Alderley Park sale completes

Manchester Science Parks has officially completed the acquisition of AstraZeneca's 400-acre Alderley Park campus in east Cheshire.

JLL advised AstraZeneca on the sale, which included negotiating a number of flexible leaseback agreements that will see the pharmaceutical giant consolidate and exit the site in phases. AstraZeneca will retain 700 staff on site in the medium term.

MSP is a partnership between property developer Bruntwood, Manchester City Council, Salford City Council, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. Cheshire East Council has recently acquired a 10% stake in Alderley Park and placed a 3% investment in MSP.

Alderley Park contains 1.5m sq ft of offices and labs. Part of the site could be developed for residential, hotel or leisure uses.

Bids for the Alderley Park site were understood to have ranged from £30m to £50m. Bruntwood is said to have beaten Telereal Trilium, Discovery Park, backed by Palmer Capital, and residential developer Huntsmere.

Adam White, associate director of planning and development at JLL in Manchester, said: "It was essential to AstraZeneca that the site's life sciences capability and legacy would be preserved and enhanced. In this way, the sale process was very different from that of a typical freehold sale of development land.

"MSP's bid provided the most ambitious vision for Alderley Park as it will leverage the existing world class facilities in order to create significant new employment opportunities and capture inward investment.

"Safeguarding the future of Alderley Park as a global centre of excellence for life sciences is essential for the future of the North West's knowledge economy and it has been particularly rewarding to advise on such a strategically important deal."

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So predictable.
Does the North West we have any ambition? Can we not do anything without ‘ Council Investment’ ( ie taxpayers money)

By Dave Spart

Not sure I quite see the problem. CEC council taxpayers in the surrounding area may well benefit in the longer term if it means Alderley Park is place for people to work instead of a housing development. The winning bidder is a developer that has clearly invested in the North West area previously and it appears a cohesive strategy given the tie up with MSP. If it’s okay for MCC to have investments in various developments or enterprises (Manchester Airport for instance?) I don’t see why CEC shouldn’t. Far better than just handing the money over with no opportunity to get a real return on it.

By Nick

The problem is not CEC investing, it is the inability for any large property development to go ahead under its’ own stem, without financial help.
Is any other industry like this?

By Dave Spart

You mean like how some companies in other industries are allowed to offset R&D against corporation tax that would otherwise be payable despite some of them being hugely profitable? Or that other companies in other industries completely unrelated to the property industry base themselves in LEPs because of the tax incentives. Is that what you mean? I’m not sure that the article suggests that the scheme only got off the ground because of CEC investment, afterall they may have done it because strategically they felt they would have a more influence in area that will be a large employer of their tax paying residents (both at Alderley park and "over the border" at MSP) going forward.

By Nick

Despite your logical and concise comments, I’m still not convinced.

By Dave Spart

i have ranted on this issue before. 2000 highly educated jobs (i.e. those with post grad education, masters, phd’s etc) will be lost in the North West. Astra Zeneca is reportedly worth £5-6billion pa to the local economy. It will take 20 plus years to bring back those same jobs.

A travesty caused by CEC. Losing this level of jobs would be a disaster for a council in the South East of the country but for the North West to lose them it is a catastrophe. Boris Johnson wouldnt let it happen. I cannot believe George Osborne has.

There are those that suggest some northern should be abandoned – a mananged decline. This isnt far short of a managed decline of the entire North.


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