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CEG refurbishes Warrington office buildings

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NEWLY-refurbished headquarter office space has been unveiled at Birchwood Park in Warrington by the Commercial Estates Group (CEG).

CEG’s multi-million revamp of the office complex, which consists of three self contained properties, was undertaken by Ultimate Office Solutions.

The trio of units, one of which is already let, was formerly known as The Beacons and has now been rebranded as Concentric.

The refurbished office space includes new energy efficient studio-controlled air conditioning, LED lighting, high-quality showers, secure bike parking, toilet, lifts, kitchenettes and disabled facilities.

Robert Morton, investment manager at CEG, said: “Our focus at CEG is on our customers. By delivering the highest quality headquarter space, with the flexibility to also provide smaller offices, in such a great business location we expect a high level of interest.

“A contemporary working environment, with a fabulous reception, well-designed facilities, optimum temperature control and plenty of light are proven to increase productivity, as well as helping to attract and retain staff. An environment like this, in which businesses can flourish, is exactly what our customers demand.”

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Citibase opens second Aberdeen business centre

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FLEXIBLE serviced office provider Citibase has launched its second Aberdeen business centre.

The new facility in the Granite City is on the second floor of H1, Hill of Rubislaw, a recently-refurbished building in the Western Office Corridor, just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre.

With over 17,500 sq ft of office space, the new Aberdeen business centre – Citibase’s fifth in Scotland – also has an open plan reception, business hub facilities and an on-site café.

Steve Jude, CEO, Citibase commented: “Our most recent Citibase Business Confidence Index revealed that 71% of Scottish SMEs prefer office contract lengths of less than three years, which is clear evidence that the flexible office revolution is gaining serious momentum in Scotland.

“Citibase is committed to providing Scottish SMEs  with one of the best flexible office hubs in the city as demand continues to soar as businesses both large and small increasingly turn to our low-risk, short-term contracts.”

Find out more about the new serviced office business centre at H1, Hill of Rubislaw.

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Citibase opens new business centre in Uxbridge

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FLEXIBLE office provider Citibase has opened a brand new business centre in Uxbridge, West London.

The new business centre provides over 28,000 sq ft of affordable serviced office space arranged over two floors of The Atrium – an eye-catching office building in Harefield Road in the heart of the town centre.

Facilities at Citibase Uxbridge include break out spaces, an on site cafe, 24 hour access and a friendly Concierge team.

Steve Jude, CEO of Citibase, commented:

“Citibase Uxbridge will provide much needed affordable office space that allows local businesses to thrive, with the flexibility to easily change the size of their space as they grow without the pain of typical long lease commitments.

“The opening of Citibase Uxbridge is reflective of a booming sector, where we are seeing particularly strong growth outside of central London.”

The business centre is the latest addition to Citibase’s portfolio of over forty locations around the United Kingdom.

Find out more about office space at The Atrium at 1 Harefield Road in Uxbridge.

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Firefighters tackle skyscraper blaze at Canary Wharf

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LONDON Fire Brigade were called out to a blaze on top of an office skyscraper in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Around twenty calls were made to the emergency services are smoke was seen billowing from the roof of One Churchill Place at Canary Wharf.

Eight fire engines from stations in east and south east London were called to the fire at the building which is the global headquarters of Barclays Bank.

Station Manager Lee Sandy, who was at the scene, said: “While the fire was very visible, it was contained to the air conditioning unit on the roof of a commercial tower block. There were no people involved and the fire did not spread beyond the roof area.”

Sixty firefighters helped put out the fire which was under control shortly before 2am – less than ninety minutes after it was first reported.

Social media users shared video and photos of the fire

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26 storey office building approved in Southwark

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A BRAND new 26 storey office building in Southwark, London, has been given the green light, reports local community website SE1.

The site of the dual phase scheme designed by architects HPF on behalf of developer Overcourt Ltd is Paris Gardens and Hatfields just off Blackfriars Road.

Over 56,000 square metres of new and refurbished office floor space will be delivered by the project will provide space for 3,000 workers.

Non listed office buildings at the half-hectare 1-5 Paris Gardens / 16-19 Hatfields location will be demolished to make way for a part-23, part-26 storey skyscraper.

Grade II listed former print works at the site will be refurbished as part of the scheme which will also see the development of a new public square at ground level.

The new tower is just one of a cluster of tall buildings built or in development close to Blackfriars Road. Councillors on the Southwark Council’s Planning Committee approved the plan at a meeting shortly before Christmas.

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Northamptonshire Council given green light to spend office sale receipts

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CASH-strapped Northamptonshire County Council has been given permission by the government to spend the proceeds from the sale of its new office building.

The green light to use capital receipts for day to day spending, believed to be without precedent, was given yesterday by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, James Brokenshire, in response to recommendations from Commissioners sent in to stabilise the council.

Northamptonshire Council, which announced it had a £70 million shortfall, opened the brand new head office building at 1 Angel Square in Northampton in October last year.

Just four months later the stricken authority announced the £60 million sale and lease-back of the BDP-designed property.  It will now be able to use the income from that sale to help plug the gap in its spending.

The 22,000 sq metre development boasts a four storey atrium reception as well as a central courtyard with office space, informal meeting areas and touchdown areas grouped around it.

Cllr Matt Golby, leader of Northamptonshire Council, said: “I am delighted the commissioners have been successful in their request for a capital dispensation. This will enable us to use our own resources to tackle the £35m deficit from 2017-18 and replenish our reserves to put us on a sustainable financial position.”

Earlier this year, Northamptonshire County Council voted to scrap itself and two new unitary authorities will replace it from 2020.


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First Belfast managed workspace deal for BESpoke

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MANAGED workspace provider BESpoke has leased 20,000 sq ft of space in Belfast city centre.

BESpoke acquired the space inside the mixed-use Adelaide Exchange development in Belfast’s Adelaide Street for one of the big four international professional services firms.

On completion of a customised 14-week refurbishment programme the client will take a three-year licence.

It’s the eighth deal for the division of BE Offices since it launched in November last year.

Jonathan Weinbrenn, BESpoke’s managing director, said: “Our client was looking for a customised branded solution to solve its short-term needs for additional office space. We are able to take traditional office accommodation and transform it into space that reflects a client’s image, culture and brand.

“In the case of Belfast, we will take the refurbishment to CAT A standard and provide the client with a totally customised and designed space. All the client has to do is to move into the new offices on completion as BESpoke has done all the heavy lifting. We take the pain and strain out of acquiring short-term flexible additional accommodation.”

A new co-working business centre will also be created as part of the fit out and operated by BE’s Headspace division.

BESpoke was advised on the Belfast acquisition by Savills Ireland while Colliers acted for Straben Developments.

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New Bloomberg HQ wins the Sterling Prize

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BLOOMBERG’S new head office building in the City of London has been awarded the RIBA Sterling Prize.

The prestigious architecture award for the Foster+Partners-designed building comes as the property nears the first anniversary of its official opening.

Credited for being the world’s most sustainable office building, Bloomberg’s new European HQ property is also thought to be the largest stone building in the Square Mile since St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Queen Victoria Street site is made up of two large triangular buildings separated at ground level by the Bloomberg Arcade which is home to restaurants and bars. In total, the development created 102,200 square metres of office and retail space.

Royal Institute of British Architects judges described the Bloomberg headquarters as “a once-in-a-generation project which has pushed the boundaries of research and innovation in architecture.”

Responding to the award on Twitter, Mike Bloomberg commented: “Bloomberg’s European HQ was designed to push the boundaries of what an office building could be – setting new standards for openness & sustainability. It’s an honor to receive the RIBA Stirling Prize & we’re grateful to all – especially Foster+Partners.”

The award was the unanimous verdict of the RIBA judges – the other five shortlisted buildings were: Bushey Cemetery; Chadwick Hall; New Tate, St Ives; Storey’s Field Centre and Eddington Nursery; and the Sultin Nazrin Shah Centre.

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Liverpool’s Echo Building sold to Dubai company

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THE iconic former offices of the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post newspapers have been sold to an overseas investor.

Paradigm Property Consultants, the Development Managers of Reach PLC, acting jointly with Savills, have sold the forward funding and mixed-use redevelopment of the landmark Post & Echo Building in Liverpool city centre to Dubai-based investor, Select Group.

The redevelopment, which is due for completion in January 2020, will create a vibrant new mixed use destination totalling approximately 300,000 sq ft (27,871 sq m) in the heart of Liverpool’s commercial district with two floors of Grade A office space.

Once complete, the Echo Building in Old Hall Street will also have a new four star 207-room hotel, a restaurant, conference facilities, gym and rooftop Skybar, along with new retail and leisure space.

Richard Dawes, director in the hotels team at Savills, comments: “The sale of the Echo Building to Select Group reinforces the appeal of gateway UK cities like Liverpool to overseas capital and demonstrates the strong appetite for mixed use developments supported by fixed income hotel investments.”

Rahail Aslam, Group CEO of Select Group, adds: “Having deployed substantial capital in the city previously, we know Liverpool well and firmly believe it will deliver superior long term rates of economic growth and increase in its attractiveness to other institutional investors. We are thrilled to contribute with the redevelopment of the Echo Building, a landmark project that will be a fantastic showcase for the Innside brand and extremely well suited to corporate occupiers.”

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP and Withers LLP acted for Reach PLC and Select Group respectively.

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BE Offices readies for expansion after £84 million refinancing deal

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Serviced office provider BE Offices has completed a £84 million refinancing deal with HSBC.

The refinancing package sets up BE for continued expansion and has extended the period of the company’s fixed debt to five years.

BE’s office portfolio has grown to 800,000 sq ft of flexible workspace in 19 business across the UK, 14 of which are in London.

Simon Rusk, BE’s Finance Director and co-founder, commented: “This is a major step forward for the company. Not only does the refinancing provide us with a solid foundation and security going forward, it also releases significant cash to fund our planned expansion over the next few years.”

David Saul, BE’s Managing Director and co-founder, added: “We regard this refinancing as a major endorsement of the business and its future. We believe BE is extremely well placed to take advantage of the fast-growing flexible workspace market. BE has a quarter of a century of successful and profitable experience in this market which we will bring to bear as the sector enters the next phase of its expansion.”

Last November BE acquired Headspace that took it into the tech, media and creative industries sectors for the first time. It also launched BESpoke last Autumn which is aimed at the corporate market.

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