Clipper deal adds to South Manchester momentum

The South Manchester office market remains on course for a record-breaking year, as insurance broker Bollington Wilson’s letting of the 27,400 sq ft Clipper House in Sale added to a raft of fourth quarter deals.

The first three quarters of the year had, according to Lambert Smith Hampton’s Northern Powerhouse Office Market Report 2018/19, seen 658,000 sq ft transacted, surpassing the total for 2017 and close to the 2012 record.

Deals completed since have included science giant Dow signing for 26,000 sq ft at Cheadle Royal and a Spire Healthcare joint venture committing to 10,000sq ft at Didsbury Technology Park. The first offices part of The Hut Group’s campus development at Airport City could also qualify for Q4’s total.

The Bollington Wilson deal sees the business relocate all staff from its Altrincham corporate insurance office into the Orbit Developments-owned building, as well as some departments from existing offices in Macclesfield.

Clipper House, at junction 7 of the M60, will house more than 200 of the company’s 450 employees, with plans to accommodate 100 more as the business grows. The firm, formed by the merger of Bollington and Wilsons Insurance Group, will also continue to operate from its Macclesfield and Liverpool locations.

Paul Moors, chief executive of Bollington Wilson, said: “We have had to reassess our office spaces and Clipper House was an ideal new additional location for us.

“Our sales teams across all product lines can now work under one roof and we’ve been able to bring two diverse business cultures together as we all work towards our unified vision.”

Dean Richards, leasing director at Orbit Developments, added: “Clipper House is one of our flagship properties and has clearly met all of the needs of the newly-created Bollington Wilson Group at an exciting stage of growth and development for them.”

After a third quarter boosted by confirmation of Royal London’s 140,000 sq ft Alderley Park move, the Manchester Office Agents Forum said that it expects the South Manchester market to hit 1m sq ft for 2018.

Consented development across the patch likely to move forward in 2019 includes Muse’s 60,000 sq ft Two Stockport Exchange and the first two speculative offices at Airport City, totalling around 180,000 sq ft.

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