CERT sells The Courtyard to Manchester council

CERT Investments, a subsidiary of CERT Property Group, has completed the sale of The Courtyard offices at Royal Mills to Manchester City Council.

The council has acquired the leasehold of the property for 150-years. The value of the transaction was not disclosed, however, Place North West reported last September that the council was expected to purchase the property for around £1.85m.

The 12,700 sq ft of office and studio space is housed within the Royal Mills buildings in Ancoats. It is fully let to 10 different tenants, including Elevate Architects, Strazala Architects, employment company Street League and charity Reclaim. The development produces a gross income of £144,283 per year, with an average rent of £13/sq ft.

There are also five suites totalling 3,500 sq ft which have been sold on a long-leasehold basis at a peppercorn rent.

As part of the sale, CERT Property has agreed to lease back the 1,000 sq ft of space it currently rents at The Courtyard and continue to be based at the site. The sale is part of the wider regeneration of the Ancoats area, of which Manchester City Council is leading.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Royal Mills is a key property as part of the Ancoats regeneration area and has played a pivotal role in the development of the Ancoats neighbourhood.

“It was agreed by the Council’s executive to acquire The Courtyard at Royal Mills to complement the Council’s existing ownership of the commercial units in the building, which will provide the council with an interest across the full commercial portfolio at Royal Mills. The acquisition will further support the Council’s ambition for the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and New Islington area.”

LSH and Primas Law acted on behalf of CERT Property, and Avison Young represented the council.

Lawrence Vaughan, senior surveyor at LSH, said: “Royal Mills is one of the most prominent destinations in this historic area of Manchester, which has undergone a major transformation over the past few years.”

Howard Lord, managing director of CERT, said: “We are privileged to be custodians of this piece of Manchester’s heritage and to support a range of businesses.”

Manchester-based developer Renaker redeveloped Royal Mills after buying the site from ING Real Estate Development in 2013, including the delivery of 146 apartments.


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