Aviva Investors has confirmed a £300m deal to support Allied London’s Enterprise City in Manchester, which will provide more than 1m sq ft of commercial space in the city.
Aviva had long been rumoured to be backing the site, and Place North West reported earlier this year that a deal was close to being agreed.
The funder has now signed off a long-term partnership with Allied London for the site, beginning with a £300m deal to help the developer deliver commercial and leisure space in excess of 1m sq ft.
Buildings supported by the deal include Manchester Goods Yard, set to be home to a 220,000 sq ft campus for Booking.com; the Globe & Simpson buildings; Bonded Warehouse; and Old Granada Studios. Work on Bonded Warehouse has already largely completed.
The ABC Buildings, where work is already under way with contractor McLaren on site, does not form part of the Aviva deal. Tenants already signed up at ABC include post-production company The Farm, which took 25,000 sq ft in August this year.
Earlier this month, Place North West revealed Allied London had sold its neighbouring Trinity Islands site to developer Renaker. This move has allowed Allied to focus on the delivery of commercial space at St John’s and Enterprise City. Contractor Lendlease is on board as construction partner for St John’s and enabling works have already started on site.
Michael Ingall, Allied London owner and chief executive, said: “Enterprise City is a concept Allied London has envisioned from scratch. Within eighteen months we have created something of significant value and importance for both Manchester’s business community and the wider north-west region.
“The transformation, re-adaption of old disused commercial buildings and a dynamic masterplan for new buildings was the catalyst for creating a new enterprise community for use by today’s modern industry.
“Most developments of this nature start around one major tenant and become corporate very quickly. Conversely, we have started our project from a blank sheet, which allows us to be more selective, focused and dynamic in our approach to creating a diverse enterprise hub. By using our expertise in placemaking, we have articulated something that would usually take a generation to realise.
“We have worked with Aviva Investors for over a year and now is the time to cement a long-term relationship. A partnership with a forward thinking but long-term investor is the right way to go for such an ambitious project, and I am delighted to be partnering with Aviva Investors, who understand the potential of this exciting, important and relevant development.”
Under the deal with Aviva, Allied London’s All Studios business will manage the filming, production, and studio facilities at Enterprise City, while the Crystal Maze Studios on Lower Byrom Street will not be part of this business and will remain open to the public.
A building designed by architect Child Graddon Lewis, outlined by Ingall at this year’s MIPIM property conference in Cannes and coined as Enterprise City Campus, is not part of the deal, with the land having transferred to Renaker as part of Allied’s sale earlier this month.
Aviva Investors was advised by CBRE.