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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:23 PM   #1961
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Good to see stuff looking up

Quote:
2014 house prices to top 2007, says the Centre for Economics and Business Research

Average prices this year are expected to edge up to £219,000 this year, marking a 0.8 per cent increase compared with 2012, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said.

By 2014, a typical house in the UK will cost £223,000, a figure which is 0.7 per cent higher than the 2007 peak.

The slow recovery will be welcome news to homeowners who bought around the peak of the market and have found themselves stuck with little or no equity in their home.

The forecaster said that house price growth will accelerate in the coming years as the economy gradually picks up.

CEBR predicts that in five years' time a typical home will cost £261,000, representing an increase of almost a fifth (19.1 per cent) compared with this year.

Daniel Solomon, CEBR economist and main author of the research, said: "Next year, UK property prices will hit a significant milestone, passing their pre-crisis peak for the first time.

"This will be driven by fundamentals, such as a return to modest economic growth."

House prices have remained sluggish in recent years, although experts have been surprised at the resilience of much of the market, given the wider difficulties of the economy.

Surveyors and lenders have predicted that house sales will pick up this year amid improvements to the mortgage market which have come about as a result of a multi-billion pound Government scheme which was launched in August to boost lending.

Lenders have been slashing their mortgage rates and the number of deals on the market has also increased since the scheme started.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders recently reported an uplift in loans being advanced to first-time buyers and mortgage approvals to home buyers generally have been increasing in recent months.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also recently suggested that the housing market could be over the worst of its problems.


Quote:
2012 mortgage lending up to £143bn

Mortgage lending increased by an estimated £2bn to £143bn during 2012 amid recent signs of improved confidence in the property market, an industry body said today.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) expects the figure for this year will reach £156bn, despite a dip last month when £11.7bn was lent, compared with £12.7bn in November and £12.2bn for the same month a year earlier.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: "We are more positive about the UK housing market and wider economy than a year ago, despite economic headwinds and downside risks."

He added that lenders now faced fewer funding pressures, in part as a result of the Bank of England's and Treasury's Funding for Lending scheme, which was launched in August and has enabled several lenders to slash their rates.

The CML said market activity was robust in the final quarter of 2012, helped by better mortgage availability and pricing - a trend it expects to continue in the coming months.

For most months in 2012, house purchase lending was above year-earlier levels, while first-time buyer activity accounted for an unusually large 41 per cent of all house purchase loans in December for the second month in a row.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:24 PM   #1962
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Manchester CR businesses appear to be getting the most investment in the North West

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North west benefits to tune of £1bn from overseas investment, says Deloitte

Business advisory firm Deloitte’s first ever north west cross-border deals survey found that last year, non-UK companies and investors spent £1.15bn on 52 deals involving businesses from the region.

And north west firm completed 29 transactions overseas, with a total deal value of £406m.

Key deals during the year included the acquisition of Altrincham-based recruitment specialist NES Global Talent by US private equity house AEA Investors for £234m and the £41m sale of Premier Foods’ Sarson’s vinegar division, in Middleton, to Japanese group Mizkan.

Europe was the leading region for investors buying north west targets, with 23 deals, followed by the US, with seven deals, India, with three deals, and Japan and the UAE, with two deals each.

Overseas swoops by north west firms included Manchester-based PZ Cussons’ acquisition of Australian hair care brand Fudge for £25m, Macclesfield engineering group Bodycote’s £32m purchase of US group Curtiss-Wright's heat treatment business and Manchester IT group NCC’s £8.4m swoop for New York-based Matasano Security.

Ten of the 29 overseas deals completed by north west firms were in Europe, with eight in the US, three in Australia, two in India and one each in Brazil and Russia.

Paul Lupton, corporate finance partner at Deloitte in the north west, said: “The north west is the leading UK region outside London for M&A activity and has been for some time.

“Despite the reservations of some, who view takeovers from abroad with suspicion, we should be pleased that our region is considered a worthwhile location to invest in, particularly at a time when the UK economy is struggling.”
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Old January 30th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #1963
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http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....s-plan-1276159

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Union anger at Barclays closure plans - 475 jobs to go
30 Jan 2013 15:58
Barclays is closing a Manchester call centre, with the loss of 475 jobs


Union leaders have expressed anger at an announcement by banking giant Barclays to close a call centre in Manchester, with the loss of 475 jobs.

The bank said there will be no change to its head count as a result of the closure in Manchester, as new jobs were being created in Liverpool and Sunderland.

But Unite said frontline workers were having their jobs put at risk at a time of renewed speculation that Barclays is to pay its new boss a seven-figure bonus.

Key investors are being consulted over the proposals to award Antony Jenkins a bonus worth more than £1m, despite the bank being forced to allocate almost £2bn for fines relating to rate rigging and mis-selling scandals, according to reports.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "Just as we learn about the huge bonuses at the top of the bank, frontline staff are having their jobs put at risk. Many of the staff at the contact centre in Manchester will be furious to learn that the chief executive is in line for a £1m bonus when their jobs are on the line.

"Unite is doing everything possible to protect jobs and we expect the bank to do everything possible to avoid forced redundancies."

The bank said in a statement: "Barclays is working hard to meet customer needs and keep the customer at the heart of what we do. Part of this work is ensuring that our contact centre site processes are working efficiently to enable our teams to work together more effectively.

"Unfortunately this means that our contact centre in Salford Quays, Manchester, will be closing this year, and while there will be no net change to headcount, all telephony jobs will move to our Liverpool and Sunderland sites.

"We remain committed to all areas of the UK and will be working with our staff to find redeployment opportunities where possible.

"We are focused on finding alternative employment options for all affected staff elsewhere within the Group which is something we know is desirable for many. We are being open and transparent by sharing this proposal with our colleagues at the earliest possible opportunity and we will provide full support to them throughout the process. We appreciate that for some staff they may not wish to relocate and therefore a redundancy option will be available."*
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Old January 30th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #1964
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Am I imagining it, or weren't Barclays talking about consolidating their operations in Manchester recently? Surely this could be incorporated?
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Old January 30th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #1965
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Think Barclay's are looking at moving some back office (not call centre) roles into the city centre.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 06:30 PM   #1966
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They give with one hand and take away with the other.

No doubt Barclay's will say 100's of new jobs are coming to Manchester via the back office.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 10:11 AM   #1967
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Greater Manchester house prices: Salford's soar 6.8 per cent, the highest outside London
30 Jan 2013 19:06

Salford house prices are booming - the highest in the UK outside London

House prices in booming Salford have soared by four times the national average thanks to BBC staff making the move north.

Property values rose by 6.8pc last year to £91,508 – the fastest rise of any area outside London.

Estate agents have partly put the rise down to a surge in interest in homes in and around MediaCityUK, as thousands of BBC and ITV staff - most of them moving from London - flock to buy homes near new studios.

Figures released by the Land Registry show that in the 12 months to December 2012, property prices in Salford rose by more than any metropolitan district excluding the capital.

The average house price in England and Wales was £162,080, a rise of 1.7pc - just a quarter of the rise recorded in Salford.

Other areas of Greater Manchester also recorded rises - with the average house in Stockport seeing a 3.7pc increase to £143,567, a typical home in Trafford going up 0.7pc to £181,761 and Bury seeing a 0.5pc rise to £110,946.

But Manchester, Rochdale and Wigan saw falls in their average house price in the past year - while prices in Bolton and Oldham plummeted by 6.3pc, among the sharpest declines in the whole country.

An average home in Greater Manchester sold for £103,828 in December 2012 - a fall of 1pc on 2011.

Salford also bucked the trend for the north west as a whole, with prices in the wider region falling by 3.5pc, the worst figures for any region in England and Wales.

Greg Davies - branch manager at the Salford Quays branch of Reeds Rains estate agents in the shadow of MediaCityUK, said: "The BBC's move has definitely brought great interest to the area - with people looking to move, and other businesses such as ITV and retail outlets
moving in too.

"It's not just been in Salford Quays where we are seeing interest – it is fanning out to more affordable properties on Ordsall Lane and Trafford Road."

Mr Davies added that he did not think that people were being 'priced out of the market' because of the increased interest.

Some 2,300 BBC staff have arrived at MediaCityUK after the corporation opened its new northern headquarters. Five Live, BBC Breakfast, Sport and Children's programming were among the departments and programmes relocated from London.

Case Study

A two-bedroom second floor flat at Merchants Quay, Salford is on the market with Reeds Rains for shade under £180,000.

This 'stunning, much-improved spacious two double-bedroom apartment' has a juliet balcony with 'lovely water views' and a garage for parking.

Inside it boasts an entrance hall, living and dining room, separate kitchen, two double bedrooms and main and en suite bathrooms - both of which have been 'stylishly modernised'.

According to the Zoopla property tracking website, house prices in Merchant Key, just minutes' walk from MediaCity, have risen £5,460 in the past year.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 09:16 AM   #1968
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Manchester sluggish on jobs
5th February 2013

By James Graham - Deputy Editor, North West

GREATER Manchester's job market is taking longer to recover than other parts of the country, according to an analysis by the reaserch body New Economy.

But its February edition of the Manchester Monitor, an analysis of current trends in the regional economy, suggests there is room for optimsim.

Around 82,000 people were claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in December 2012, a monthly decline of 1,300 (1.6%) compared to November 2012.

But on an annual basis the number of claimants is virtually the same as this time last year. Nationally, the claimant count has fallen by around 3.3%.

However, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Q4 2012 Quarter Economic Survey found that the local economy largely bounced back in the last three months of the year, stimulated by summer activities.

The Greater Manchester Business Survey reported similar trends with good levels of confidence across the board.

Furthermore, GM’s visitor economy continues to perform well with passenger numbers at Manchester Airport continuing a year-on-year rise in November with 1.3m passengers, up 8.7% on the same time last year.

Year-on-year hotel occupancy rates in Manchester city centre rose 2% to 72% in December 2012 with weekend rates peaking at 87%, the highest level for December since records began in 2003.

Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at New Economy, said: “UK Plc hasn’t got off to a good start in 2013, with GDP figures and post-Christmas numbers waning. This is further proof we have a long way to go before the broader economy works through the long-term realignments we require, following the economic imbalances that created the financial crisis in the first place. The changes that we need to make to manage and to benefit from this new era have hardly even started.”

“Greater Manchester shares the burden of this long slog, although the latest Manchester Monitor notes some welcome distractions. Manchester Airport’s takeover of Stansted for example, makes the group one of the UK’s biggest companies, which, like other major businesses that have their headquarters or significant branches here such as Co-op and the BBC, offers broader economic effects. It should help in particular to bring some new routes to Manchester, including from China.

“The High Speed Rail announcement was similarly good news for everyone; it will cut two-and-a-half hours off the round-trip from Bolton to London for example, open up new business opportunities and make the whole conurbation much more attractive to investors and upwardly-mobile residents alike.”
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Old February 5th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #1969
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Can't decide if this is good or bad

Quote:
The cost of living in Manchester? It's gone sky high

5 Feb 2013 06:00

Manchester is now one of the most expensive cities to live in - on the planet

The cost of living in Manchester has soared in 12 months – while Paris and London have got cheaper.

New research shows the city is one of the most expensive in the world – and is bucking the global trend by getting even dearer as others European cities get more affordable.

Experts surveying the cost of living across the globe compared transport, food, luxury good and fuel prices.

They found that while the costs of basics in Manchester has fallen slightly, those of luxuries have soared.

It is now the 47th most expensive city in the world, up six places on last year.

The Economist magazine’s respected Economic Intelligence Unit ranked 100 cities based on the price of bread, milk, wine, petrol, cigarettes and rice.

They found Asian cities were now getting more expensive as the region prospered through increased wages and economic optimism.

Meanwhile in Europe, still reeling from the worldwide downturn, living has become cheaper overall.

London – last year the third most expensive city in the world – has dropped to number 16, overtaken by Australian, south American and Asian capitals.

The two most expensive cities are both now in Japan – Tokyo and Osaka respectively.

And while Swiss cities Geneva and Zurich – bywords for wealth – have slipped down the rankings alongside Paris and London, Caracas, in Venuzuela, has climbed 25 places.

But despite that trend, Manchester has seen the cost of wine cigarettes and rice soar.

Although a loaf of bread is on average 8p cheaper than this time last year, a bottle of table wine is now £7.30, up from £6.50 a year ago.

Nevertheless experts said the cost of living has remained ‘relatively stable’ in the UK compared to the rest of Europe.

Jon Copestake, editor of the report, added: “The cost of living in Europe has seen relative declines thanks to economic austerity and currency fears.

“Asian cities have also been rising on the back of wage growth and economic optimism. This means that over half of the 20 most expensive cities now hail from Asia and Australasia.”

*The Top Ten

1 Tokyo

2 Osaka

3 Sydney

4 Oslo

5 Melbourne

6 Singapore

7 Zurich

8 Paris

9 Caracas

10 Geneva

47 Manchester
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Old February 7th, 2013, 11:38 PM   #1970
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You live in Manchester, and you can't decide whether the cost of living becoming extortionate in your home town is good or bad?

Is this a wind up?
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Old February 8th, 2013, 08:49 AM   #1971
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Good = developers will catch on and decide that developing in Salford is very viable

Bad = I won't be able to afford jack all.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 10:27 AM   #1972
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It's a good thing overall. Future generations will be richer, future Manchester will be richer.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #1973
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I am slightly puzzled by the statement that the price of wine, cigarettes and rice has soared!!

Can someone explain why the price of these items has risen in Manchester and nowhere else?

And in spite of generally accepted increases in food prices a loaf of bread is now 8p cheaper than last year!! Which particular loaf is that then?

I must be reading this wrong so can someone enlighten me?
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Old February 8th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #1974
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Manchester was the 28th most expensive city only a few years ago in the same study so its hard a revelation. Likewise London was 3rd but has fallen.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 08:22 PM   #1975
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Much as I respect the Economist, the survey is total bollocks.
As someone who travels a lot I can tell you that Manchester is not an expensive place at all.
And...a bottle of table wine (ie bog standard) £7.30? ...I research this particular indicator several times a week. Never paid more than a fiver even for decent stuff. You can imagine the nobby knobhead who came up from London to do this, walking in to Harvey Nicks and saying ' a bottle of your finest table wine my good man'.
And cigarettes? Just give up, or don't start. Rice?
And why should any of those items be dearer or cheaper than say Glasgow or Birmingham?
I would just ignore it.

On further thought, I wonder if they have screwed up. The Economist usually use the USD as a baseline currency. I wonder if they put in 7.30GBP but meant 7.30USD (=£4.60) That would be much more like it. It would undermine the survey and the story above.

Last edited by Lookin Up; February 8th, 2013 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Further thought
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Old February 14th, 2013, 05:19 PM   #1976
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A bit of good news.

MEN.

Quote:
Virgin Media creating 130 jobs in Manchester
14 Feb 2013 12:31

Communications giant Virgin Media is creating 130 new jobs in Manchester as part of its nationwide recruitment drive.

In total it is creating 400 jobs across the UK, including customer-facing roles and engineers.

The company, which is subject to a £15bn takeover deal by US cable group Liberty Global, said the expansion was in response to growing consumer demand for superfast broadband and next-generation television.

In Manchester the group is taking on 40 customer-facing and 90 engineering roles. They will be based at its centre in Wythenshawe where it currently employs 1,500 staff.

The group will also be recruiting in Swansea and Birmingham.

Paul Buttery, Virgin Media's chief customer and networks officer, said: "We're pleased we're able to invest further and offer so many more people the prospect of an exciting and rewarding career at the forefront of next-generation entertainment and communications.

"By creating hundreds of customer-facing roles we'll be able to meet the sustained appetite for TiVo, already the leading connected TV platform in the country, and superfast broadband alongside ensuring a great experience for all our customers.

"With this expansion Virgin Media will be even better able to support the Government's ambitions for the country.

"We're investing in the very communities we serve to ensure all our customers get the experience they expect from us as we power Britain's digital heartbeat."

Paul Goggins, MP for Wythenshawe & Sale East where Virgin has a call centre, said: “Virgin is a global brand with strong local connections. These new, highly skilled engineering jobs are good news for the people of Wythenshawe and a further indication that this is a good place to invest.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable added: "This expansion is good news for Virgin Media and for the hundreds of people who will benefit from these new jobs, which include many highly skilled engineering roles.

"The digital communications industry drives growth and helps us to build a stronger economy. Today's announcement will also support our ambition to provide faster broadband - in both cities and rural areas - giving more businesses access to the opportunities they need to grow."

Virgin Media has 14,000 UK employees.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 06:39 PM   #1977
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MEN

Quote:
North west house prices rise as market rallies

House prices are almost back at their February 2008 high

The housing market has made a "sprightly" start to 2013, with big monthly leaps of around 5 per cent recorded in the North West of England, a property search website said.

Prices jumped by 2.8 per cent month-on-month to reach £235,741 on average, with asking prices reaching their highest levels for February since 2008, Rightmove said.

Prices are 1.1 per cent higher than a year ago and are just £2,115 shy of a February record set in 2008, showing the market is making a "slow but steady recovery," the study said.

Rightmove also reported that it recorded its busiest ever month in January, in a further sign that activity in the market is gathering pace.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: "There has been a sprightly start to 2013, and while market activity remains patchy across locations and property type, some agents are reporting their busiest new year since the onset of the credit crunch."

There have been signs of the market picking up in recent months following the launch of Government schemes to kick-start mortgage lending and give people a leg up on to the property ladder.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recently reported that lending to first-time buyers reached a five-year high in 2012.

All regions across England and Wales recorded month-on-month increases to asking prices.

Rightmove said that the large monthly price increases recorded in northern areas and Wales were effectively "rebounds" from large house price falls at a time when there were low numbers of properties on the market towards the end of last year.

The North West recorded the highest monthly increase at 5.2 per cent, taking prices to £156,801. However, prices in the region are still 1.8 per cent lower than a year ago.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #1978
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Place North West.

Quote:
Bruntwood sets out project pipeline

20 Feb 2013, 08:09


Bruntwood reported increased profit of £12.4m on turnover of £105m, up 6%, in the year to September 2012.

The Manchester-based company had its best year for new lettings since 2007. Profit increased by 10% but net asset value fell slightly to £303m, down 5% on 2011, which the Oglesby family-owned business attributed to the "knock-on effect of the recession on the property market in general."

Last month Bruntwood secured a £120m 10-year facility with Legal & General. Yesterday a further £229m extension of its commercial mortgage-backed securitisation to January 2016 was passed unanimously by bond holders at an extraordinary general meeting.

Kevin Crotty, chief financial officer of Bruntwood, said: "In recent weeks we have secured nearly two thirds of our group refinancing requirements. Agreeing a new 10-year facility and passing a unanimous CMBS extension vote is a strong show of confidence for the group and demonstrates that there is demand out there for the right proposition."

The company is now focused on growth in new sectors.

Chris Oglesby, chief executive, added: "The demand for our development expertise and our strong financial position is enabling us to grow the business in exciting new sectors. 2013 will be one of our busiest years for new developments including four hotel schemes in three cities, an 80-bed care facility with Care UK in Greater Manchester, the development of Manchester Business School with the University of Manchester and the completion of 94,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art medical facilities at Citylabs. In addition to all this we're pushing forward with our ambitious plans for Manchester Science Park."



The four hotels are in Leeds, where Bruntwood has completed a Premier Inn at Hepworth House; a hotel within the new Manchester Business School, operator to be announced shortly; a £24m 223-bedroom hotel at Riverside in Salford between the Lowry Hotel and Bruntwood offices next to the River Irwell; and at Kennedy Tower in Birmingham, a Holiday Inn Express by Sanguine Hospitality. The extra care facility is a new build in Cheadle.

Bruntwood will also begin the redevelopment of three office buildings in Manchester city centre: Overseas House, Elliott House and Bank Chambers, as well as continuing works at Centre City in Birmingham, acquired in 2012, and City House in Leeds.

Bruntwood owns 110 office buildings in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrb View Post
Place North West.
Quote:
Bruntwood sets out project pipeline

20 Feb 2013, 08:09


Bruntwood reported increased profit of £12.4m on turnover of £105m, up 6%, in the year to September 2012.

The Manchester-based company had its best year for new lettings since 2007. Profit increased by 10% but net asset value fell slightly to £303m, down 5% on 2011, which the Oglesby family-owned business attributed to the "knock-on effect of the recession on the property market in general."

Last month Bruntwood secured a £120m 10-year facility with Legal & General. Yesterday a further £229m extension of its commercial mortgage-backed securitisation to January 2016 was passed unanimously by bond holders at an extraordinary general meeting.

Kevin Crotty, chief financial officer of Bruntwood, said: "In recent weeks we have secured nearly two thirds of our group refinancing requirements. Agreeing a new 10-year facility and passing a unanimous CMBS extension vote is a strong show of confidence for the group and demonstrates that there is demand out there for the right proposition."

The company is now focused on growth in new sectors.

Chris Oglesby, chief executive, added: "The demand for our development expertise and our strong financial position is enabling us to grow the business in exciting new sectors. 2013 will be one of our busiest years for new developments including four hotel schemes in three cities, an 80-bed care facility with Care UK in Greater Manchester, the development of Manchester Business School with the University of Manchester and the completion of 94,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art medical facilities at Citylabs. In addition to all this we're pushing forward with our ambitious plans for Manchester Science Park."



The four hotels are in Leeds, where Bruntwood has completed a Premier Inn at Hepworth House; a hotel within the new Manchester Business School, operator to be announced shortly; a £24m 223-bedroom hotel at Riverside in Salford between the Lowry Hotel and Bruntwood offices next to the River Irwell; and at Kennedy Tower in Birmingham, a Holiday Inn Express by Sanguine Hospitality. The extra care facility is a new build in Cheadle.

Bruntwood will also begin the redevelopment of three office buildings in Manchester city centre: Overseas House, Elliott House and Bank Chambers, as well as continuing works at Centre City in Birmingham, acquired in 2012, and City House in Leeds.

Bruntwood owns 110 office buildings in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham.
Interesting comments at the end there regarding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nq View Post


Was this ever posted? Brochure seems to be dated Jan-11, linked to the Overseas House spec on the Bruntwood site.

Reduced size version of that Lloyds branded one.

http://www.bruntwood.co.uk/Sites/Bru...ochure.pdf.pdf

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Old February 21st, 2013, 09:18 AM   #1980
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Egencia targets more Manchester growth
21st February 2013

EGENCIA, the business travel arm of Expedia, the world's largest travel company, is expecting further growth in Manchester.

The fast-growing business, which has been in Manchester for the last five years, has just moved into Three Piccadilly Place, where it has taken the whole of the ninth floor - 12,700sq ft on a 10-year lease.

Graham Kingsmill, managing director of Egencia UK said the company is already recruiting for a number of roles in the city.

"We are already at more than 130 and we are recruiting all the time. Our long term plan is to take another floor in this building. In a challenging market Egencia, thanks to its technology and customer service, is growing really fast up 22% in the UK last year.

"We are delighted with the new location, I am sure it will help us win more business and attract and retain good people. It's proximity to the main-line station is a really big plus."

He said some operations, such as ticketing, were being moved to the Manchester centre from offices in Germany and Belgium.

Egencia has number of international clients including PepsiCo, mobile telecoms group 3 and locally Manchester Business School.

Director and general manager Andrew Clarke, who oversaw the relocation, said he had looked at 10 sites and selected Piccadilly Place from a shortlist of three.

"We would have lost up to 20% of our team if we had moved to a lower cost location on a business park, so it was really important to find an office with good infrastructure.

"Piccadilly Place is a vibrant development in the heart of the city, accessible for the 85% of our staff who commute on public transport. We are confident that this move signifies a bright future in the UK, both for our people and our business.”
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