Page 1

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:57 Page 1


June-Aug 2013


MOVE COMMERCIAL The north-west’s guide to property and business

Issue 32

Work begins at India Buildings

SPECULATIVELY SPEAKING Will the north west see speculative building return? DEVOLVING POWER Is the Manchester City Deal working?

India Buildings: Launching 35,000 sq ft Grade A space this August.

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 16:40 Page 2


READY, STEADY, GO! WORK IS NOW UNDERWAY ON CREATING LIVERPOOL’S LARGEST SINGLE GRADE A FLOOR PLATE. We’re creating 35,000 sq ft of outstanding Grade A office space within one of the country’s most beautiful and iconic office buildings. Completion anticipated August 2013.


0151 242 6607

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:00 Page 3

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 15:12 Page 4

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:59 Page 5

Issue thirty-two Move Commercial

Contents News 06 07 08 09 10

Work begins on Liverpool2 Local names for honours list Theatre topping out ceremony Hotel plans for city landmark Secretary of state opens Knowsley Business Village 12 Uncertainty over Central Village 13 Liverpool bucks retail trend 15 £19m cinema sale



Welcome to Move Commercial In this issue we take a look at the Manchester City Deal and discover what impact it’s having. We chat to Bruntwood’s Colin Sinclair to find out the firm’s plans for the rest of this year and beyond. We meet Dominic Stanger of surveyors WT Gunson, who tells us the secret behind the company’s 140year success. And we shine the spotlight on internships in

the region. Plus we bring together four property experts in our lunch debate to ask “Will speculative building return to the north west?” And as always we’ve got all the biggest commercial news stories from across the region.


44 move publishing ltd Advertising Director Fiona Barnet Tel: 0151 709 3871 Advertising Manager Catherine McCarthy Tel: 0151 709 3871 Editorial Team Christine Toner, Natasha Young, Suzanne McGuckin and Rebecca Hatch. Tel: 0151 709 3871


16 Albert Dock special Celebrating 25 years 20 Appointments Who’s moving where? 21 Bitesize Thinking Food for thought 22 Rising Star Eddison’s David Wood discusses his rise through the ranks 24 Feature Internships in the north west 28 Founding Business Dominic Stanger reveals WT Gunson’s history 32 Mover & Shaker Colin Sinclair of Bruntwood talks to Move Commercial 34 Lunch Debate Speculative building in the north west 39 Key Event Kier celebrates 100 years 40 Key Event Dragon Boat racing with Peel 42 Feature Has the Manchester City Deal worked? 44 Entrepreneur Tom Byng discusses his Byron Burger empire 47 Ask the Panel How can the government curb tax avoidance?

Designer Rob Whyte. Email: 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 Credits: Peter Kelly – Key Event. Tom Murphy – Lunch debate.

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.



p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:01 Page 6

News Latest

Bruntwood charity run

The Bruntwood team

MEMBERS of the Bruntwood team took on the gruelling Bupa Great Manchester Run, and showed their support for the firm’s nominated North West charities.

A group of 57 fundraisers from the company stepped up to the 10k challenge, and raised more than £1,760 for OnSide and The Factory Youth Zone. OnSide aims to provide quality, safe and affordable places for young people in the region to go in their leisure time, and Manchester’s The Factory Youth

Zone offers a schedule of activities and opportunities for young people to learn new skills. The run was just the latest in a number of fundraising and volunteering projects that Bruntwood staff members take part in to make charitable contributions.

MERSEYLINK CHOSEN FOR GATEWAY MERSEYLINK has been announced as the preferred bidder for the £2bn Mersey Gateway Project contract. The firm will now work with Halton Borough Council on the final plans for the scheme, before reaching financial close, signing a contract and starting site clearance and demolition later this year, when full details of the winning bid will also be published. Once the formal financial close is reached, Merseylink will work with the local authority to deliver a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate the new £600m toll bridge over the River Mersey, as well as carrying out associated work in Runcorn and Widnes which will be joined by the bridge.

WORK UNDERWAY AT LIVERPOOL2 DREDGING OPERATIONS for Peel Ports’ landmark deep-water container terminal Liverpool2 are now underway, after more than 300 industry guests gathered for a special launch. Sir Bobby Charlton and ‘King’ Kenny Dalglish pushed the button at the Port of Liverpool to start the dredging for the major project, which has received a £300m investment from Peel Ports. The football legends were invited to symbolise the benefits that the terminal, along with Peel Ports’ investments in port hubs along the Manchester Ship Canal, will bring to both Liverpool and



Manchester. Due to open in 2015, Liverpool2 will attract some of the world’s largest container vessels to connect directly with the northern half of the UK and Ireland, serving a market estimated at around four million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) a year. The dredging operations at the site, based on reclaimed land known as the ‘Seaforth Triangle’, mark the start of the construction phase of Liverpool2 and will form a 16.5 metre berthing pocket to create the necessary deep water allowing large vessels to use the new

facility. Mark Whitworth, group chief executive of Peel Ports, says: “The Port of Liverpool has already seen increased interest from shipping lines and cargo owners. Over the last 18 months APL, Evergreen and Zim have started to offer weekly feeder connections into Liverpool, whilst MSC and CMA have continued to grow their long-standing feeder volumes through the port. “Liverpool2 sends a fantastic message to shippers and the wider international trade world – namely, that Liverpool is investing heavily to secure their business now and in the future”.

Kenny and Bobby take the plunge

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:01 Page 7

Latest News

Liverpool ‘key’ for City names make science park success Honours list CITIES LIKE LIVERPOOL hold the units when companies have key to the successful science parks become more established.” of the future according to the On a panel discussion with chairman of the United Kingdom Wayne Locke, director of Ashtenne Science Park Association (UKSPA). Space Northwest, and Chris Dr David Hardman MBE was Musson, chief executive of speaking at the Forum for Built Liverpool Science Park, Dr Environment event held at Hardman told the audience that Liverpool Innovation Park to science parks were more important discuss the future of science and than they had ever been to innovation parks in the North West. economic recovery. Addressing an audience of more He said: “Innovation is a high than 50 property professionals, Dr priority on the Government’s Hardman, who is also CEO for agenda and investors are Innovation Campus Birmingham, beginning to take notice of science said: “The future for science parks parks and the importance of is in the cities because cities offer creative minds coming together to the facilities to enable creative promote serendipity.” minds to thrive. “These facilities include everything from high speed internet connection, close links to universities, being in the hub of a ‘knowledge quarter’ and also part of a vibrant culture of good food, wine and music. “Liverpool showcases the perfect example of two parks working in synergy with each other Liverpool Science Park focusing on nurturing graduates and companies Dr David with brain power and Hardman Liverpool Innovation Park MBE offering larger business

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of Liverpool Vision says his latest recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list is testament to the recent success of the city’s economic development company. Max Steinberg, who has been at the helm of Liverpool Vision since 2010, has been awarded a CBE for services to business and the community in Liverpool. The honour comes as Max is currently leading the planning for the Liverpool City Region to host the International Festival for Business (IBF) on behalf of the nation in 2014, and he says: “While this is a great personal honour for which I am very appreciative, it is really a true testament to the work of Liverpool Vision and the success we have enjoyed in recent years. “It is a pleasure to work with the team here at Liverpool Vision which is both committed and passionate in delivering the city’s world class offer to produce new opportunities and I am certain we will show the best of Liverpool and the UK at the IFB next year.” Max is joined on this year’s Queen’s

Max Steinberg

Birthday Honours list by Jonathan Falkingham, a founder and creative director of Urban Splash who has been awarded an MBE for services to architecture and regeneration. Meanwhile Kath Boullen, chief executive of St Helens Chamber, has also been awarded an MBE for services to business in the North West.



p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 8

News Leisure

Conferencing boost for city The RCN Congress

THE LIVERPOOL CITY region benefitted from £4m in economic impact when

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress and Exhibition came to ACC

Liverpool for the second time. The boost came through hotels and

retail outlets as more than 5,500 delegates attended the five-day event. Nearly £20,000 of revenue was generated at Albert Dock restaurants alone, as the prime tourism location played host to the city’s first ever Dine Around the Dock experience. Jeremy Roberts, chairman of the Albert Dock Tenants Business Association, says: “As we look toward the opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool in 2015 there are not many venues that can cater for such large numbers in such a unique way. This adds real value to the local economy from conference and exhibition business in the city, allowing delegates to use the dock as the ultimate playground for them to meet, dine, socialise and unwind.”

THEATRE TOPPING OUT CEREMONY THE REDEVELOPMENT of Liverpool’s iconic Everyman Theatre reached an “important milestone”, as a ceremony was held to celebrate the topping out of the new building. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson joined builders Gilbert Ash and architects Haworth Tompkins, along with theatre chiefs and funders, as a ceremony took place to mark the significant stage of the major capital project. Work is currently underway to rebuild a fully accessible 400-seat theatre on the original Hope Street site, including facilities and space to incorporate the theatre’s programme and community work, as well as bar and catering facilities. The venue is due to re-open in early 2014, and is said to be on time and on schedule with the main structure now complete. Mayor, Joe Anderson says: “The topping out ceremony is an important milestone in the redevelopment of the Everyman. For more than a year there has been a huge amount of work taking place behind the scenes, so it is fantastic to see changes taking place and know that we’re a step closer to having a new, inspirational venue that will work with the best talent to create world class theatre here in Liverpool.” The theatre’s executive director, 8


Deborah Aydon, adds: “Gilbert Ash and Haworth Tompkins have absolutely delivered what they promised and we are delighted with what is now a tangible transformation of our much-loved

Everyman Theatre

theatre. It is safe in their hands and we can’t wait to see it become even more amazing over the coming months.” The project has been funded by £16.8m from Arts Council England,

£5.9m fron the European Regional Development Fund, £2.5m from the Northwest Regional Development Agency and donations via the Everyone for the Everyman appeal, with cash still being raised.

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 9

Leisure News

Central Library

Award success for Central Library LIVERPOOL’S Central Library is already picking up awards, having made a return to the city’s cultural scene following a major £50m restoration and redevelopment. Building work began back in 2010 to restore the building’s historic Hornby Library, Oak Room and Picton Library, while also adding modern facilities such as iPads and a gaming pod, a children’s ‘Discovery’ area and modern ICT stations. The fully accessible five-story building on William Brown Street now also boasts a rooftop terrace, ‘ribcage’ domed roof and a public cafe. Following the completion of the project, delivered by International

Public Partnerships and main contractor Shepherd Construction, along with architect Austin-Smith Lord and Cofely as providers of facilities management services, the new-look library was unveiled to the public on Liverpool’s Light Night in May with thousands of visitors in attendance. The building, set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has since been recognised as Liverpool’s Regional Project of the Year at the North West Regional Construction Awards, after an entry was submitted by Austin-Smith: Lord. It was also hailed Best Technical Innovation at the North West Building Excellence Awards.

HOTEL PLANS FOR CITY LANDMARK AN £18M hotel development which will breathe new life into Liverpool’s historic Royal Insurance building is now underway. The Grade II* listed building, at the corner of North John Street and Dale Street, had been placed on the National Buildings at Risk Register having lain empty for 20 years, but Liverpool City Council purchased the freehold for £1.95m earlier this year. The move led to £18m of private investment for the scheme which will see Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide bringing its design-led Aloft brand to the building. The project is being delivered by Runcorn-based developer Ashall Property, and the conversion scheme for the building has been

designed by Liverpool architect Falconer Chester Hall (FCH). Balfour Beatty is the main contractor for the work, and the development has also received backing from English Heritage with a grant of £297,500. An estimated 150 construction jobs are set to be created during the 15-month scheme, which will see the site become a 116-room hotel complete with a fitness centre and 24-hour grab and go deli-style café along with five creative spaces for meetings and presentations. More than 50 full-time equivalent jobs will be created once the hotel opens. Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson joined representatives of Ashall, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

and Balfour Beatty to kick-start the development, and says: “The Royal Insurance building has been empty for too long, and its rebirth is great news for our city, for our economy

and for our hotel sector. We are protecting our past, as well as investing in our future.”

Balfour Beatty



p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 10

News Commercial

Secretary of state opens AWARDS Knowsley Business Village OPEN KNOWSLEY ESTATE’S commercial development, Stanley Grange Business Village, was officially opened by Owen Paterson, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs. The 55,000 sq. ft. business village provides 22 office units, housed in sympathetically converted Victorian brick-built farm buildings and has already attracted a host of companies including design agency O’Connell & Squelch Ltd., Cybertill and Chill Out Spa. Stanley Grange Business Village is the brainchild of Edward Stanley, 19th Earl of Derby. He says: “The official opening marks the culmination of 12 years’ planning and development. The launch has been the chance to show off something that we think is very special. “The business village combines modern and functional commercial space with breathtaking surroundings – cobbled courtyards and a woodland walk - to create an impressive and inspiring working environment. With excellent transport links and flexible leases, we hope that the Stanley Grange Business Village will play a key role in supporting business growth

Florence Institute


Owen Paterson and Lord Derby

in the area.” Owen Paterson says: “Knowsley Estate has converted redundant agricultural buildings into a modern unit, working with skilled local craftsman to ensure it is completely in-tune with the surrounding area. “Superfast broadband - the single biggest driver to the prosperity of the countryside - has made the creation of a business

park in the heart of the Knowsley Estate a reality and, as the development continues, will go onto attract more businesses and create even more jobs locally. “This development is an outstanding example of how a local business, working with an enlightened planning authority, can secure long-term sustainability and one other areas should aspire to.”

DECADE OF SUCCESS THE OWNERS of Bootle Glass are celebrating 10 years of success. Husband and wife Sharon and Martin Clarke bought the company, which has been established for over 30 years, in 2003 and have since quadrupled staff numbers and undertaken several major projects. The company was originally based at Stanley Road, Liverpool and moved to larger premises in Bankhall Street in June 2009. It was responsible for glazing the Florence Institute and is now working on Wentworth Castle for William


THE tenth Your Move Property Awards is now open for entries, with three new categories for commercial entrants. Accolades will be presented for the ‘Commercial Agent of the Year’, the ‘Office Development of the Year’, and the ‘Best Commercial Landlord’ during a glittering ceremony later this year. To be in the running for one of the top titles at the annual regional event, submit an entry online at www.yourmovepropertyawards. The deadline for entries is 2 September. For more information call Kim O’Brien on 0151 709 3871, or follow the Your Move Property Awards 2013 on Twitter @YMPA2013.

Anelay Building Restoration. Sharon says: “Our offering is very diverse, we do all aspects of domestic, commercial and industrial glazing and I think this has helped us survive the recession. Our employees are all NVQ and fully qualified CRB checked and training is always ongoing. We specialise in leaded light restoration work for churches, conversions and listed buildings. We have 12 staff and are expanding into the manufacturing of aluminium systems. This will in turn increase the current workforce.”

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 11


Commercial / Industrial and domestic glazing specialists We make things happen... • Commercial/Industrial Glazing • Replacement Double Glazing Units • Leaded Lights Restoration • New Commissions • PVCu Windows & Doors • Aluminium Windows/Doors • Glazing Supplies • Glass Merchants • Mirrors • Bevelled & Sandblasted Glass • All Types of Safety Glass • Pyro Glass • Coloured Glass • Registered Waste Carrier Licence Holders


Tel: 0151 922 2026 or 0151 933 5224 • Fax: 0151 286 1298 Email: • • 49-51 Bankhall Street L20 8JD

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 12

News Developments

Trio of contracts for Galliford Try THE BUILDING business of construction group Galliford Try has secured a trio of contracts on “significant developments” in Greater Manchester, worth £36.5m in aggregate. RED Property Services has appointed the firm to build the £13.3m Old Trafford Supporters Club hotel, opposite Manchester United football ground. The 139-bed hotel will feature supporters’ club facilities and bar, alongside additional retail units. Another of the projects is the agreement with The Carlyle Group and its joint venture partners Nikal and Abstract Securities to build the second stage of Soapworks in Salford Quays. In a £12.4m contract for Galliford Try, the company will create 210,000 sq ft of Category A office space in the old Colgate – Palmolive factory, next to Media City. On announcing the new contracts, which also include the sixth phase of a 77apartment residential project in Salford worth £10.75m, Galliford Try chief exectutive Greg Fitzgerald says: “These new contracts build on our track record and in particular our recent successes in Greater Manchester, demonstrating the strength of our regional construction business in all sectors. We are delighted to be working on these significant developments for the region, and look forward to continuing to play our part in enhancing the built environment in the North West.”


Uncertainty over Central Village MEREPARK CONSTRUCTION began seeking advice on entering voluntary liquidation in June, casting uncertainty over the final phase of Liverpool’s Central Village development. The firm had been working on a £26m contract to refurbish the interior and exterior of the city’s Grade II listed former Lewis’ Building, but recovery services provider Begbies Traynor confirmed the contractor was set to go into liquidation with the loss of 10 jobs as control of the scheme had now changed hands. Work on the former department store was said to be running 15% over budget when the project funder decided to cease payments to Merepark Construction’s subcontractors and suppliers, despite the

work being 85% complete. As this issue of Move Commercial went to press, a creditors meeting was due to

take place to discuss the next step for Merepark Construction, a subsidiary of Merepark.

Central Village


India Buildings

GREEN PROPERTY has announced that it has let a £1.5m refit contract for the fifth floor of its flagship India Buildings office block in Liverpool, and that work has commenced. The investment will see the entire 35,000 sq ft floor-plate refurbished to grade A standard by Warrington-based interior design and fitout business Claremont Group Interiors. The move was described as “the first salvo” in plans to restore the Grade II listed building to its place as Liverpool’s most prestigious office address. Mike Tapp, director of Green Property, says: “It’s a stunning building in possibly the best location in Liverpool’s business district, but it needs bringing bang up to

date. Our investment will catapult it to grade A standard which, when you match that with the stunning architecture, will offer an unbeatable combination.” Work on-site is expected to be completed in September with occupiers being offered the potential of dividing the floor in quarters upwards. Joint letting agent Mark Worthington of CBRE says: “There is no other floor plate of 35,000 sq ft in the city and the occupational and cost-efficiencies of this, as opposed to splitting a team over two or three floors, are significant – probably around 15% of the total occupier costs.” Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE are joint letting agents for the building.

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 13

Retail News

Retailer cautious despite success NORTH WEST based fashion and homeware retailer Matalan is said to be “cautious” about the outlook for consumer spending, despite its earnings being up by 10.2% on last year. On announcing its full year audited results for the 52 weeks ended 23 February 2013, the chain has reported pre-tax earnings of £100.4m, up from £91.1m in 2012. The earnings are among a number of key successes revealed in the results, which also highlight a 45% growth within the online channel and enhancement of click and collect. However according to a statement the business “remains cautious” and expects the “challenging” trading conditions

seen in the first quarter of the new financial year to continue, although they have been in line with the company’s expectations. Matalan’s chief executive, Darren Blackhurst, says: “In a difficult retail climate we grew our earnings by 10%. Our customer base continues to grow, as does our multichannel capability, leaving us well positioned for the coming 12 months. “Our focus remains the delivery of outstanding value to our customers through the development of our offer and a tight control of costs and cash given the prevailing economic backdrop. “I would like to thank all our colleagues for their continued hard work and effort.”


Liverpool bucks retail trend

Liverpool ONE

AN ANNUAL REVIEW of Liverpool city centre has shown it is thriving in a tough climate, welcoming new developments and a drop in the number of vacant shops. The city is said to be bucking the national trend of a rise in empty retail space, as the vacancy rate in the 841 Liverpool units surveyed dropped from 13.5% in 2011 to 12.7%. While 32 city centre units became vacant as businesses closed, 41 more were filled with newcomers, and in Liverpool ONE 99% of the 160 shops are now occupied. Of the new arrivals, 54% were new to Liverpool while 14% of the retailers were making their first move into the North West. New businesses on Lord Street, 11 new retailers at St John’s Shopping Centre and the upper floor of Cavern

Walks now being fully occupied are all said to have boosted the city centre’s retail sector. The central area is also seeing new developments being completed or due for completion this year, including the arrival of the Adagio Apart Hotel in the former Lewis’ building, Forever 21 opening a £20m store on Church Street, and Marks and Spencer and River Island each investing £5m into their Liverpool stores. Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, says: “The area is identified as one of six transformational action areas, with a focus on the potential for further investment and improvement in the Williamson Square area. The strength of our retail sector in challenging times bodes well for the future.”


p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:02 Page 14

Our inspiring location. Need space to think? Choose our Hope Park Campus for your next meeting or away day. You can enjoy our stunning 45-acre landscaped location, as well as the EDEN Building’s outstanding business facilities.

· Bright and airy conference rooms · Excellent AV facilities · Quality in-house catering · On-site executive style accommodation available year round

· On-site car parking · AIM accredited

Your great meeting. l 0151 291 2147

p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:03 Page 15

Sales & Lettings News

Serviced offices ‘not affected by recession’ SERVICED OFFICES providers in Liverpool have remained relatively unscathed during the difficult economic climate, according to MWB Business Exchange. Rachel Campbell, the firm’s business centre manager at Silkhouse Court, where it lets office space across two floors of the building, says: “Over the last few years in general the serviced office industry and Silkhouse Court haven’t really been affected by the recession. It’s been successful and busy.” Silkhouse Court in particular, which is based within the city’s commercial district, is said to have continued to attract start-up businesses and SMEs thanks to factors such as the “low risks, flexible contracts and low set-up fees” it offers. Rachel says MWB Business Exchange is now looking to continue that momentum by “building relationships with enterprises in the city”, through the likes of the chamber and universities, to keep attracting start-up businesses to the facilities. As well as providing contemporary office accommodation with panoramic views of Liverpool at its Silkhouse Court business centre, MWB Business Exchange also offers customers IT and telecoms packages and meeting and conference room facilities. For more information call Rachel Campbell on 0151 515 3000 or email

J B Leitch buys 10 Duke St SOLICITORS J B LEITCH has purchased multi-office suite building, 10 Duke Street.

The 30,000 sq ft building in Liverpool features nine office suites, four of which (12,000 sq ft) will be occupied

10 Duke Street

by JB Leitch. The other offices are currently tenanted and the new owners will continue with this arrangement. J B Leitch is currently based in the city’s East Village and occupies 7,000 sq ft of office space. It will lease this space following the move. Brian Ricketts of Hitchock Wright sourced the new building after the company instructed him to find it new premises. Hitchcock Wright will also be responsible for the letting of the existing premises. Snook Architects is drawing up plans for the refit, which will be going out to tender this month. Michelle Leitch, practice manager, says: “The purchase of 10 Duke Street is the beginning of the next chapter for J B Leitch LLP, enabling us to continue expanding whilst maintaining standards.”

£19m cinema sale LAW FIRM Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester-based real estate and corporate teams have successfully helped complete the £19m sale of a cinema complex. The firm advised Salford-based asset management company, Spectrum, to sell the 106,000 sq ft Cineworld complex in Cardiff. Spectrum holds a range of properties including food stores, leisure schemes, offices, high street shops and industrial units. With advice from Irwin Mitchell real estate partner Patrick Duffy and corporate associate, Richard Life, it struck a deal for the complex, next to the Welsh city’s St David’s Shopping Centre, to be acquired by a fund managed by Henderson Global Investors. Following the transaction, Patrick says: “This is a significant deal for Spectrum. We are delighted to have worked on it and more importantly, secure a successful outcome for our client.” Both Patrick and Richard joined Irwin Mitchell earlier this year, as part of the firm’s plan to build a leading corporate team within Manchester.

Patrick Duffy


p01-16_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:03 Page 16

Photos credits ©MPL & Richard Lackey

25 years since Dock revival Liverpool’s Albert Dock is celebrating 25 years since it was revived from dereliction to become a prime tourist attraction. Designed by Liverpool Dock Trustees’ surveyor Jesse Hartley, the iconic site originally opened in1846. Warehouses stored valuable cargo from all over the world until the dock’s fortunes waned after World War II and it closed in 1972. The Albert Dock Company Ltd and the Merseyside Development Corporation later worked to breathe new life into the rundown Albert Dock - the largest collection of Grade 1 listed buildings in Britain - and it reopened in 1988. The World Heritage site has come a long way, having famously been home to Granada TV’s This Morning studio from 1988-96, and now a lively hub of galleries, museums, bars, shops and restaurants.


Landmark regeneration

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:05 Page 17

The Chrysalis Fund

Investing in employment and urban development projects throughout Merseyside Chrysalis is a ÂŁ32million fund that has been LZ[HISPZOLK[VWYV]PKLKL]LSVWTLU[Ă„UHUJL[VH range of commercial real estate projects. Chrysalis is aimed at a variety of clients including: - Corporate customers - Property developers - Business occupiers relocating within or to the Merseyside area

To check eligibility for funding or for further information go to:

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:41 Page 18


Liverpool's first speculatively developed BREEAM ‘EXCELLENT’ office building To let, new 8 storey Grade ‘A’ office building (109,361 sq ft) in the heart of Liverpool's new Commercial District Column free floorplates from 13,719sq ft (1,274sq m) to 14,155sq ft (1,315sq m) Suites from 3,500 sq ft (325 sq m) Panoramic views of Liverpool city centre Solar control glazing VRF Heating and Cooling System Fully accessible raised floors Secure on-site car parking (1:1,000 sq ft) 20% reduction in carbon emissions through intelligent design Stunning double height entrance and reception area

A development by

4 more information


p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:42 Page 19

A’ t) w

• 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

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:06 Page 20

Appointments Team expansion at Mosaic Town Planning Mosaic Town Planning in Manchester has appointed Andrew Jalali as a Andrew Jalali planning consultant following his previous successful work with the company. The Liverpool John Moores University masters graduate comes to the firm following his work with Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners and brings experience of providing planning advice and socioeconomic analysis. He began his post-university career at Mosaic, completing a period of work experience before gaining his first job in the sector. He will be working directly with clients on a range of development schemes. Mosaic, which specialises in providing practical advice with a commercial focus, is expanding following an ongoing growth. It has also recently seen a number of promotions within its team.

Land Law appoints new partner Land Law, a specialist commercial property and property litigation firm in Greater Manchester Hans has brought Scheiwiller in Hans Scheiwiller as a partner to develop and extend the property finance services in the company and work within the Roland transactions team. Jordan, Hans previously spent over 25CBRE years in the commercial property and finance departments of DLA Piper in Manchester. He is a leader in the field of property finance where he is well known for his expertise. Hans is the second addition to the Land Law team this year following the addition of litigator Angela Hughes who joined in February following her move from Chester firm Jolliffe & Co.

Irwin Mitchell promotes commercial lawyer Roy Beckett Law firm Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office has promoted commercial lawyer Roy Beckett to 20 MOVE COMMERCIAL

the position of regional managing partner for its Business Legal Services (BLS) division. Roy joined the firm in February from DLA Piper in the city, and specialises in real estate development and investment work, including corporate real estate occupier work. He will continue to help expand the firm’s six-partner real estate team, whilst also targeting Roy growth for Beckett areas including corporate, commercial, employment, regulation, banking and insolvency / restructuring services. Following his promotion, Roy says: “I have been impressed with the talent at Irwin Mitchell and believe the firm has the right ingredients to realise its vision and become the legal brand of choice in the commercial market place.”

Thomas Barns & Sons boosts Bury-based team Thomas Barnes & Sons has welcomed Paul Buttery to the marketing team at its Bury head office. Paul has made the move to the contracting firm from Liverpool-based contractor Nobles Construction, where he worked as business development manager for three years. Following Paul Buttery Paul’s appointment, Thomas Barnes & Sons’ senior business development manager Andrew Field says: “Recruiting Paul is a real coup as he is highly regarded and well liked across the construction industry. “His appointment is part of our strategy to take the business to the next level. 2013 was already looking to be a record year for Thomas Barnes in terms of value of projects secured. Paul’s experience and determination will further enhance that.” The firm trades from Bury and Liverpool offices in the North West, as well as an office in Birmingham.


Need a Commercial Lawyer? Paul Crowley & Co Solicitors can offer you friendly, specialist advice in a wide range of Business Law services including;

Company Law Sales & Acquisitions Insolvency Employment Law Commercial Property Commercial Mortgages

Call John Roberts 0151 264 7363

Liverpool’s Local Lawyers

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:06 Page 21

Move Commercial Bitesize thinking

MIKE TAPP director, Green Property

Vital statistics The number of new businesses that have moved into Manchester's Spinningfields in the last 12 months. They include DWF and the Business Growth Fund.



Home Away In my crystal ball… I can see another year in the sun for Liverpool with the upcoming International Festival for Business (IFB) 2014. The city is gaining a real reputation for its ability to host major business and cultural events, last month’s Battle of the Atlantic celebrations being a great example. It reinforces that this is a city that gets things done; that pulls off the spectacular and the difficult; and is therefore a place worthy of examining in investment terms. The boost from IFB in terms of positive media profile is likely to be significant and can only help us all.

If only I’d known… Half of India Buildings’ columns are dummies, serving no purpose other than to delineate an old corridor line. On our fifth floor office refurbishment we are creating an open plan floor the size of a football pitch – gone is the corridor and gone are the columns.  The quality of floor space is incredible.  It’s amazing the difference it has made and it alters the economics of the building as much as its appeal to potential occupiers.

‘Reach Out’ BUZZWORD Meaning: Much of what happens over here is a result of what happens across the pond. Indeed, we're very much influenced by our friends in the US of A and usually that's no bad thing. It becomes a bad thing however when we start to adopt their,

frankly weird, business talk. Case in point: 'reach out', used when asking someone to contact you or thanking them for doing so (i.e. "Reach out to me"/"Thanks so much for reaching out"). Why make something so straightforward sound so creepy?

FAVOURITE BUILDINGS Matthew Hird, associate architect at the Manchester Studio of Building Design Partnership HOME Heating Infrastructure Building by Levitt Bernstein Architects Heating Infrastructure Building

Liverpool has some delightful buildings. One of the city's most recent additions is Liverpool University's Heating Infrastructure Building by Levitt Bernstein Architects. The building won an RIBA award in 2011. It provides the university with on-site electric and heat generation, while at the same time it respectfully kisses the listed Victorian Liverpool Infirmary by Alfred Waterhouse. Its patterned external envelope is made up of folded aluminium ‘scales’, which catch light differently depending on the time of day, season or weather, giving a dynamic and honest appearance.

It nestles unassumingly amongst its neighbourhood, and its southern aspect gives a glimpse inside to reveal technology of our time. IN THE WORLD Salk Institute of Biological Studies, La Jolla, California by Louis Khan I recently went to Los Angeles on homage to explore the Salk Institute of Biological Studies by Louis Khan. It was an architectural piece which I was introduced to at university and I hoped one day to visit. I was not disappointed. The complex has a central courtyard space which is elegant, engaging and peaceful. The two laboratory wings are identical and face into this space. Flexible spaces were made by utilising engineering floors between each level, and the design of the structure allowed wholly adaptable laboratory spaces. This monument was completed in 1966, and provided inspiring linage for many modernist and post modern designers.

Salk Institute of Biological Studies, La Jolla, California


p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:06 Page 22

By Tilly Martin

Inspired by his father’s career, David Wood has risen swiftly through the ranks in the construction industry. The rising star of Eddisons’ Manchester operation tells Move Commercial why he knows he’s on the right path.

One to watch


that are needed of them to carry out their job”. Recognising the value of the industry and the skills necessary, he branched further into the surveying sector of it. During the summer of 2004, David was able to access and apply his knowledge of practices from his degree when he completed a work placement within Eddisons. The company’s specific employment of surveyors was something that caught David’s attention. “I wanted to become qualified as a chartered surveyor so I chose Eddisons because it was such an acclaimed company,” he says. Working closely alongside the company as a personal assistant enabled him to gain initial experience and invaluable contacts within the industry. After graduating, he moved between jobs in Manchester-based EC Harris LLP and later in Lucas Lee & Partners, a smaller company in Huddersfield. “I was doing all sorts of jobs from project management to dealing directly with client’s issues and needs,” he says. The spectrum of consultancy roles eventually saw him crossing paths with Eddisons again. “In late 2009 I returned to working with Eddisons, liaising with the director, under a Party

Wall job. I was approached about joining the company and accepted. In January 2010 I started working for them. I was then asked to go to the Manchester office to start up a building surveying team.” Within a year he had been promoted from senior surveyor to associate director. David explains that the company is forever expanding: “I’m now in charge of a number of people but my office is looking to recruit

David is no stranger to. When asked what advice he would give to young people looking to pursue a similar career in the construction and surveying industry he says, “get as much experience as possible”. He values his time working directly with many different companies and so feels that the opportunity for students now will be very rewarding. Returning to the University of

With an early interest in the construction and surveying sector, David Wood has an impressive catalogue of past work experiences within many companies, which has brought him to where he is today. Currently working as associate director within the building and project consultancy team for Eddisons’ Manchester branch, David has quickly risen through the ranks. During his time as a student, he carried out work experience within a local surveying practice, Boultons, in his hometown of Huddersfield. Closely working alongside general practise surveyors he was able to firmly decide on a career path. On studying a degree in Building Surveying at the University of Reading, he says: “The reason I chose building surveying specifically over any other form of surveying was because it gave a good mixture between construction and property, both of which I was particularly interested in”. From a young age, David’s primary interest in construction was sparked by his father’s career as a joiner. “I had always enjoyed the construction side of the industry,” he says. “I feel that, as a career, the workers, are underappreciated for the kinds of skills

We know our client market very well abroad so we know what they want.

more members over the next few months. We have interviews scheduled very soon for young people. We are excited to give opportunities to year-out students. It will allow them to work from the bottom up. We are also planning to expand the team in Leeds.” This process of working from the bottom up is clearly one in which

Reading to give a lecture to current students on the subject of Party Wall matters, which he is thoroughly engaged in as a member of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club, was a way of inspiring a new generation of equally enthusiastic people as himself, he says. Having already been involved in consultancy and projects for The Royal Bank of Scotland,

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:43 Page 23

David Wood, associate director, Eddisons Rising Star

Poundworld, Pets at Home and Bravissimo, David continues to expand on his work with commercial, as well as residential, organisations. At the moment, David is particularly busy within the company. “We’ve just finished the

refurbishment of a hotel. Currently we’re working on a bar conversion and expansion. Right now we are just sorting out and finalising the planning but we are due to start it properly in June. I’ll be managing the whole project from start to finish. It will take a few months and will be finished by late

September or the start of October, hopefully.” As well as its position in the UK, the company continues to expand its connections in Europe too. “We know our client market very well abroad so we know what they want,” says David. His enthusiasm for his job is

clear and along with his modestly hard-working ethos, David’s climb up the career ladder needs no further explanation. He is less outspoken about any further career aspirations, saying only that he would like to keep on going. “I’ll perhaps look to a higher role in the future. Maybe as a director.” MOVE COMMERCIAL 23

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:06 Page 24

By Rebecca Hatch



p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:06 Page 25


become an architect, you don’t want to get half way through only to realise you should have taken a different path,” he says. There has been much discussion about the quality and availability of the work experience options open to the next generation of employees. One charity in London recently caused a stir by auctioning placements for £5,000 – or around one fifth of the average UK salary in 2012. Although money doesn’t always change hands in these situations, there is a widely held belief that the system is skewed in favour of those in the correct social circles, making it FINANCE SECTOR seem difficult for most people to get Banking giant HSBC, which has a a foot in the door. structured intern scheme, is Move Commercial was informed enthusiastic about the benefits to by one large tax audit company with young people, as offices in Liverpool, that internships allow it’s system is not open the candidates to to the public, and gain “first hand generally one experience of has to have a a company’s contact culture and within the values.” organisation 15 year olds will It’s clear to be eligible undertake a two that some to apply for week placement form of work work experience. over the summer experience Thankfully in serves to place the North West a person ahead of however, an the game when it internal only policy comes to finding seems to be in the minority. employment. Graduate or not, the Like HSBC and FCH, plenty of popularity of apprenticeships in firms offer an altogether more open the North West illustrates the approach to the concept. While they value placed by employers on may not all have structured tangible experience. schemes in place, many companies will respond to unsolicited work experience requests positively ARCHITECTURE where practicality allows, opting to Falconer Chester Hall (FCH) is a favour initiative and enthusiasm in large architecture firm with offices their recruits. in Liverpool and London. Director Mark Doohan says there is no other way to determine if a career PROPERTY SECTOR is right for you. Knight Frank is a multi-national “It’s a seven-year journey to real estate consultancy with offices Today, gaining relevant work experience might be considered an essential element of securing any sort of job. A government estimate based on figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel says that there are between 50,000 and 70,000 internships in the UK each year. At a younger level, according to Nick Chambers, director of the Education and Employers Task Force, around 500,000 15 year olds will usually undertake placements of two weeks during the summer break to gain work experience.


all over the country. David Porter, the employer as well as the office head at Knight Frank employee. According to Intern Manchester, is more concerned Aware, around 33% of all graduate with a valid interest in the sector. jobs go to people who have already “We have a policy of trying to had experience with their accommodate requests where employer. Mark Doohan of FCH possible from anyone who is says that when it comes to sufficiently interested in the employment, he looks favourably industry,” he says. on those who’ve interned at his David believes that companies firm. should offer an open opportunity “They’re already established for work experience because it with the company’s values and we widens the pool of talent, have a better idea of how they fit increasing the chances of in,” he says. discovering potential future star He sees the sense in opening his talent. doors. David Wood, associate director at “Recent university graduates chartered surveyors Eddisons especially bring a measurable shares this view. contribution,” he says. “They inject “We get the first pick of enthusiasm and fresh good candidates ideas into our before anyone else business.” and it means we As a result, he gain a higher welcomes There are between profile external amongst applications. students “We value too,” he says. enthusiasm This is the and initiative, reason, David often you will internships in the says, that get parents UK each year Eddisons has a approaching on very open policy behalf of their regarding intern and children and we’ll work experience ask the son or daughter recruitment. to follow up. We do however “As long as they show initiative prefer the individuals to apply and tailor their cover letter to us, themselves.” we try to accommodate them. We Looking at the evidence from the all want to see the future members North West, it would seem that of the industry do well. If the ‘jobs for the boys’ epidemic practicality allows, I’d like to see that is accused of plaguing London us taking on many more is not so much of an issue up here, students,” he says. with northern firms opening their It might be considered preferable doors and choosing their for more organisations to adopt prospective interns on merit and such attitudes, as internships and enthusiasm, rather than solely on work experience can be valuable to social contacts.

50,000 and 70,000


p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 16:45 Page 26









p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:45 Page 27

C CONNECTED ONNECTED FOR FOR BUSINESS In 2012, 90,000 sq ft of space was let to new occupiers at LIP LIP, P, including Liverpool Community Health. This level of team’s lettings is testament ment to the team’ ’s dedication ded to encouraging business growth through unrivalled connectivity // // // // // //

Internet Internet connectivity of up to 1Gbps (up & down) AIMES secur secure, e, onsite data centr centres es eliminate the need to pr provide ovide your own server rroom oom Suitable for any size of business Active networking and events pr programme ogramme for tenants and exter nal businesses external Free gym membership* for new tenants Free Free parking* Free

Liverpool Innovation Park, Edge Lane, Liverpool, L7 9NJ, UK Tel: T el: e +44 (0) 151 331 4000 Email: w.liv Website: Website: www @Innov8Liverpool * subject to terms and conditions

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:07 Page 28

By Marya McCann

Manchester-based chartered surveyors, WT Gunson, has built up a well-founded reputation over its 140 year history. William Telford Gunson, a civil engineer, architect and surveyor, established the firm in 1873 and with his son, Ernest, went on to build a firm whose architectural branch was responsible for many of the region’s impressive churches, Lytham Pier and Pavillion and Hyde Reform Club.

Shaping history Partner, Dominic Stanger, is head of the professional services department, and has worked at WT Gunson for the past 23 years. He is proud of its history and place within the city’s professional landscape. Recalling a recent incident which links the firm’s past to the present he says: “We had someone who was training to be an architect spend some time on work experience and we learnt he was a direct descendant of WT Gunson. He put me in touch with his 88-year-old grandfather, who was the grandson of Ernest Gunson and who has clear memories of his grandfather. “On a visit to Barrow in Furness I had the chance to meet him, which led to me unearthing some fascinating history about the firm’s projects. For example, WT Gunson had carried out the surveying for the pipeline from Thirlmere in the Lake District to Manchester when it was installed over 100 years ago. The pipe is still gravity fed the whole way and 28 MOVE COMMERCIAL

has been described as a testament to the excellent workmanship of the surveyors who designed it.” Today the firm has evolved into chartered surveyors, providing a range of services throughout the Manchester and North West. In addition to the property agency, valuation and property management side of the business, WT Gunson also deals with dispute resolution, mediation, and acquisition advice. Both in terms of its own business model and the services it offers the firm has tried hard to preserve the personal and bespoke approach that has always been present. I asked Dominic what he thinks are the firm’s strengths and why it continues to be held in such high regard by clients. He lists a number of points: “Firstly, it is such an informal and friendly place to work. We have a really good team and fantastic staff retention. Clients appreciate dealing with someone they know they can rely on. “Secondly we have a broad base

of skills in the office. Our three main departments are property agency, property management and professional services. Within those departments we can deal with most work that landlords, tenants or owner-occupiers need. It keeps our work varied and also interesting. “Furthermore, we are a firm with a solid reputation for professionalism, and doing a good job. It’s a testament to this professionalism that in my time we’ve never been sued for a negligent valuation. “Very often a name may become well known just for the length of time it has been around. However, with our firm we have this longevity coupled with reputation. People often remember us through having used our services many years before, or having heard the name within their family or community. There is certainly a feeling of continuance that runs through the firm.” Explaining how the firm has

responded to the recent recession he says: “I can’t deny it has been tough. Like all companies involved in property we have had to become more efficient, and adapt to provide the services that the market demands. Property receivership and expert witness have been the main growth areas. Insolvency companies really value the experience and market knowledge we can offer to give them advice they can rely on in a variety of different problem

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:07 Page 29

Dominic Stanger, partner at WT Gunson Founding Business

Founders William Telford Gunson and his son Ernest Gunson.

Mr W T Gunson

“ ”

We have this longevity coupled with reputation.

property situations. “Our agency department has such a strong North West property market presence and contact list, they know they will get the best price and a disposal in the shortest possible time. For solicitors acting for the parties in property disputes, who need an expert witness, often in professional negligence cases, we provide robust and well researched reports that they know they can rely on to advise their

clients to settle or litigate. Business rates appeals has also been a significant profit centre in recent years.” WT Gunson acts for major industrial occupiers for rating advice, such as Kelloggs and Cargill plc. Dominic says that the current system means many more appeals end up being settled at valuation tribunals rather than negotiation as was the norm in previous rating lists. “We have had some great

Mr E Gunson

successes however,” he says. “For one industrial client based in Eccles we took the appeal to tribunal and reduced the rateable value by 25%, saving them over £260,000.” When asked how WT Gunson’s has maintained such longevity within the city’s surveying profession, Dominic is quite forthright. “I believe that as a firm we offer friendly professionalism with a sharp commercial edge,” he says. MOVE COMMERCIAL 29

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 16:46 Page 30


Service Charge Arrears Recoveries Ground Rent Arrears Recoveries Complex and Defended Claims Forfeiture First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Appeals Right to Manage Enfranchisement and Lease Extensions Lease Services and Advice

W : JBLEITCH.CO.UK T : 0151 708 2250

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:08 Page 31

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:08 Page 32


By Natasha Young

Over the past few years, commercial property firm Bruntwood has not only survived in the face of a difficult economic climate but has continued to set new records. Its property marketing director, Colin Sinclair, talks about how the company has managed to retain its success.

Seamless success


offices; so hotels, retail and, in particular, science and biomedical, and that was quite an optimistic time but obviously all the Eurozone problems hit and the market’s been really tough. If you think about it though, for the worst three years and with the double dip recession, we’ve done really well and last year we set new records for enquiry levels.” The family-run company now has a portfolio of 110 buildings across Manchester, Liverpool, Cheshire, Birmingham and Leeds, and Colin believes its “unique” structure is what sets it apart. “We have an in-house sales team, an in-house property marketing team and an in-house business development team and nobody else really has that, so most owners of buildings rely on their property agents to get all of the leads. We now create a massive number ourselves and in Liverpool we’re creating up to 75% of all our enquiries direct rather than just going through property agents. “We do retain property agents and they are still important, particularly for the bigger deals, but so much of what we do is now done ourselves. That’s one of the things which my skillset at MIDAS helped, because there it was all about generating leads for Manchester to win inward investment from around the world. What we're doing now is the same thing really, going to companies quite often before they’ve even thought of moving and selling them our locations and Bruntwood.”

Bruntwood’s “seamless” approach to operating a project from the early buying and redeveloping or developing stages right through to managing the property for the customers using it, is also said to be a key point of its success, along with the features of the buildings themselves. “We want every building to be

We want every building to be special in some way.

Bruntwood uses statistics to spell out the impact it’s had on the industry. It takes a mere glance at the company’s website before visitors are hit with the bold figures. For instance, the firm has invested more than £45m in its existing portfolio in the last two years whilst “competitors have been cutting back on investments to conserve cash”. Meanwhile 173 deals were agreed in 2012 alone, the value of Bruntwood’s portfolio now amounts to £950m, and so it goes on. “We've done really well in a really tough time,” says Colin Sinclair, who joined the development side of the business in 2010, having previously spent several years heading up MIDAS (Manchester Investment & Development Agency). Looking back, he explains: “There was a feeling that the recession was going to end so I joined at the point Bruntwood was fixed on growing. My job initially was to work on our expansion and diversification in Manchester and I worked on three big projects: the circa £70m bid to redevelop Manchester Business School, which includes a 300+ bed hotel and new retail; the acquisition of a controlling interest in Manchester Science Park; and the old eye hospital on Oxford Road in Manchester - we're turning that into a £21m biomedical centre. “I went there at the point when Bruntwood was keen to diversify away from just being known for

special in some way,” says Colin. “Sometimes you can find a USP in a building, so at Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange we stumbled across the fact it has the best fibre connectivity you can have in the whole of the UK, because the transatlantic fibre cable comes into Southport at Hibernia and then

spurs into two – one spur goes to Telecity at Manchester Science Park, which we now have the controlling interest in, and the other goes to Cotton Exchange, so you’ve got 100 gigabit connectivity. “With Cotton Exchange we’ve got a character building right in the centre of the commercial district with brilliant internet connectivity, and so for every building that we are now developing we’re trying to find what that point of difference is. “We will do new builds but at the moment in the market the figures don’t particularly add up and refurbishment makes much more sense economically. It’s also better for the environment as well because you’re recycling.” The company has taken advantage of the regeneration of Liverpool, as well as Manchester’s strong position as a “complimentary offer to London” – an ideal destination for companies to base the bulk of their workforce while keeping a headquarters in the capital. “I think that complimentary positioning is how Manchester ended up in the top ten European cities and it’s just got bigger and bigger because of the airport and the universities, and that’ll just keep growing,” says Colin. “Bruntwood definitely benefits from that but, in a way; Bruntwood was part of creating that because the city council always worked in partnership with property owners. Bruntwood’s always put 10% of its

p a e o M s d t d

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:08 Page 33

Colin Sinclair, property marketing director, Bruntwood Mover & Shaker

profits into charity, which goes into arts and culture, and one thing that encourages firms to move people out of London and into cities like Manchester is you only go somewhere where there’s cultural diversity and things to do and things to see. Bruntwood and other developers have all reinvested in the

culture and the community and that makes it even stronger.” Looking to the future, the company’s growth and success shows no sign of slowing down. In Liverpool, Cotton Exchange is said to have gathered “good momentum,” paving the way for further schemes nearby which Colin

insists are under wraps for now. He adds: “In Manchester we’ve got a couple of very big schemes in the pipeline – one on what was called Overseas House at the junction of Quay Street and Deansgate is particularly exciting. “We’ve got some exciting schemes aimed at the creative and media

sector which are going to be unveiled soon and with our interest in Manchester Science Parks we’ve got quite a lot of schemes planned across the business targeting the creative digital and media sectors as well as science, technology and biomedical facilities, so it's a great time to be at Bruntwood.” MOVE COMMERCIAL 33

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:08 Page 34

By Suzanne McGuckin

Colin Sinclair director of property marketing, Bruntwood

Michael Hobson business development manager, Premier Guarantee

Gary Wintersgill managing director, Kier Construction (Northern)

Roger Ward owner, The Victorian Chop House Company

Speculatively speaking The recent harsh economic times has seen a downturn in development and the commercial property sector was hit particularly hard. We asked our panel of experts from across the region to consider the current state of the market and asked for their views on how and when the market will pick up, what factors will influence it and whether speculative building will return to our region. A recent study revealed that there has been a new swath of speculative building in London city despite the fact that there is 26m sq ft of office space still unoccupied.

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:08 Page 35

Lunch debate Will speculative building return to our region? RW: It is interesting that we mention London. I believe that like London, a handful of urban centres, Manchester being one, are free of recession. GW: I agree but I wouldn’t say Manchester has got a lot of speculative building going on – one thing it has got is resilience. CS: Look at the last recession in the 80s. Since then Manchester has moved its economy into a service economy and has moved away from manufacturing. What happened with other cities in the UK is that they held on to manufacturing and struggled on with it - or they became public sector dependent. When the recession hit, Manchester was, as a result, in a better position thanks to things like the airport and universities. It was able to position itself apart from other UK cities and give itself a degree of resilience. This resilience, though, hasn’t as yet resulted in speculative building. One exception however, is One St Peter’s Square, which does have an element of pre-let but also has space that has been developed speculatively. MH: It is well known that construction and development was one of the hardest hit sectors across the UK, but things are starting to pick up and I think, as others have said, that the North West is standing strong and developments currently underway or about to be given the green

It is well known that construction and development was one of the hardest hit sectors.

light will set the scene and ‘test the water’. London is an entirely different market and it would be wise not to use this as a gauge. Manchester and Liverpool on the

buyer funds the front end of it. RW: We talk about demand but we must look at the appetite for risk. The banks simply have none. Speaking as an entrepreneur we have achieved finance but we have had to jump through so many hoops and be prepared to put a lot on the line to secure backing. MH: What the banks are saying in public is different to what they are saying in private. We have seen some of the schemes that have had an end user lined up not go ahead. Risk averse is definitely the key phrase and lenders are extremely cautious. other hand will be ideal locations to test the speculative buildings market. Success here will drive more development companies to realise that taking the risk might well be worth it. GW: From our perspective as a contractor we are seeing more of the smaller industrial units, rather than the big commercial developments. If we look at the big movers at the moment, no one is making any moves. All the banks - the financial sector, who have always historically been the biggest movers aren’t stepping up – there is a lot of disarray there. It is small niche manufacturers, these unique boutique industrial set-ups in incubator areas where we are seeing a lot of the development market moving to at the moment. CS: London has its own global market and during a recession money goes to the safest place. London will be perceived, wherever you are in North Africa or Asia, or any collapsing European economy, as reasonably safe. London is strong and, agreeing with Roger, I would say Manchester has been the strongest city outside London. Bruntwood has seen many developments be construction driven. We did need an element of pre-let for some projects but we have been able to build, largely speculatively, a number of projects. What will drive future speculative building and what will help the region to recover from the recession? CS: The key thing is occupational demand. If there is a demand for a world-class medical space but no availability of a world-class

medical space – this drives the building of such projects. GW: We are seeing occupational demand across both Manchester and Liverpool with the strongest demand being in Manchester at the moment. CS: I think we are getting close to a point where there is enough occupational demand in Manchester. If One St Peter’s Square lets with ease this will produce a high level of confidence for other developers. We will see that tipping point reached for a degree of speculative building especially if the location is good and offers are really attractive. How will future speculative building projects be funded? CS: The lending wont come from

GW: Where Kier is as a business; from a development point of view, we are almost pure developers within the construction division.

banks it will either come from construction firms such as Kier, or it will come from institutional investors – so in effect the end

With our cash we are able to develop schemes but we don’t want to have an investment portfolio, we don’t want to hold on

We are getting close to a point where there is enough occupational demand in Manchester


p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:08 Page 36

to them. That is why we spend time forming joint ventures with the likes of Bruntwood where they want the building as an investment. Banks in some instances are still prepared to lend as long as the right deal is presented.

The move by the BBC has helped massively across the whole region

What’s going to help move our region out of the recession and what is going to get the sector moving towards more speculative building? CS: What happens in Manchester is

key to the rest of the region. One St Peter’s Square will be a great barometer – if that lets really well and really quickly – that will mean that Manchester has a lower risk profile for such projects. Another factor is if we see tightness in supply in the market. We know at Bruntwood that we only have so many buildings with a large floor plate – there comes a point where you have to start to look at the forward stock market. We have the highest customer retention rate in the country by far by any owner developer. 78% of our customers are retained. It’s quite simple - what we do is look at having enough space to grow into to keep that retention model – we know in our own portfolios where our space is starting to run out. We have seen this in Manchester and the risk is getting a lot less now. When we talk about speculative building it is easy to think about new build - but bear in mind that at Bruntwood we like to regenerate and refurbish. When we do number crunching on new builds we come out with negative residuals  - because the headline rents have dropped and the

incentives are too great. We will have to see occupational demand grow, stock levels tighten, and incentives drop a little bit to reach a point where we go into positive rather than negative residuals. What we at Bruntwood believe will happen first is that moving from negative to positive residuals will happen with the refurbishment of grade A stock. We will be able to get going a lot earlier in a way thanks to our portfolio of regeneration prime buildings. Does speculative building always have to be new build? CS: We look at new build but we also look at bringing buildings back to life through refurbishment. We are always looking at the stock we have got and deciding which ones make the best buildings. We have got three buildings in Manchester lined up for the next stage in development. What has helped our region remain resilient in these economic times and have developments such as the BBC’s move to Salford

helped in raising the regions profile? CS: Manchester, Liverpool and other cities in our region have their own strengths. Once upon a time banks and other companies with contact centres and call centres were locating these facilities in London before subsequently moving them on to Europe. These same companies are now looking to locate these facilities in Manchester because there is the prospect of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link, the benefits of the international airport and the universities. RW: The move by the BBC has helped massively across the whole region in ways that I don’t think the region understands. Everyday now there are people all over the country listening to and watching news that doesn’t come from London. There is soon going to be a whole generation of kids growing up not thinking London is the centre of the universe. CS: If you just think of Manchester – you have got Manchester United, Manchester City, the party conferences – these all add to the brand too. There has been a lot of talk about Manchester, how is Liverpool fairing and what does the future look like there? RW: When you look at the transformation of Liverpool over the last 10 years it is phenomenal. Things are going to get a lot better in the Liverpool market. MH: The backdrop to the city is so impressive. Success over recent years has been unprecedented and recent announcements about the impressive infrastructure and

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:09 Page 37

Speculative building Lunch debate commercial development plans that will be starting soon will help the city compete on a global level. Inward investment into the city has been strong and looks set to continue. CS: Bruntwood has doubled its enquiries in Liverpool since January – the Liverpool market has picked up. It is only going to get better and better. RW: If we look at Liverpool we see a world heritage centre and one of the finest cities in the north. With its riverside location and its stunning architecture, Liverpool certainly can be world class and compete on a global level. Will developments such as HS2 impact positively on the region? GW: I am not convinced that HS2 will make that much of a difference because of the timescales involved. Can we afford to wait for HS2 to get to Manchester before we start speculatively building again? CS: HS2 will be good for Manchester when it does eventually arrive as areas around Piccadilly for example and the old fire station would need to be massively redeveloped to accommodate it. GW: What we need to argue for is an improved rail link between Liverpool and Manchester and Leeds. Whilst HS2 will be great for Manchester we need to focus on this development and improve the East to West connectivity first. RW: Another thing to consider about the future

“ ”

We need to look at the manufacturing skills we have got.

strengths of our region is when the flights to Beijing commence at Manchester Airport. There is going to be two flights a day to Beijing and this is going to be massively important to the region in bringing in investment and business. What sectors and industries do you think will help our region flourish and will necessitate speculative building? GW: The one good thing that I would like to see come out of this recession is more being put back in to manufacturing. The point was made earlier that manufacturing was lost and we went very much down the service sector route. We need to look at the manufacturing skills we have got and what we currently produce. We can’t lean too much on being a service

economy or on manufacturing there has to be a balance. We need to be similar to the Germans in what we manufacture - it has to be niche, high end and excellent quality. RW: Lets all raise a glass then to Jaguar Land Rover in Liverpool. Unfortunately we have lost our traditional industries – the shipyards have gone and we don’t make money from coal mining and traditional industries anymore, but we do have some amazing things going on that we need to retain. Have you ever researched how much the Scotch whiskey market brings to the UK economy? We still make a lot in this country its just that we no longer make it in the huge car factories in the midlands. Take, for example Graphene – developed here in Manchester. The way Manchester led the way with computers and PCs post WW2 we are now leading the way with Graphene. Hopefully there is a will to make sure the benefits of this development stay in our region.

THE ALBERT SQUARE CHOP HOUSE The Memorial Hall, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PF Owner of the Victorian Chop House chain of restaurants and panel member, Roger Ward provided the most perfect hospitality for our lunch debate, which took place in the newest of his restaurants bang in the heart of the city. The Albert Square Chop House, sympathetically installed in the architecturally beautiful Thomas Worthington’s iconic Memorial Hall, presented a brilliant dining pub and British restaurant, with a unique function floor that’s perfect for events, business meetings, private dining, parties and weddings. The Albert Square Chop House prides itself on buying the best local ingredients from people they know and cooking classic British dishes with a modern twist. The restaurant keeps what has been described as ‘one of the best wine lists in the region’, along with quality caskconditioned ales, (including its own Sam’s Special Bitter). To book a table please call 0161 834 1866.

p17-38_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 15:46 Page 38

THE INTELLIGENT ANSWER TO VACANT PROPERTY PROTECTION IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR VACANT PROPERTY SECURITY OR EMPTY PROPERTY RATES MITIGATION, WE HAVE THE SOLUTION FOR YOU. Ad Hoc is a property management specialist, securing your commercial or residential building against: Squatting, vandalism, criminality and anti-social behaviour We also provide a rates mitigation service, helping property owners save on rates as an interim solution before sale or lease.

Contact us on 0151 236 6061 or email mark quoting MC13 www .

Moorfields LIVERPOOL L2 2BS

• Part income producing [£256,116] • Guide: £2.5 million exclusive • Prominent corner position fronting Moorfields and Dale Street

On the instructions of the Joint LPA Receivers

• Newly refurbished reception,

passenger lifts, common areas and wc’s.

• Raised access floors, suspended

ceilings with LG3 compliant lighting

• DDA compliant




63,692 sq ft with 36 car parking spaces Retail to the ground floor and four upper floors of offices The property is being sold on behalf of Joint LPA Receivers and therefore limited information may be available and no warranties or guarantees can be given in any respect. It should also be noted that the Receivers are acting without personal liability and will not be obliged to accept the highest offer or indeed any other offer.

For further information contact: Helen Moss 0151 236 7336

Louise May 0151 236 7336

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:48 Page 39

100 years of success Key events Photos by Peter Kelly

Kier celebrates centenary Kier Construction toasted its centenary year in Merseyside during a celebratory reception. The event was held in Liverpool’s Martins Bank on Water Street, a building which was constructed by the firm itself and completed back in 1932. Guests enjoyed drinks and canapés to mark Kier’s 100 years of success in the area, which began with the building of Wallasey Town Hall and has since seen the work on landmark buildings including the Liverpool Empire Theatre, the former Lewis’ department store, entrances to the Wallassey tunnels and the city’s Hilton hotel. The northern arm of Kier, which was originally known as William Moss & Sons and has evolved over the years, is continuing its strong presence in Merseyside with current projects including the transformation of the former CUC building into The Studio and Liverpool Life Sciences UTC.













1. The team of Kier Construction (Northern). 2. Keith Jack (Mouchel), Liz Richards (Liverpool Community College) & Sarah DeLucia (Gilling Dod Architects). 3. Sarah Williams & Hannah McIlroy (both of Ashtenne Space North West). 4. Pamela & Andrew Sleigh, David Jenkins & Nigel Brook. 5. Steve Hunt (Stephen Hunt Associates), Tony Bennett & Ruth Lowe (both of Pozzoni) with Barry Home (Clancy Consulting). 6. Carrie Allen, Jess Reid, Natalie Fox & Nicky Hughes (all of Active Profile). 7. Steve Michael, Sharon Jenkins, Ken Jonstone & Adam Hughes. 8. Graham Harwood, Lizzie Craig, Andrew Gerrard, Phil Vickers & Tony Harrison. 9. Gary Wintersgill, managing director (Kier Construction) and Catherine McCarthy (Move Commercial). 10. Kier, 100 years in Merseyside. 11. Colin Leake with Andy Roberts, Anthony Clarke (both of Curtins) & Andy Brayne. 12. Adam Hughes, Paula Moss, Catherine Jackson with William Moss, who is the great-great-great-great-grandson of the founder of Kier.

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:10 Page 40

Key events Peel’s inaugural racing event

Business leaders battle at Dragon Boat day Peel’s first Dragon Boat Racing Event held at MediaCityUK has been deemed a huge success despite the typically wet English weather. Even on a very damp day in Manchester, surveyors, solicitors, Peel employees and MediaCityUK occupiers including ITV, BBC, Nuffield Health and WYG turned out to race in three gripping head-to-head heats which culminated in an exciting grand finale. Stephen Wild, managing director of MediaCityUK, says: “It was great to see leading members of the Manchester business community and MediaCityUK’s ever-growing community of businesses battling head-tohead in the inaugural MediaCityUK Dragon Boat Race”.


p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:10 Page 41

Central Manchester work space with great Internet connectivity. Bruntwood have invested over ÂŁ2m in the redevelopment of Manchester One to create a highly sophisticated city centre working HQYLURQPHQWZLWKDVRXJKWDĆ°HU0SRVWFRGHDQGRXUSDUWQHUVKLS with Metronet (UK) means you can experience connection speeds of *LJSHUVHFRQGDQGXSWR*LJSHUVHFRQGLQVRPHLQVWDQFHV :RUNVSDFHUDQJHVIURPWRVTĆ°DYDLODEOHRQVKRUWDQG ORQJWHUPDJUHHPHQWVLQDGGLWLRQWRPHHWLQJURRPVIRUKLUHDQG YLUWXDORĘ˜FHVSDFH Ũ

Central Manchester location


24-hour access


Redesigned reception space


On-site car parking


On-site customer service team



p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:11 Page 42

By Natasha Young

Devolving Power Little more than a year ago the government announced it had signed an “innovative” and “ground breaking” deal with Greater Manchester; a bespoke arrangement which would allow the area to boost its own growth with freedom from Whitehall controls.

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:11 Page 43

Greater Manchester City Deal

Manchester had followed Liverpool to become the second of England’s eight ‘core cities’ to negotiate its own deal, pledging to develop jobs, skills, housing and transport. Along with the promise of securing and creating 6,000 jobs, it was the key proposal for a ‘revolving infrastructure fund’ allowing Greater Manchester to ‘earn back’ a portion of the tax it generates from investing £1.2bn that made this particular City Deal such a big deal. So now that the headlines have long died down and, elsewhere in the North West, the progress on the Liverpool deal has been apparent as the city established the first Mayoral Development Corporation outside of London, how has Greater Manchester Combined Authority pressed ahead with the initiatives that were agreed? Manchester City Council’s head of policy, Jessica Bowles, has been involved with the City Deal right from the start, having worked with officers across Greater Manchester to negotiate the agreement and coordinate shape. She says: “There were aspects of the deal where working with government has been slower than we would have hoped in implementing the detail of the deal,” she says. “With the investment framework, skills, housing and transport, we’ve made really good progress on those and are close to agreeing the details of the ‘earn back’ model which will bring very significant benefits for Greater Manchester.” Greater Manchester has invested £1.2bn from its own resources to be spent on infrastructure and, from 2015, will expect to see a slice of up to £30m per year from the tax it generates being paid back into the area for further investment. In Manchester’s case the City Deal, which has been supported by the business-led Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), is said to have been more of a vehicle to make decisions and drive forward the strategies and priorities for the area that local authorities had already been putting in place, rather than the birth of entirely new initiatives. By devolving power and

City of Manchester

responsibilities, it was seen as a way of building on the work that Greater Manchester had been doing, faster. With this in mind, the phrase “City Deal” as a whole may not trigger excitement from the likes of developers and businesses, but local authorities carrying out the ground work on the deal are confident that the industries are aware of the individual developments that are taking place thanks to help from the deal, and are moving Manchester forward. For example, particular progress is said to have been made around transport, with almost £500m of funding announced for the Northern Hub – Network Rail’s programme of railway upgrades in the North of England – to carry out improvements to Manchester’s rail network. Meanwhile Piccadilly and the airport have been identified as locations for new HS2 stations, and Metrolink extensions are already being built around Greater Manchester. A housing investment board has also been created for Greater Manchester, which will aim to help set the strategy for housing growth delivery.

With the City Deal signifying the start of an ongoing relationship between Greater Manchester and the government, implementation plans laying out a series of milestones on how aspects of the deal would be delivered from both sides were signed in September, just as they were for all other ‘core cities’. Over the next year, Greater Manchester will aim to see projects start coming to fruition, delivering jobs and outcomes across Manchester. For instance, committing funds to schemes through the investment framework, as well as making progress with the proposed Skills Hub to increase the number of apprentices, and focusing on the Business Growth Hub providing tailored packages of support to businesses and helping them to export more. Reflecting on Manchester’s deal so far, Jessica Bowles says: “I think we would have liked it to have been faster at points but we feel we’ve made good progress and it’s been valuable, particularly because government were prepared to do bespoke deals that helped us deliver our own local

priorities and because we had such a clear sense of those and a very strong set of business and civic leadership we were able to capitalise on that and make the most of it. I think our City Deal was a really strong one which allows us to deliver across a range of fronts.”

EIGHT CORE CITIES Elsewhere around the country, the government has now got the eight ‘core cities’ outside of London signed up to their own City Deals, and has this year put the wheels in motion on inviting 20 more cities to come forward for a second wave of deals. The 20 areas now negotiating deals to have more control over their economic growth include the next 14 largest cities outside of London and their wider areas, as well as the six with the highest population growth from 2001 to 2010.


p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:50 Page 44

By Suzanne McGuckin

With the UK still reeling from the economic crash, and amidst some of the toughest economic times in over 20 years, only a handful of entrepreneurs can stand proud and say that they have not only weathered the storm but have also successfully grown their businesses beyond all expectations. Byron is one such business. Tom Byng, managing director at Byron has become a shining example of how to do business properly and how to put aside the fears of business start up.

The Burger King


success of his two fine dining restaurants, both in London, gave Tom the perfect grounding he needed to know what works, when it works and where it works. With the recent launch of the Manchester and Liverpool outlets (the first two outside London), Byron has seen its tally reach 34 quite an impressive achievement in such a short space of time. “We started growing very naturally, it wasn’t a case of sticking pins in a map of the UK and planning world domination, we just sort of kept doing what we had been doing and taking opportunities when they come,” he says. “We made sure we kept doing what we were doing, and that we kept standards high. It was as simple as that. We started to get emails and tweets from people in Manchester and Liverpool saying how much they had enjoyed their experience in one of our London restaurants. We realised that

people liked what we do and that we should start having a look around these cities.” Tom was amazed by how much people loved a proper hamburger and realised quickly that by doing things properly his marketing

about word of mouth, driven by diners day in day out having a great experience. It is no more complicated than that.” Creating a believable concept that customers really care about, and delivering a three dimensional

After a search to find a burger in the UK that could rival his beloved and sorely missed, Silver Top Hamburgers, that he had enjoyed in copious amounts during his student days in the States, Tom Byng, disappointed with what he found, went about setting up Byron. “The hamburger is America’s single most significant contribution to world cuisine, and they know how to do it right,” he explains. “The UK didn’t offer anything that I felt matched the standards of the States and Byron became my very personal response to this and saw the start of a restaurant chain that I would be happy to eat in myself.” With the opening of his first Byron in High Street Kensington, London in 2007, Tom has steered his business to become a highly regarded brand that has demonstrated clearly that business survival can be achieved. The

Customers are bored of formulaic chains whether food or retail.

became quite a simple process. “Our marketing approach is just to tell people who we are and get people to come into the restaurants and try us out. Marketing for the restaurants is all

experience that gives them something to remember is key to the success of Byron. “We don’t discount because we really feel that if you are doing a great job all customers really care

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 14:50 Page 45

Tom Byng Entrepreneur

Byng file DOB: 7 Aug 1970 Education: Eton College & Brown University USA Career history: After a brief spell in advertising, owned and operated two restaurants in Notting Hill, London until 2006. Founded Byron in 2007.

about is that it looks good and is worth the money,” he says. “You have got to be value for money and that isn’t all about price. Overall it’s about a consideration of the whole experience. We don’t want to be just ok, we really want to over deliver and want people to come out of a Byron and say that was really memorable for the money.” Tom believes that having a business name with a reason behind it really works and that simply splashing words on the wall saying that the beef they use comes only from one part of Scotland, and that hamburgers taste best when cooked pink, doesn’t work. “Restaurants have to be authentic,” he says. “Diners are sophisticated and are very brand savvy. Customers can tell if something is true and whether it is any good or not. One of the things about Byron is, people trust us.” Byron, with the etymological route of the word meaning ‘of the cowshed’, avoids what Tom describes as the ‘cookie cutter’ approach to a restaurant chain. “We design all our restaurants differently,” he says. “We respect the integrity of the buildings, respect their location and the local audience. I feel that customers are bored of formulaic chains whether food or retail. Our main aim is to respect our customers - surprising and delighting people and not being homogenous, repetitive and un-engaging.” MOVE COMMERCIAL 45

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 15:06 Page 46

a flexible approach to your business needs...

With innovative lease plans designed and structured to match the business plans of each tenant, Prospect GB offer a refreshingly flexible approach to commercial property lettings. Contact our expert team for a free consultation and you could be benefiting from high-specification business space from Prospect GB – rented on your terms, to suit your particular needs. Meridian Business Village

from only £1 per sqft.

Meridian Business Village Hunts Cross, Liverpool L24 9LG Enjoying a strategic location in the heart of South Liverpool’s commercial area. Superb, newly completed self contained office suites for sale/to let from 700sqft to 6775 sqft. Last few remaining.

Montel House Chester Business Park CH4 9RF

...development land Aber Park Industrial Estate Aber Road, Flint 0.56HA (1.4 acres) with 350ft (106m) frontage and planning approval for redevelopment as offices. price on application

Whitemoss Business Park

An impressive Grade A detached headquarters office building in the centre of one of the UK’s top business parks. 9,400sqft currently being refurbished.

International House Chester Business Park CH4 9RF A fully refurbished, detached headquarters office building in the centre of one of the UK’s top business parks. Spacious open plan ground floor offices. Last suite remaining 5504sqft.

Ascot House Trident Business Park Birchwood, Warrington WA3 6BX Modern open plan offices for sale/to let in a well managed business park offering easy access to the regional and national motorway and rail network. 1680sqft. Ground floor remaining. Generous parking.

Distington House Sheffield S4 7QQ Occupying a prominent position in the heart of the Don Valley. 5534sqft of extremely impressive open plan office accommodation with excellent frontage and within easy reach of the city centre.

London House Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1YP For sale/to let, superb self contained office suites with excellent natural light and on site parking. From 722sqft to 4907sqft available for immediate occupation. From £1 per sqft.

Junction 4 of the M58, Skelmersdale 0.2 to 1.66HA (0.5 to 4 acres) with planning approval for 29 self contained office buildings. price on application

T 0151 448 5720 E

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 15:50 Page 47

Expert views Ask the panel

How can the government crack down on tax avoidance given the fact it is not illegal? With tax avoidance making the headlines lately we ask the experts what can be done to prevent companies from doing something that is actually a legal practise.

It used to be the case that tax evasion was illegal and tax avoidance wasn’t. Legal tax avoidance has always been part of tax advisers’ armoury to help clients arrange their affairs in such a way that legitimately minimises tax burdens. The recent furore over ‘illegal’ tax avoidance in high profile cases has now muddied the waters around what is acceptable and unacceptable tax avoidance. It now introduces a highly questionable test of morality: should an entrepreneur who spends years building a business with their house and future on the line then be so highly taxed once they have achieved some success? The shear welter and complexity of UK tax legislation lies at the root of the problem. The 2013 Finance Bill introduces General Anti-Avoidance Regulations (GAAR) as the sledgehammer that the government believes will resolve the issue by targeting “highly abusive, contrived and artificial schemes”. The test will be whether GAAR can clearly differentiate between responsible tax planning and abusive schemes. David Kirby, head of tax at Wilson Henry LLP

It is often said that tax avoidance is not illegal and that is the root of the problem: the tax laws themselves. Our tax “system” is an inconsistent accumulation of rules and anomalies with neither true overall shape nor guiding purpose. The system is widely viewed as unfair and inconsistent and has been proven to be open to abuse. Historically governments’ have tried to plug the gaps piecemeal and in so doing they have only made the problem worse: the tax ship is now more patches than ship but it still leaks. The latest attempt to counter avoidance, the general anti-abuse rule (“GAAR”) is nothing more than another, gigantic patch. It is human nature to make the best use one can of flaws in the system. The answer must be to make the system fair, straightforward and consistent so that it regains the respect of taxpayers and is easier for HMRC to apply consistently and fairly. Louise Howard, senior tax manager, Mazars LLP

Tax avoidance (i.e. working within the tax rules to minimise an individual's or a business' tax bill) is perfectly legal, so there is no doubt in my mind that it is up to the government to change the rules, where it considers that they allow unacceptable tax avoidance. I really do not consider this to be a moral issue.

There has in fact been a great deal of progress over the past few years, and many tax avoidance schemes and loopholes have been, and continue to be closed. One area which has not been effectively tackled however is that of cross-border business operations. Put simply, public opinion is that businesses should pay tax where their customers are located, but that is not how the current rules operate. What should the government do? Continue to reduce the headline rates of tax (particularly Corporation Tax) so that more companies base their profit centres here in the UK, continue the pressure on tax havens, and update the cross border tax rules so multinationals compete in the UK on a level tax playing field with UK based companies.

We are all entitled to mitigate our tax liability by the use of reliefs available to us. It is incumbent on the government to introduce a general anti-avoidance rule to allow the revenue to look behind tax avoidance schemes and seek the overall purpose of the scheme. If the investment is a sham with the purpose only of obtaining a tax relief then it will then get caught. I am always amazed by the number of people promoting aggressive schemes who come out with the familiar mantra ‘they are backed by a QC’s opinion.' Beware at all costs. When it comes to the crunch the opinion may well be of very little use to you. At worst it may be a cut and paste fake and at best of limited use having been prepared without reference to you or your circumstances Paul Bibby, managing partner, MSB Solicitors

Julia Casimo, partner, John Kerr Chartered Accountants MOVE COMMERCIAL 47

p39-48_Move Commercial 24/06/2013 11:11 Page 48

Move Commercial 32  

Merseyside's guide to property and business - Issue 32

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you