Bruntwood tops £1bn property ownership

Chris Oglesby

Manchester-based commercial property company Bruntwood said it has broken through the £1 billion mark for property under ownership for the first time in its 40 years.

In its accounts for the year ending September 30, 2016, Bruntwood said turnover hit a record £118 million, up 9% on the previous year.

Reporting under the new accounting standard FRS102 for the first time, profit for the financial year was £69 million compared to £70 million in 2015.

Bruntwood said it acquired more than 100,000 sq ft of property during the year including Commercial Union House in Manchester, currently being redeveloped as “Union” to create high-quality workspace at the heart of the city’s financial core, and Synergy House at Manchester Science Partnerships.

In Leeds, Bruntwood remodelled the 120,000 sq ft former City House into “Platform” which is nearing completion.

Bruntwood has also transformed the 110,000 sq ft former 2 Cornwall Street in Birmingham into “Cornerblock” and has undertaken the site enabling works for Circle Square in Manchester.

In total, £96 million was invested in development and refurbishment across the Bruntwood portfolio in the past year.

Bruntwood said it expects to complete 700,000 sq ft of schemes in 2017 including a start on site with the commercial phases of Circle Square and continuing the repositioning project at Alderley Park, Cheshire.

“In all, the group has £1.4 billion gross development value of development pipeline in addition to £1 billion of existing assets,” said the firm.

Bruntwood group CEO Chris Oglesby said: “This has been another fantastic year for the Bruntwood group of companies which continue to go from strength to strength.

“Despite the uncertain macro-economic backdrop, demand for our product and service proposition in our core cities remains strong.

“Vacancy in our investment portfolio is at an all time low, and we now have the capital and financing structure to not only deliver our significant development pipeline, but also to provide resilience should economic conditions change.

“Our focus on the growth sectors of science and technology, particularly through our ownership of Manchester Science Partnerships, aligns the group’s strategy well with that of the government’s as these sectors in the the City Regions of the North and Midlands form such an important part of the country’s forward looking industrial strategy.

“We welcome that in his Autumn statement, the Chancellor reinforced the importance of the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine initiatives, which we wholeheartedly support, in helping to rebalance the country’s economy away from dependence upon the South East and in driving economic growth in a post-Brexit United Kingdom.”