Blackburn Cathedral Quarter office sold to L&G

Preston-based Maple Grove Developments, part of the Eric Wright Group, has pre-sold a 32,000 sq ft office in Blackburn to Legal & General Property for £9.1m, a yield of 4.6%.

The BDP-designed building, One Cathedral Square, is let to Blackburn with Darwen Council on a 25-year head lease. The offices will be let by the council to private sector tenants.

The asset has been acquired by L&G on behalf of its Limited Price Inflation Income Property Fund.

Agents for the office are Knight Frank and Trevor Dawson & Co.

One Cathedral Square is part of the first phase of the £25m Blackburn Cathedral Quarter scheme, which was re-launched in 2012 by Maple Grove and Blackburn Cathedral after plans stalled during the recession.

The scheme is expected to total 118,000 sq ft including a Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, new bus interchange, 37,000 sq ft of offices and a Clergy Court which will house the Dean and Canons and lay staff in a building adjacent to Blackburn Cathedral.

The project is being funded by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership, Homes & Communities Agency, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the European Regional Development Fund.

Eric Wright Construction started on site in August 2014, with works due to complete in autumn 2015.

Andrew Dewhurst, director of Maple Grove Developments, said: "One Cathedral Square will be the first Grade A office building completed in Blackburn town centre for 20 years.

"Designed by BDP, and sited between the cathedral and railway station, the building will give occupiers the chance to re-locate into modern, efficient office space with excellent sustainability credentials. The transformation of this part of the town centre is now becoming a reality as building works advance at a pace."

Maple Grove Developments was advised by the real estate team at law firm Irwin Mitchell in Manchester. Anita Weightman, partner and head of real estate at Irwin Mitchell, led the team which included real estate partner Claire Quinn, and tax partner Alex Barnes.

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