102.01 sq m (11,861 sq ft) • Site area approx. 0.2 hectares (0.49 acres)

• Traditional stone built agricultural barn • Benefits from planning permission for conversion • Scenic rural location

• Part vacant offices approx. 7,913 sq m (85,188 sq ft) producing £158,800 p.a. • On a site of approx 1.10 hectares (2.72 acres)

LOT 148

LOT 171

LOT 172

Doctors Surgery, Eastern Way, Carlisle CA1 3NR

Royal Madoc Hotel, Market Square, Tremadoc LL49 9RB

Former Cameron’s Site, Hale Road, Widnes WA8 8TS

On behalf of Carlisle City Council

On behalf of Frederic Robinson Limited

On behalf of Liquidators

• Doctors Surgery ground lease investment • Producing £8,000 p.a. • 5 Yearly rent reviews

• Vacant detached 12 bedrooms hotel • Grade II Listed • On a site of approx. 0.13 hectares (0.31 acres)

• Development land approx. 1.44 hectares (3.55 acres) • Previously used for industrial/workshop • Development potential

LEEDS AUCTION

NEWCASTLE AUCTION

LIVERPOOL AUCTION

MANCHESTER AUCTION

Leeds United Football Club The Lorimer Suite Tuesday 26th February 2013

Newcastle Marriott Metrocentre Tuesday 26th February 2013

Aintree Racecourse The Princess Royal Suite Wednesday 27th February 2013

Manchester United Football Club The International Suite Thursday 28th February 2013

w w w. p u g h - a u c t i o n s . c o m

Te l : 0 8 4 4 2 7 2 2 4 4 4


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By Kate Hanratty kate@movepublishing.co.uk

Apprentices provide a key opportunity to breathe new life into the industry and find the stars of tomorrow at the same time as coping with the financial challenges the current tough economic climate presents.

Building futures

24 MOVE COMMERCIAL

on new apprentices are palpable and to back up the list of benefits which apprentices bring there are also some powerful statistics. According to the National Apprenticeship Service, one in five employers are hiring more apprentices to help them through the tough economic climate. 92% of employers who employ apprentices believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce. Over 80% of employers agree that apprentices make their workplace more productive and 81% of consumers favour using a company

Tom Higgins, business director at Laing O’Rourke Construction says: “To encourage more apprenticeships society has to place a higher value on vocational learning and it is incumbent on us to continually improve the image of the construction and engineering industry. “It is critical that governments do not see apprenticeships solely as a career route for non-academic young people. The demands of the construction industry require some of the brightest engineers and workers, and both government and industry must continue to work

Over 130,000 workplaces employ apprentices because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work-force.

The commercial property industry, along with the rest of the world’s industries, has had it tough of late. Financial challenges and the big economic squeeze have created issues for the commercial property sector. But one area which is breathing new life into the industry while acting as a welcome tonic to the sector’s concerns is the growing arena of apprenticeships. Last year more than one million applications for apprenticeships were submitted through the National Apprenticeship Services online database which advertises a variety of apprenticeship opportunities. In fact apprenticeships have become so popular that this year will see the first ever Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards. The awards will highlight the achievements of the stars of tomorrow and recognise the employers who go the extra mile to provide support and encouragement for their apprentices. But why have apprenticeships become so popular for both apprentices and businesses? David Way, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service says: “Apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors by offering a route to harness fresh new talent. UK businesses consider skills shortages and recruitment difficulties a bigger threat to performance than declining consumer spending. “Over 130,000 workplaces employ apprentices because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work-force.” The benefits to businesses in the commercial property sector of taking

which takes on apprentices. Apprenticeship schemes have been specifically designed to be attractive to businesses and take the pressure off in what has been, lately, a time of redundancies and staff cuts. But some in the industry say that more could be done to encourage apprentices in the commercial property sector. Laing O'Rourke, a multinational construction company headquartered in the UK employed 207 apprentices nationally last year.

together to improve the perception of trade apprenticeships in schools.“ Statistical evidence shows that once you have an employee on the apprenticeship ladder the sky is the limit. According to the latest statistics drawn up by the University of Sheffield in 2007 over the course of their careers, those with an apprenticeship earn, on average £100,000, more than those without. “Apprentices are schooled in the core processes of the organisation from an early stage in their career,”

says Tom. “Apprentices bring in a pipeline of sustainable talent, which offers new perspectives and allow the company to be at the forefront of the ever-changing construction industry where new skills are always required. Many of Laing O’Rourke’s current senior team first joined the business through our apprenticeship programme.” Not only a welcome remedy for the young and unemployed looking for an affordable route into a career, apprenticeships and the benefits the schemes can bring are becoming the easiest way to kick start businesses who may be stalling on taking on any new staff due to concerns about the current economic climate. At the time of going to press, the body behind the training and development of the UK’s engineering construction workforce, The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board had launched a recruitment drive to find 800 new apprentices in fourteen different disciplines including, design and drafting, electrical maintenance, electrical installation and other roles. David Edwards, chief executive of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, says: “The engineering construction industry is in a position to be able to offer exciting and well paid careers to young people. Our latest manpower forecasts predict a 30 percent growth over the next ten years with 60,000 more skilled workers needed across all our sectors. It is vital to the future of engineering construction in this country that we raise awareness of the industry and the available careers, with young people.”


p17-34_Move Commercial 20/02/2013 15:30 Page 25

Spotlight Apprentices

Dean Sankey St Helens Council

Daniel Crehan Pilkington Glass

Wayne Dowling Glendale

MOVE COMMERCIAL 25


p17-34_Move Commercial 20/02/2013 15:30 Page 26

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p17-34_Move Commercial 20/02/2013 15:30 Page 27

Exchange Station

LIVERPOOL COMMERCIAL OFFICE MARKET REVIEW 2012


p17-34_Move Commercial 20/02/2013 15:30 Page 28

WATERLOO

OUT OF TOWN NORTH LIVERPOOL

M6

BOOTLE M58

CITY FRINGE CITY CENTRE

OUT OF TOWN

OUT OF TOWN

KNOWSLEY

ST HELENS

M57

OUT OF TOWN

M62

WAVERTREE

OUT OF TOWN SOUTH LIVERPOOL RIVER MERSEY LIVERPOOL JOHN LENNON AIRPORT

SUMMARY

LIVERPOOL CITY REGION MAP  Combining the Central Business District and the city fringe and out-of-town markets reveals total Liverpool City Region office market take-up in 2012 was 534,730 sq ft, up 40 per cent from 2011.  Total city centre office take-up in 2012 was 259,602 sq ft, virtually unchanged from 2011.  A surge in demand from Liverpool's now fast-growing creative, media and digital sector - and a cautious return to activity by the public sector - largely explain the sharply improved City Region office market.  The out-of-town office market staged an impressive recovery, with take-up growing three fold from 63,684 sq ft in 2011 to 209,200 sq ft in 2012.  The creative, media and digital sector accounted for take-up of 16.5 per cent of office take-up in the Liverpool City Region, with total sq ft let almost three times higher than in 2011.  Shipping and distribution - historically important to Liverpool's economy - continues to exercise a powerful influence on the city's office market. Total take-up from the shipping and distribution sector in the Central Business District was 34,697 sq ft (13 per cent of take-up), making it the second largest occupational category after the professional services sector.  The combined professional and financial share of Central Business District take-up in 2012 was 33.8 per cent (87,616 sq ft), down on the 60.4 per cent (162,060 sq ft) reported in 2011. Their combined share of take up of the entire Liverpool City Region office market is now 20.5 per cent of take-up (109,432 sq ft).  Wavertree area has become the out-of-town market's outstanding office success story, with takeup surging for the second year in a row. Take-up was four times higher than in 2011, totalling 86,014 sq ft. This follows 47 per cent growth in 2011.  A total of 209,051 sq ft of Grade A office space is empty and ready for occupation in Liverpool’s CBD.  On the preferred measure of Grade A and B, the Central Business District vacancy rate has narrowed to 12.6 per cent.


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WELCOME... …to the Commercial Office Market Review for 2012. Professional Liverpool, Liverpool Vision and The Commercial District BID are pleased to once again report on the activities that have occurred in the office market for Liverpool and its regions over the last calendar year. As usual the information has been researched on a structured and objective basis compiled from data sourced from the property agent members of Professional Liverpool with help from some of the region’s major stakeholders. Various refinements have been made this year including the re-grading of offices and the introduction of a user category for ‘Shipping and Distribution’ to provide a more focused and detailed analysis. The figures show a surprising upturn in overall take up for the City region of 40% on 2011 with the out of town market improving three fold. The market has also revealed a greater diversity of take up than for 2011. The hiatus in development provides cause for concern along with the continuing need to attract inward investment and more substantial occupiers. The market is challenging but last year has shown positive signs upon which Liverpool and its regions can build with the right level of commitment. We hope that the review provides not only a useful source of reference for analysis on previous years but a valuable insight into the current market. Our thanks go to all parties involved in the review who have been accredited at the end of this report. We would welcome your feedback.

STUART KEPPIE

MAX STEINBERG

DAVID GUEST

Chairman, Professional Liverpool Property Group

Chief Executive, Liverpool Vision

Chair, The Commercial District BID

property group


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OFFICE TAKE-UP IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT FOR 2012 SQ FT

Total Central Business District (CBD) office take-up in 2012 was 259,602 sq ft, little changed from the 268,298 sq ft reported in 2011. Both are healthily above 2010 (207,515 sq ft) and 2008 (245,000 sq ft) suggesting a return to a stable, sustainable market after several years of disruption.

300,000

259,602

0

268,298

75,000

2012

150,000

2011

225,000

The year offered further evidence of the breadth of the economic recovery underway in the city. In 2012 it was more true than ever that demand is no longer dominated by the public sector, or professionals although these sectors remain important - but now comes evenly from several business sectors including shipping, media and creative, the financial services sector and call centres. There is also evidence that smaller businesses are growing into new office space. 2012 saw 61 deals, up from 44 in 2011, with more than two-thirds taking suites of between 1,000 and 5,000 sq ft.

YEAR

The year was notable for the lack of a single larger transaction over 30,000 sq ft. In 2012 the largest single letting was 22,500 sq ft, compared to 94,000 sq ft in 2011.

No 1 Tithebarn (largest office letting)

SQ FT 600,000

OFFICE TAKE-UP OVERALL

500,000 382,592

300,000

Combining the Central Business District city fringe and the out-of-town markets reveals total Liverpool City Region office market take-up in 2012 was 534,730 sq ft, a jump of 40 per cent compared with 2011.

511,238

400,000

2011

2012

0

The total represents a substantial gearshift for the City Region's office market, and for its economy compared with the previous two years. The total of 511,238 sq ft compares with 382,592 sq ft in 2011 and the broadly similar 393,441 sq ft of 2010..

YEAR

3.03%

OFFICE TAKE-UP FOR 2012 IN THE CITY FRINGE

11.91%

3.34%

45.03% 36.69%

TOTAL TAKE-UP (%) 3.03% Public Sector 11.91% Professional 0% Financial

3.34%

Training Creative 45.03% Other

36.69%

Total city fringe office take-up in 2012 was 65,928, up 30 per cent on 2011. The network of historic terraces and modern conversions close to the city centre has long been popular with Liverpool's creative, media and digital sector whose strong return to growth in 2012 (after a pause in 2011) has driven demand in the city fringe. Creative media and digital industries have generally accounted for between one fifth and one third of the total annual take-up in the city fringe, but have now accelerated to 37 per cent of the city fringe office take-up as the sector matures.

LIVERPOOL COMMERCIAL OFFICE MARKET REVIEW 2012

This return to rapid growth now means creative, media and digital take-up easily eclipses the professional services sector (12 per cent) as the area's largest single source of demand for office space. The professional sector accounted for just 12 per cent take-up in 2012 compared to 26.9 per cent of take up in 2011. However, it is now clear that 2011 represented an unusually active year for professionals, both in the city fringe and in the city centre. Professional take-up in the city fringe 2012 was broadly similar to that in 2010 (7,852 sq ft in 2012, compared to 7,058 sq f in 2010) and this probably represents baseline demand.


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OFFICE TAKE-UP OUT-OF-TOWN IN 2012 Demand for suites in Liverpool’s out-of-town office markets staged an impressive recovery in 2012.

5.43% 10.30%

23.96% 39.80% 8.13% 12.38%

AREA (%) 10.30% 39.80% 12.38% 0% 8.13% 23.96% 5.43%

South Liverpool Wavertree Knowsley North Liverpool Bootle / Waterloo City Fringe St Helens

Office take-up in the business parks of North and South Liverpool, Wavertree, and Knowsley, and in the more mixed markets of St Helens and Bootle/Waterloo, totalled 209,200 sq ft, substantially up on the 131,000 sq ft recorded in both 2009 and 2010, and cruising ahead of the modest 63,684 sq ft recorded in 2011. Greater flexibility from landlords, and realism from tenants, has helped boost performance after the shock delivered by a poor out-of-town performance in 2011. As usual the popular Wavertree sub market proved itself the most resilient and best equipped to achieve growth, turning 2011's 19,504 sq ft take-up into 109,506 sq ft in 2012. Growth in this submarket was driven by the resurgence of the creative, media and digital sector, which accounted for 34 per cent of Wavertree's take-up in 2012. A surprising return to the market by the public sector also helped boost take-up in Wavertree. Public sector take-up in Wavertree in 2012 was 32,888 sq ft (30 per cent).

South Liverpool and Knowsley both saw expansion in 2012, with the creative, media and digital sector making a perhaps surprising break into South Liverpool's business parks (taking 8,072 sq ft) and the public sector making a powerful return in the Knowsley market as Merseycare signed up for 34,500 sq ft. Two emerging markets - Bootle/Waterloo north of the city centre, and St Helens to the south-west are now coming into focus, thanks to a second year of unique research. Both suggest immature but fastchanging office districts with medium-term scope for developers and investors. St Helens performed well in 2011, with total take-up of 22,312 sq ft. This level of activity was more muted in 2012 with take up of 14,929 sq ft, with a matching drop in availability. Take-up in Bootle/Waterloo has risen from 16,638 sq ft (2011) to 22,378 sq ft (2012). The sub-market has seen a dramatic increase in availability to 239,846 sq ft in 2012 (up from 89,377 sq ft in 2011), largely due to secondary Grade C public sector accommodation now coming onto the market.

V7 Kings Business Park (largest out of town letting)

OFFICE TAKE-UP TRENDS IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT

SQ FT 600,000 500,000 400,000

207,515

268,298

259,602

2011

2012

519,274

YEAR

2010

0

245,289

100,000

2009

200,000

2008

300,000

Total city centre office take-up in 2011 was 259,602 sq ft, a modest fall on 268,298 sq ft recorded in 2012. The five year average is now 300,000 sq ft (2008-2012 inclusive), showing the city centre's office market still performing a little below normal. However, it was striking that 2012 saw an appreciably larger number of deals - 61 in 2012 compared to 44 in 2011 providing evidence of a broader-based return to occupier confidence in the city centre office market.

The Liverpool office market usually sees a handful of deals above 30,000 sq ft - but 2010 and 2012 have been the exception. The largest transactions were for 22,500 sq ft and 22,123 sq ft respectively. The pace of deal making closely reflected national and global - economic trends. The unsettling Euro crisis of late 2011 continued into the first quarter of 2012, during which deal-making was sparse. The pace quickened in the second half of the year, with 35 of the 62 deals completed on or after 1st June.

LIVERPOOL COMMERCIAL OFFICE MARKET REVIEW 2012


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TAKE-UP BY SECTOR 13.37%

9.62%

23.90%

17.19%

15%

9.85%

5.81% 5.27%

DEALS BY SECTOR CBD (%) 9.61% 23.90% 9.85% 5.27% 5.81% 13.37% 17.19% 15%

Public Sector Professional Financial / Banking Training Creative / IT / Media Distribution / Shipping Outsourcing / Call Centre Other

DISTRIBUTION AND SHIPPING In previous years this report has noted the growing significance of one of Liverpool's traditional economic sectors - shipping and distribution. In 2012, for the first time, occupier data was collected which enable us to measure the size of this sector - and, as expected, it turns out to be considerable. Total take-up from the shipping and distribution sector in the Central Business District was 34,697 sq ft (13 per cent of take-up). This makes shipping more significant that either the public sector or financial services, and the second largest occupational category. We will continue to monitor this vital business sector in future years. PUBLIC SECTOR 2009 was the last year that the public sector dominated Liverpool’s city centre office market. However, it made a strong contribution to the growth of Liverpool's out-of-town markets in 2012. In the Central Business District a rapidly diversifying local economy and sharp cut backs in public sector property procurement have combined to end the days when the public sector accounted for half the city centre's annual office take-up. In 2012 total public sector take up in the Central Business District was 24,968 sq ft (9.6 per cent of total take-up), broadly similar to 2011.

27.75%

31.46%

26.66% 3.01%

TAKE UP BY SECTOR CITY FRINGE AND OUT OF TOWN MARKET (%) 31.46% 4.92% 3.01% 6.20% 26.66% 27.75%

Public Sector Professional Financial / Banking Training Creative / IT / Media Other

In the out-of-town markets it is a different story. A cost-conscious public sector made a surprise return to prominence in the city fringe and out-of-town markets. A total of 86,535 sq ft was let to the public sector in these markets, accounting for 41 per cent of out-of-town take-up. Combining Central Business District, city fringe and out-of-town to give a figure for the entire Liverpool City Region shows public sector take-up in 2012 of 111,503 sq ft (21 per cent of take-up). PROFESSIONAL AND FINANCIAL SECTOR Liverpool's economy has been in transition for a decade, and that change has been reflected in the take-up patterns of the professional and financial services sector. During the last decade they grew rapidly in the city, and after a pause during the recession of 2008-2010 returned to prominence in 2011, accounting for 60.4 per cent of take-up in the city centre.

Professionals also slowed their pace in the city fringe and out-of-town markets. Here professionals accounted for take-up of 11,927 sq ft, and the financial sector - never prominent outside the city centre - for 9,889 sq ft. Combining the city centre and out-of-town markets to produce a Liverpool City Region figure suggests professional and financial services together account for 20.5 per cent of take up in 2012, a total of 109,432 sq ft. CREATIVE AND MEDIA OCCUPIERS The creative, media and digital sectors have matured rapidly to become one of the cornerstones of Liverpool’s growing economic diversity, and this is reflected strongly in the 2012 office market. Concentrated in the terraces and modern conversions of the city fringe, and the new build of Wavertree, the sector is now the dominant source of demand for office space. In the city fringe, creative media and digital occupiers accounted for deals totalling 24,190 sq ft (37 per cent of take-up in this submarket) and 36,949 sq ft in Wavertree (34 per cent of take-up in this submarket). There was modest, but encouraging, activity from the sector in the out-oftown markets of St Helen's and the business parks of both North and South Liverpool. The sector has always been a small player in the Central Business District, mainly due to outgoings that do not meet their budgets. In 2012 the sector was responsible for city centre deals totalling 15,083 sq ft, a total consistent with medium-term averages. This amounted to 5.8 per cent of city centre take-up. Combining the city centre, city fringes and out-oftown locations shows total creative, media and digital take-up in the Liverpool City region of 88,427 sq ft (16.5 per cent of total take-up in 2012). This represents a massive leap from the 22,703 sq ft (5.9 per cent of total office take-up) reported in 2011 and helps to explain the sharply improved performance in the City Region's office market in 2012.

2012 saw the professional and financial services sector pause once again as the Euro crisis evolved. Professional occupiers accounted for 23.9 per cent of Central Business District take-up (62,049 sq ft, barely half the 128,261 sq ft reported in 2011), whilst financial services occupiers claimed 9.9 per cent (25,567 sq ft, compared to 33,799 sq ft in 2011).

LIVERPOOL COMMERCIAL OFFICE MARKET REVIEW 2012

Baltic Creative


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OFFICE SUPPLY IN THE CITY CENTRE 8.57% 26.16% 28.74%

36.53%

GRADES A-D (%) 8.57% 28.74% 36.53% 26.16%

Grade A Grade B Grade C Grade D

Using the preferred measure of Grade A and B, whilst overall vacancy rates in the Central Business District have changed little over the last decade, the detail reveals an increasingly modern, lettable office stock. Global figures are not revealing, thanks to the city's large reservoir of historic, and difficult to let, buildings. At December 2012 a total of 7.2m sq of office space of all ages and qualities was recorded in the Central Business District, a figure virtually unchanged since 2007. Of this total our census shows 2.43m sq ft available. This represents an increase from 1.96m sq ft in 2011, explained partly by a re-assessment of a re-basing of the census, and partly by the failure of a weakened residential sector to recycle much of the older unlettable stock.

and 1970s and is nearing the end of its economic life. In busier markets much of this space would be redeveloped or converted to other uses. Indeed, hotel conversion/redevelopment accounted for 110,000 sq ft in 2012. Expressed another way, 63 per cent of available office space is either unlettable Grade D space, or largely outdated Grade C. If Grade D office space (638,095 sq ft for which there is effectively no market) is excluded from our analysis then the “wide” measure of the CBD vacancy rate is 25 per cent (2011: 23.5 per cent) Alternatively, the “narrow” measure of the CBD vacancy rate (which also excludes 890,943 sq ft of Grade C office stock) produces a vacancy rate narrowing to 12.6 per cent (2010: 14.2 per cent).

However, the supply of Grade A space empty and ready for occupation has declined sharply, down to 209,051 sq ft (2011: 257,283 sq ft) as new development is absorbed. The supply of good Grade B office space is also down, standing at 700,851 sq ft (2011: 759,067 sq ft). A re-basing of the census for 2012 resulted in a number of older properties being moved into lower grades. The result is a large stock of floorspace of marginal or limited economic use. A total of 1.3m sq ft is either pre-war or dates from the 1950s, whilst a further 611,619 sq ft dates from the 1960s

Mann Island (Grade A offices completed in 2012)

OFFICE SUPPLY: CITY FRINGE AND OUT-OF-TOWN The city fringe market saw a rise in the supply of office space available and ready for occupation.

3%

17.25% 27.80% 22.45% 15.70% 8.50% 5.30%

OFFICE AVAILABILITY (%) 17.25% 22.45% 8.50% 5.30% 15.70% 3% 27.8%

South Liverpool Wavertree Knowsley North Liverpool Bootle / Waterloo St Helens City fringe

In November 2011 we recorded total city fringe availability at 318,906 sq ft, but in 2012 this rose to 422,144 sq ft, despite a busy year of lettings. This is in part explained by consolidation of floorspace some larger users who then released surplus accommodation (Abbey National and the local primary care trust, for example). Simultaneously conversion from industrial to office use, particularly in the South Docks, contributed to more than 40,000 sq ft becoming available as office floorspace. Elsewhere, in the out-oftown market the November 2012 census of office availability shows 1.1m sq ft of office space available

compared with 907,128 sq ft in 2011, an increase of 18 per cent. This is the third year in which supply has increased since 2009. We calculate that 345,816 sq ft of Grade A office space is available and ready for occupation in the out-of-town and city fringe markets, sharply down on the 431,950 sq ft reported in 2011. The largest single source of supply is South Liverpool (212,000 sq ft) yet Wavertree, by far the most successful market, has nil supply for the second year in succession.

Meridian Business Village

LIVERPOOL COMMERCIAL OFFICE MARKET REVIEW 2012


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TAKE-UP BY GRADE OF OFFICE Liverpool’s city centre office market continues to be dominated by occupiers' search for costeffective office space.

3.70% 9.65%

However, occupier interest in the city's large stock of budget Grade C floorspace appears to be dwindling. Take-up in the Central Business District is down from 5.3 per cent in 2011 to 3.7 per cent in 2012 (9,811 sq ft).

86.65%

DEALS BY GRADE OF BUILDING IN CBD (%) 9.65% 86.65% 3.70%

Grade A Grade B Grade C

The take-up of Grade A space tends to fluctuate wildly in what has often been a supply-led market, varying between extremes as widely separated as 3 per cent in 2008 and 32 per cent in 2009. In 2012,

31%

20% 23%

The revival at the grass-roots of Liverpool's economy is most apparent in the market for smaller suites where 2012 saw a continued sharp improvement in activity. We calculate that 54 per cent of all transactions in the city centre were for suites under 2,500 sq ft. This compares with 47 per cent in 2011.

Not only was more floorspace transacted in smaller deals, but the number of smaller deals also 2012 DEALS BY AREA IN SQ FT (%) increased. The total number of transactions for 13% 5001-10,000 suites under 5,000 sq ft was 33 in 2011, but rose to 31% 0-1000 8% 10,001-20,000 45 in 2012. 23% 1001-2500 20% 2501-5000

Take-up in the substantial out-of-town market is by no means as heavily dominated by newly-built or Grade A floorspace as some might expect, partly thanks to the strictly limited supply of new building since 2008. In 2012 22 per cent of out-of-town office floorspace was let in Grade A buildings. Grade B space accounted for 50 per cent of out-oftown take-up, with the Grade C market claiming an unusually high 28 per cent due to the Grade C heavy make-up of the Wavertree market, which does not offer tenants the choice of occupying Grade A space. Take-up in the city fringe market - with its rich mix of properties - is inevitably dominated by Grade B floorspace (73 per cent).

TAKE-UP BY SIZE OF OCCUPIER

5% 8% 13%

In the Central Business District take up of Grade B office space - defined as refurbished office space over 5 years old - accounted for 86.5 per cent of all floorspace let during 2012 (224,940 sq ft). This is barely changed from the 84.6 per reported in 2011.

total Grade A take-up accounted for 9.7 per cent of floorspace let in the Central Business District.

5% 20,000+

Although the proportion of floorspace occupied by large transactions changed relatively little between 2011 and 2012, the number of larger deals grew. Total deals between 5,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft increased from 11 in 2011, to 16 in 2012. It is in this sector, dominated by larger professional and corporate occupiers, that the changing economic make-up of the city centre market is being felt. The city centre saw eight deals above 10,000 sq ft in 2012, exceeding some expectations when we consider that there were 10 such deals in the boom year of 2007 and just three in the recession year of 2009.

NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY

ACCREDITATION

For the purposes of this research, Grade A space was defined as office space completed since 1st January 2008; Grade B space as office space completed before 1st January 2008 or other accommodation recently refurbished or due to be refurbished Grade C as unrefurbished but ready for occupation. Grade D is office space which could not be occupied without substantial refurbishment, and where no plans exist for such refurbishment.

This report has been compiled by members of the Property Group of Professional Liverpool with assistance from Liverpool Vision and the Commercial District BID. Our special thanks go to:

CONTACT INFORMATION Professional Liverpool Tel: 0151 224 1855. Email: johnhall@professionaliverpool.com Liverpool Vision Tel: 0151 600 2900. Email: info@liverpoolvision.co.uk Commercial District BID Tel: 0151 600 2984. Email: kevin.whittaker@liverpoolcdp.com

Words by David Thame. Designed and produced by Move Publishing Ltd.


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By Suzanne McGuckin

With the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards only weeks away we discover how one global construction firm has enabled young single mum, Kelly Foy, to realize her dream of training to become a construction manager whilst working on projects close to her heart in the city she loves.

HARNESSING NEW TALENT

36 MOVE COMMERCIAL

schedule Kelly, 25, spoke to us about her experience so far - how she has carved out a career path for herself in what is a predominantly male environment whilst juggling single motherhood. Initially starting as an apprentice with Laing O’Rourke in April 2012, Kelly from Anfield was chosen as one of seven out of a class of 30 to attend an interview for the only place on the coveted cadet scheme; a scheme which sees the chosen

site gaining practical experience and one day at university. Her main role involves managing all Health and Safety elements of the work and ensuring that set jobs run to schedule. When asked what made her follow a career in the construction industry Kelly told us that her initial drive to learn more about the industry was to help her in achieving her goal of building her own house. After completing a brick laying

In these tough economic times many sectors are struggling to find suitably qualified workers who come equipped with the practical knowledge required to stay afloat. Drastic times mean drastic measures and businesses refusing to take progressive action to address such issues are almost certainly lining themselves up for future failure. ‘Apprenticeships matter’ These are the words of Doug Richard, an entrepreneur tasked by the government last year to review apprenticeships in England. Upon completing his review Richard made clear his views on apprenticeships, saying: “They matter because many jobs are best prepared for whilst on the job. They matter because no single means of learning will ever suit everyone. They matter because many of the best run companies include apprentices, and they matter because the success of our society is, in part, measured on its capacity to shepherd our young people from childhood to meaningful employment.” These views are very much mirrored by those of Kelly Foy, who agrees that there is no better way to learn a new skill than to put it into practice whilst having the support and guidance of an employer. Taking time out of her busy

Laing O’Rourke could see that I was more than capable of handling the demands of the apprenticeship.

candidate complete an accredited degree course while working as an employee with the firm. Winning the only place available Kelly is now five months into her trainee construction manager course and says she has never been happier. Currently working on a major redevelopment programme at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Kelly spends four days a week working on

course her tutor saw her potential and encouraged her to apply for an apprenticeship with Laing O’Rourke through Liverpool Futures. Not deterred by the fact that she was one of few women pursuing a career in the construction industry nor that she had a young son to take care of, Kelly forged ahead with her application and was accepted on the course. “I had previously juggled years of

studying and being a single parent,” she says. “Laing O’Rourke could see that I was more than capable of handling the demands of the apprenticeship.” Laing O’Rourke has a robust programme in place to secure a skilled workforce and is committed to the development of their staff and the construction industry, which has seen a downturn in recent years. The Laing O’Rourke website states: ‘We believe we can attract and nurture a diverse pool of talent – enabling us to remain at the vanguard of best practice long into the future.’ Kelly believes that the downturn experienced in the construction industry is at an end and is delighted that she is able to play a part in helping with the upturn and more importantly work on projects that are regenerating Liverpool and institutions that hold much affection for her personally. “I had my little boy at the Women’s Hospital and it is nice that I now feel like I can give something back.’ Kelly is keen to remain with Laing O’Rourke upon completion of her course and is hoping to progress on to their ‘Young Guns’ programme which is designed to fast track high potential employees into leadership roles.


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Kelly Foy Rising Star

Recommending all youngsters, male and female, to seriously consider apprenticeship schemes, Kelly says: “Working for a reputable company, and having the support and guidance of experienced colleagues has meant that I have been able to progress my career and develop my skills set with confidence. I am gaining much needed hands on experience as well as a qualification - something I could only get by doing an apprenticeship.” Kelly believes that

apprenticeship schemes benefit businesses too as they help retain a skilled workforce. She says: “Because they have invested in your future you are more likely to invest in theirs and remain loyal to them.’ The Richard Review of Apprenticeships agrees, stating that: “It is in the employers’ interest because apprenticed employees provide benefits: they are more loyal and more effective. They understand their employers’ business on a deeper level as they have

grown up within it. They are more loyal to their employer because their own self-worth is tied to the quality of the employer whose training kite marks their accomplishment.” Kelly rounded off our talk by saying that the apprenticeship with Laing O’Rourke is the best thing she has ever done. She is confident that she has a secure future ahead of her within the company and is determined to progress her career and remain a good role model for her son.

The Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards On 12 March 2013, the city’s grand St George’s Hall will play host to the annual Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Awards. The ceremony is organised by the Liverpool City Region Employment and Skills Board, whose main aim is to improve the employment, skills and productivity of the regions residents and workforce. For further information on the forthcoming awards visit: www.lcrskillsforgrowth.org.uk/ liverpool-city-region-apprenticeship-awards.

MOVE COMMERCIAL 37


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By Suzanne McGuckin

Founded in 1725, chartered surveyors Drivers Jonas was one of the oldest firms of its kind when it was acquired by Deloitte in 2010. Now operating under the name Deloitte Real Estate (DRE), the firm is one of the most respected property consultancies in the world. It is also something of an expert on the Liverpool retail market. In 2012 DRE worked with Liverpool Vision to compile the Liverpool City Centre Strategic Investment Framework, which will guide investment in the city for the next 50 years. Move Commercial met with development advisory Catherine Wignall to find out how high street retailers can become a force to be reckoned with again in Liverpool.

City vision Property consultancy Deloitte Real Estate has a strong connection with Liverpool, including links to a number of the city’s key buildings. Indeed its construction advisory team project-managed the construction of the Capital building and advised the UK Border Agency on its move to the site. DRE also works on a retained consultancy basis with Tate Liverpool. It is its work on the Liverpool retail market however that is most topical. Along with spending last year working in conjunction with Liverpool Vision to compile the Liverpool City Centre Strategic Investment Framework it has also produced the Liverpool Main Retail Area Strategy, a document analysing how the retail environment is changing across Liverpool following the success of Liverpool ONE. This insight into the Liverpool retail market is more valuable than ever given recent events. Indeed, it is no secret that the high street has had it tough. We are only a matter of weeks into 2013 and echoes from 2012 are resounding loud and clear and showing no signs of abating. So what factors have contributed 38 MOVE COMMERCIAL

to these bleak times, and what can retailers do simply to survive? According to Catherine Wignall, development advisory at DRE, diversification of offerings is the key to high street retail success. “The role of the store as part of the wider retail experience is in question and this is largely due to the rise of e-commerce,” Catherine says. “It is unlikely that the traditional store concept will disappear completely, but some chains will need to reduce the scale of their stores and replace them with a stronger online presence.” For many traditional retailers the transition from ‘bricks to clicks’ might appear on the surface to be a daunting prospect; but there are ways to maintain a high street presence while developing and online offering. “Keeping a high street presence is still possible if addressed in a twofold way,” says Catherine. “First of all, the number of stores can be scaled down, with available resources channeled into developing an online offering. At the same time, the remaining high street units need to be given an overhaul. Stores have to become a

destination in their own right in order to be a success, not operating as a silo, rather an integral part of a multi-channel retail experience. “Developments in technology can be used to connect the shop on the high street with its online counterpart. Visitors should be able to scan barcodes in order to add items to their online baskets, check alternative size and colour options on line, cross-reference costs with offers from other retailers and, conversely, pick up their online orders from the shop at their convenience.” So with the diversification strategy in place and the move to incorporate e-commerce in full flow – is this the end to the problems? It appears not. Spiraling rents and business rates are proving to be a major headache for high street retailers. Prime locations, more often than not, demand high overheads. This is why traders should look to negotiate where they can on rent levels and payment dates. “Traders need to have an open and honest dialogue with their landlords,” says Catherine. “If rent is really a struggle, then

downgrading might be the only viable option. This is not necessarily a negative move – lowering overheads can really reduce pressure on a business, and if the new location is chosen wisely, can revitalise the retail offering.” Challenges for high street retailers don’t stop with the squeeze coming from landlords and the competition from online retailers. Out of town retail parks are becoming more and more attractive as a destination for both the consumer and retailer. “The consistently flat economic climate is still causing problems for retailers, with some considering out


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Catherine Wignall, development advisory at DRE Founding Business

Deloitte Real Estate - Drivers Jonas was founded in London in 1725 by brothers Samuel and Charles Driver.

of town locations with lower rents as the only option for retail expansion. “In addition, many city and town centres have limited availability of quality space and little room to expand their retail area. Thankfully, this is not an issue that Liverpool is faced with. However, for cities such as York that still function around medieval blueprints - hemmed in by walls, roads and ancient landmarks - the options are limited.” The recent sad demise of HMV highlights unmistakably how the collapse of big brands is effecting even the most vibrant of locations in Liverpool. But Catherine says, should the Liverpool store close the

success of Liverpool ONE over the years will hopefully attract a replacement retailer quickly. “Liverpool ONE has proved to be a resounding success and filling available units has never been a problem,” she says. “The HMV store is in a prominent and attractive location, opposite Debenhams, which already achieves a high footfall. The challenge is filling the space with a quality retailer in order to build on and enhance the reputation of Liverpool ONE.” And for those retailers not in a prime location, how can they become a force to be reckoned with again in Liverpool?

“In order for he high street to have the appeal it once had, it needs to become a unique destination and experience,” says Catherine. “Retail success is connected with the success of the town or city as a whole. A strong cultural and leisure offering will massively increase footfall, as will events such as the recent Sea Odyssey and the upcoming International Festival of Business 2014. “What is important to remember is that quality has more impact than quantity. Independent retailers moving on to the high street will improve the character and variety available, and give the area an offering that no one else has.”

- As the business prospered the partnership branched out into auctioneering, estate management and land “improvement”. - In January 2010 Drivers Jonas LLP announced it was to merge with Deloitte to create 'Drivers Jonas Deloitte'. The transaction completed in March 2010. - In January 2013 the Drivers Jonas name finally disappeared when the name was rebranded ‘Deloitte Real Estate’.

MOVE COMMERCIAL 39


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By Emma Griffiths emma@design-foundry.co.uk

f o e r u t u f The Britain’s ? t e e r t s h g i h Jessops, Blockbuster, HMV, Republic and longstanding Liverpool business Rapid Hardware are the latest casualties in the fall of Britain’s high street. We take a look at the reasons behind the collapse and what retailers could be doing differently in order to survive. ritain’s retail businesses don’t need to read the papers to know that the industry is in decline. A cursory glance around most local high streets, and the empty shops that fill the view will tell them all that they need to know- the country’s high streets are in crisis. The UK’s retail industry generated over £311 billion in 2012, with over a third of consumer spend going into shops, yet the shutters are still coming down on retail businesses. Where are the high streets going wrong? The Portas Review responded to the concerns of these retailers in 2011 but the issues remain prominent today, all too well demonstrated by the recent flurry of closures that have seen national chains Jessops, Blockbuster and HMV go under. Sadly, these are only the latest in a long list of businesses that

B

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have called in the administrators over the last twelve months. The finger has been pointed at rising rates, out of town shopping centres and online shopping but there must be more than meets the eye in this conflict of consumer spend. Has the British consumer simply evolved beyond the need of the high street or does the traditional offering still have a place in the heart our town centres? THE REAL COST OF DOING BUSINESS With a decline in consumer spend and rising rates across the board, it’s no surprise that the UK’s retailers, both small and large, are struggling to keep up appearances on our high streets. The cost of retail space, once the pathway to generating income is now becoming a burden to outlets up and down the nation.

In an attempt to throw a lifejacket to flagging retailers, the British Retail Consortium’s Fair Rates for Retail campaign is recommending a freeze on business rates, which are set to rise by 2.6% in 2013. “Many high streets are facing a real endurance test in these challenging times and rising operating costs are making matters worse,” says Helen Dickinson, Director General of British Retail Consortium. “The Autumn Statement didn't include a pledge to freeze business rates next year, but there's still time for the Government to do the right thing. Another steep rise would pose a serious threat to vulnerable town centres and mean fewer jobs, especially for young people.” WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY But it’s not only rising rates that are being blamed for the current

predicament. The Portas Review highlighted a number of other factors including out of town shopping centres, shopper accessibility and the need to create safe and attraction high streets for consumers. City centre parking is a common issue, with city run lots and pay and display parking perceived as income generators for local councils rather than a tool to attract consumers. Chester city council recently introduced free parking after 3pm, a time where council parking lots and the Chester’s high streets had previously begun to empty. The new initiative saw a strong rise in visitor numbers after 3pm, thereby maintaining footfall for Chester’s retail businesses throughout the day. Large out of town shopping parks have also been named as perpetrators for the decline in high street footfall


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Retail 2013 Feature but isn’t there enough space for both destination and high street retail offerings to coexist? Improving the consumer high street shopping experience remains a key recommendation for driving footfall and revenues. “Over the coming months I do not expect to see any significant improvement as the ever increasing trend of internet shopping continues to add pressure on the High Street as retailers struggle to justify premium rents,” said Matt Kerrigan, partner at Hitchcock Wright & Partners. “On the other hand, the leisure market remains buoyant with new restaurants opening throughout the city on almost a monthly basis which gives a clear indication as to how consumers are spending their disposable income.” Increased security, clean and attractive spaces for shoppers to congregate and socialise have also been advised to encourage consumers to visit, enjoy, stay and spend on a regular basis. Grovesnor’s Liverpool ONE development is evidence of the

benefits of a safe, accessible and attractive retail offering for consumers, with high footfall and leading retail brands taking up space in a revitalised city centre. Stylish units, live entertainment and events scheduled throughout the year and a healthy mix of retail, leisure, landscaped spaces and seating areas all contribute to the development’s ongoing success. DIGITAL AGE Accounting for £29 billion of retail sales in 2012, internet shopping is on the rise and currently makes up 9% of total sales. The Portas Review named the internet as “one of the key threats to retail in our high streets” but is this surge in online shopping necessarily a negative? In the case of retailer with a strong online presence and digital strategy, the internet can facilitate increased sales and exposure as well as allowing the business to break free of geographical boundaries. Retailers such as John Lewis have impressed marketing gurus with their approach to e-commerce and, as a result, have seen

online sales jump, reporting 40% growth in January 2013 when the winter conditions meant highstreet footfall was low. Shopping with smart phones has also seen a rise, with Econsultancy’s latest survey finding that 43% of consumers have used their mobiles to compare prices and view reviews while out shopping on the high street in 2012, up from 19% in 2011. While Argos’s ‘click & collect’ function has been adopted by many more retailers, dissolving the barrier of busy consumers waiting around at home for deliveries. Like it or not, the digital age has arrived. In retail, is appears as though the internet must work hand in hand with high street stores, if not as the final sales tool but a pre-requisite to many consumer sales. With the right strategy, the internet is far from the enemy of the high street but rather a boost for traditional retail. Internet assisted sales, voucher incentives, location-based apps, social media and mobile sites can be utilised to effectively drive footfall and in-store sales.

Traditional stores will always have a place in the hearts of the British consumer- especially so in the case of specialist retailers and high end, niche products. Ultimately, it comes down to what the in-store experience can offer to buyers and what the high street stores can do to make consumers want to come to them. Whether it’s exceptional service, product knowledge or comfortable surroundings, there is a certain human touch that the internet is unable to replicate. THE FUTURE OF BRITAIN’S HIGH STREET Consumers want more out of their shopping experience in today’s market and simply having a shopfront is no longer enough to entice today’s shoppers. Enjoyment and entertainment is key along with creating an easily accessible, appealing community of retailers that shoppers want to enjoy time and time again. The future of the high street is already upon today’s retailers and as British consumers evolve, so must British retailers.

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• Direct access to the arterial M6 & M62 • The most car-friendly place in the UK* • Within 45 minutes of two international airports & the UK’s largest Freeport zone • Within an hour’s drive of 4.3 million prospective employees & 6.8 million potential customers • A relatively low cost & costeffective location in terms of premises, house prices, & labour * 2010 Virgin Money Survey


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By Christine Toner christine@movepublishing.co.uk

Conferencing in 2013 Lunch debate

Conferences and events provide businesses and individuals with the opportunity to meet with their contemporaries, gain new information and make vital contacts. But with the economy still causing problems for most businesses, can organisers justify the expense of holding an event? And can businesses justify attending? We brought together Stuart Keppie, Lesley Martin-Wright and Kerrin MacPhie to discuss.

Connecting People s

Stuart Keppie partner, Keppie Massie

Lesley Martin-Wright chief executive, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce

Kerrin MacPhie director of sales, BT Convention Centre


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Does the new economic climate make conferences more or less important? Obviously there is a greater need to push your business further but do economic pressures make these events infeasible? Kerrin MacPhie: With regards to the association sector, whether that’s regional, national or

international, as part of their bylaw they have to meet so that has to happen regardless. On the corporate side, I feel that things have settled out and the people I speak to in the UK and internationally are saying the same. We know the economy is not great but it has not been great for several years. There’s an acceptance, they’re saying “Ok, we are where we are and we need to carry on with our lives, we need to have our sales conferences, we need to get our message out, we need to be seen to be investing in our people.” Lesley Martin-Wright: If you look at it from the perspective of the attendees, there’s an economic cost for you to release four, five or 20 of your staff out of the office to go either to a major event in Liverpool or further afield. Economics is always a factor, businesses are lean and mean now so to release five members of staff to spend two days at a conference you have to work out what the value to your business is. 44 MOVE COMMERCIAL

MC: Stuart, you’re behind the Liverpool Cannes Do, what are your views on this? Stuart Keppie: The Cannes Do is not a conference; it falls into a different category. If you’re talking about social networking and an event that allows the business community to let their hair down, that’s what the Cannes Do is. It’s a light-hearted event and it apes what is happening in Cannes. With conferences, I completely agree with the point that Lesley has made about the commitment that firms can actually give to allowing people out for half-day conferences, never mind three-day conferences. I know in our office if somebody said to me there are four of us who want to go to this conference and it’s going to be an all-afternoon event I’d be saying no. Unless it’s something so relevant that you can’t really miss it. How important is the networking element? LMW: I met somebody at an event I attended two years ago and kept in touch with them through newsletters and keeping them on the database. Now they’ve come into membership with Knowsley Chamber because they’ve tracked the performance of the Chamber and the things I’m now doing with businesses. So it’s all about what you then do with the contacts you make and how you keep in touch. People that we are meeting now could turn into real business opportunities six, 12 or 18 months down the line. I think you have to be very intelligent and very educated about what you do with what people are telling you, how you store that information how you feed it into your own organisation, so whatever level of networking or conference or events you go to it’s about keeping and using that data. I think we’ve all become a lot more intelligent about that. KM: A contact you meet could bring you absolutely no business

whatsoever but they may have links into 10 or 12 people who can. I find more and more with the large national three-day conferences or four-day conferences the social element that has been frowned upon is weighed far more importantly than the education for some delegates. That’s the time to carry on the discussion and touch base with colleagues they may not have seen for a year. It’s so powerful. Is online social networking ever going to be an alternative to meeting face to face? KM: Social networking gives us wider reach to events taking place, whatever size they are. With Twitter for example, what tends to happen when an event takes place is organisers will create a hash tag and use the hash tag each time it is mentioned. Once the event has taken its course you can report on that hash tag and appreciate the reach it’s had. One thing we’re working on is hybrid meetings. These are not quite social networking but they link the real with the virtual and that’s something that we are going to drive forward at ACC Liverpool. You could be in LA and I’m in Liverpool and we’re talking, that’s a hybrid meeting. It’s a surgeon operating on an ear in France and

The remarks we get back from the visitors are amazing - we get ‘Wow, we didn’t think Liverpool was like this.

there’s 250 delegates talking asking him questions. We feel because the industry doesn’t know enough about it that we’re going to create a hybrid meeting space. We’re going to help our clients to appreciate how it works and how they can use it to interact with a wider audience. That could mean you can leave the office for a few

hours, come down to that space and link into that meeting in London or in France without having to take several days out of the office. That’s something that’s powerful. We’re going to trailblaze it. SK: Social media won’t act as a substitute; but if you’ve been to a conference then the likes of Twitter or Facebook, acts as a forum to be able to debate what you’ve experienced at the conference. You have to go in the first place to appreciate the issues. The main point is actually getting the right people focused at the conference in the first place to spread the word around afterwards. It has a very strong impact but still doesn’t act as a substitute. Where do face-to-face conferences fall down? Is it just cost and time out of the office? LMW: I think conferences fall down if you don’t do enough research. As a conference organiser you’ve got to have unique USPs or that hook so by getting people through the door you’re going to give them something that you wouldn’t normally be able to pick up. KM: There are a couple of ways where I feel that conference organisers have adapted to the down turn. They’ve made them slightly shorter, often dropping a day and they’ve begun offering day delegate passes. Gone are the days when you attend the conference in its entirety or not at all so you can choose that day that has the key issues or key education you want to get and it’s cheaper. Over recent years they’ve also developed virtual streams – you can pay to be part of that virtual stream or sometimes it’s free if you’re part of an association. Once it’s been streamed it’s there on the website to look at so you can go and look at it at your leisure. And then because you’ve got all that Twitteratti going on you can put your comment in and feel part of the event. So there are ways conference organisers are trying to adapt their events to the needs of today. One of the things that frustrates me is our hoteliers don’t have the midweek occupancy they would like. When we have an event in for 2000 people everyone’s happy, which is great. But we don’t have events in every week for 2000 people. There is a real opportunity with the beautiful venues we’ve got in the city to bring in smaller conferences. There’s a whole raft of business out there and I think we’re


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Conferencing in 2013 Lunch debate missing a trick somewhere because I think we can bring more business in to Liverpool. And it’s not just Liverpool, Knowsley has some beautiful venues. LMW: In Knowsley we’ve got, under the Chamber, the ‘Visitor Economy

“ ”

Georges Hall. We used to place lots of events into Knowsley, not as much Southport as they have their own conference desk so they would do a lot of business themselves but we went out with a passion and people knew who the Liverpool

The ultimate key is to try to persuade people not just to do business here but also to locate their business here.

Network’. Edward Perry, the operations director of Knowsley Hall and Safari Park, leads it. All of the hotels are involved along with all of the other tourist destinations and what we’re trying to do is get our act together in terms of saying what we have to offer within Knowsley. Is it the ACC responsible for Liverpool’s rise as a conference destination? Or was that already happening? KM: We were very limited before it was built. Before I joined ACC I worked for the Liverpool Convention, the Mersey Partnership, I was commercial tourism manager; I managed the Bureau desk and also the call centre. We didn’t have the big venues; our biggest venue was St

team were. We hosted a Spring Labour conference and I always remember because we actually sold it on the basis of a triangle of venues; St Georges Hall, the new Empire building and the Holiday Inn. It was a nightmare but we pulled it off. We did events but we didn’t do amazing events. SK: What the conferencing facility does is it attracts people here and gives the opportunity to showcase the city. It’s about meeting people’s expectations as far as the actual conferencing goes and then the experience they have when they’re here. The big trick is getting them here and I think maybe the precursor to that often is actually going down to London and doing some showcasing there, which on the property side is very hard. The

ultimate key is to try to persuade people not just to do business here but also to locate their business here. KM: For many years Manchester did Manchester Square and it cost them a fortune. They don’t do it as big as they used to but they used to bring everybody down, it wasn’t about conferencing it was about investment. MC: Next year sees the International Festival of Business come to Liverpool at the ACC… LMW: Yes and we’re already discussing that in Knowsley what we can do in terms of the key players like JLR and QVC. If there’s something around advanced manufacturing we’ll do something in Knowsley but it would have to be very co-ordinated. SK: I think the opportunity should be there. I’ve had a conversation, not with Joe Anderson but certainly with the chief executive, about regeneration in Liverpool and whether or not enough attention is being paid to the presentation of Liverpool as a venue. These are business people who are going to be coming off the trains, coming into the airport, experiencing coming into Liverpool in the first instance and wandering around the city, going to the bars, going to the restaurants, walking through the city and there are some disgraceful grot spots. It’s no good saying we haven’t got the money to do it – you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot if you have that attitude because you’ll lose business. It’s not just servicing the restaurants it’s actually making the place look better. If you come out

of Moorfields, you’re met with a derelict car park. That needs some form of landscaping and it wouldn’t be difficult to do it. LMW: I’ve had conversations with various people in the city about sponsorship. Things that have never been able to be sponsored before will be, including some events that take place in the city. Perhaps a relevant sponsor could tarmac the car park. There are several ways to skin a cat. That said, the remarks we get back from the visitors are amazing – we don’t get negatives, we get ‘Wow, we didn’t think Liverpool was like this’. PANAM RESTAURANT The Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AD

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Expert views Ask the panel

What are your predictions for 2013? As we come into spring, with our first edition of Move Commercial we ask the experts what they can see coming up in the next year for the commercial property market and further afield. “As we entered 2013 there was certainly a sense of optimism as businesses and property agents alike hoped for an improvement in the market. Enquiries across all sectors of commercial property are stronger than in the latter part of 2012 however administrations of high street names such as Jessops, Blockbuster, HMV and most recently Republic undoubtedly dent confidence. Over the coming months I do not expect to see any significant improvement as the ever increasing trend of internet shopping continues to add pressure on the High Street as retailers struggle to justify premium rents. On the other hand, the

“My predictions for 2013 are that house prices will continue to rise in the South East, but flat line in the North West (not good news for me as I am trying to sell my house!). There will be some opportunities for North West businesses to get involved in major infrastructure projects for example L2 the new “Royal” in Liverpool and the Mersey Gateway. The Local Enterprise Partnership getting into gear about demanding a station close to John Lennon Airport so that we can maximise the HS2 link to London. Harvey “Nicks” and Selfridges finally realising that they have an amazing opportunity to increase their revenue streams by re-locating their flagship stores into Liverpool ONE (a beauty outlet does not count). For a while Liverpool was very insular, we now recognise the value of our visitor economy and are, once again, becoming a very outward looking region in terms of focusing on our welcome and our hospitality.” Lesley Martin-Wright, Knowsley chamber of commerce

46 MOVE COMMERCIAL

leisure market remains buoyant with new restaurants opening throughout the city on almost a monthly basis which gives a clear indication as to how consumers are spending their disposable income. ” Matt Kerrigan, Partner at Hitchcock Wright & Partners

“With the outlook for 2013 in the construction sector being less than positive thanks to a static UK economy, the opportunities for the commercial property sector will be limited. The gap in activity between London and “the rest” is likely to remain and comments locally suggest not much is happening at all outside of the capital. However, the mood amongst RIBA members is improved recently, with the latest RIBA Future Trends survey suggesting firms are slightly more confident about future workloads, albeit skewed towards activity in the housing market. Architect activity is a good barometer for recovery, and although green shoots are not evident yet there does seem to be some stability. RIBA has been focussing on the development of its international strategy, and indications are that the profession may see the greatest opportunities for securing new work overseas in 2013.” Andrew Ruffler, regional director, RIBA North West

“I expect that the office market in 2013 will be very much like 2011 and 2012, solid but not spectacular. Demand is low by comparison to the boom years leading up to 2008, but it is reasonably strong if you take a longer term view of demand in the city. The problem remains the level of supply available. Whilst there is no doubt that great deals can still be negotiated for occupiers, I do think we will start to see some landlords adopting a more bullish approach for the

better quality buildings. The great hope remains that Liverpool will be able to attract sizeable inward investment and, although this is difficult to achieve, the city has never been better positioned to attract major new occupiers. This has been demonstrated by the success of occupiers like Servicesource.” Mark Worthington, director of office agency based at CBRE’s Liverpool office

“These have been challenging times for the commercial property market in the North West and all over the UK. There is some evidence to suggest that the market will look up in 2013, but negative influences on commercial property yields and values are not going to disappear overnight. Even though the property market has taken a hit, yields on commercial property have been better than some other asset classes, notably cash deposits and government bonds. As the amount of quality Grade A office stock dwindles in Merseyside I suspect rents, having remained static for the past couple of years, will rise. That is good news for pension funds and investment companies, who – unlike the banks - still have an appetite for commercial property. Construction and investment projects, that may have been marginal in 2012, should be re-appraised in the light of the additional tax relief now available. Many companies will hopefully find investing and growing their businesses more affordable in 2013.” Nigel Russell, director, Middle England Developments and Penlake LTD


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