Peter Gallagher Colliers

Gallagher takes the reins at Colliers

Charlie Schouten

After taking over the leadership of the consultant’s Manchester office from Andrew McFarlane this month, Peter Gallagher sat down with Place North West to talk co-working, office requirements, and what makes the perfect surveyor.

Gallagher, who has been with Colliers for five years since joining from his former consultancy P3 Property Consultants, has stepped up to lead the Manchester office at Chancery Place, but has pledged there will be no major changes to the team’s structure.

“I’m not the full-time head of the Manchester office; we don’t really afford those luxuries,” he said. “All the heads of offices all have to be practitioners, so I’ll be keeping my work here as being involved in the national offices team, with a focus on development agency – so working on the pipeline of projects coming through.”

The team is advising on a series of major projects across the city centre, including Noma, which Gallagher said had a “five-year” pipeline of projects, including the renovation of the Dantzic and Redfern buildings; the former will complete later this year while the latter has recently received planning permission.

According to Gallagher, Dantzic already has “a six-page enquiry list” with some deals expected in the coming months.

Other development sites include Ralli Quays, on the opposite side of the River Irwell from Spinningfields, where Colliers is working with L&G. The building is due to be vacated by HMRC when its staff move to Three New Bailey, currently being built by contractor B&K and due to complete in 2021.

Feasibility studies are being drawn up, but Gallagher said the existing building had “probably reached the end of its life” by the time HMRC’s new office completes.

While supply is becoming increasingly restricted in Manchester, with research from Colliers pointing out a rise in pre-lets leaving around 200,000 sq ft immediately available, Gallagher highlighted a number of sites that were likely to come forward this year, including the former RBS office in Spinningfields which will release 160,000 sq ft once the bank moves out.

However, he warned there will be a “major supply crunch”, particularly in the first half of the year with many of the major schemes in the pipeline not completing until later in 2019; the 180,000 sq ft Landmark building next to One St Peter’s Square, is on course to hand over in the summer, along with Worthington Properties’ 125 Deansgate.


Gallagher predicted there would be “winners and losers” from the boom in co-working

Grade A rents have now picked up to around £36/sq ft, while Grade B has rise to £27.50/sq ft. Investor and occupier demand is still buoyant, added Gallagher, despite political uncertainty, with capital being attracted from both within the UK and from overseas.

Reflecting on the rise of co-working in Manchester, where WeWork already has three sites and a further two on the horizon, Gallagher said: “WeWork seems to have an insatiable appetite, but where their peak is, I don’t know. Their take-up in London has been staggering.

“There is clearly a market for co-working, we see that, but if everybody fulfils their target to get a building, I don’t think the market is deep enough for them all to fill them, or even to reach 80% occupancy. They are chasing a market without understanding what its quantum is, so there will be winners and losers.”

While maintaining his role leading the offices team, Gallagher will continue to work with Mike Hawkins, Dominic Pozzoni, Scott Shufflebottom, and Folu Aladelusi.

Looking at future recruitment as well as working with the existing team, Gallagher singled out Aladelusi for praise.

“Folu is the epitome of what a young surveyor should be: well-dressed, nicely educated, a family guy, polite, courteous, very knowledgeable. If I could draw a picture of a young surveyor, somebody that could go into a board room and hold a conversation with a chief exec or a chief finance officer, it would be him,” he said.

Gallagher added that diversity would be high on the agenda, after Place raised the issue of a lack of female office agents across Manchester’s numerous surveying practices and consultants.

“To be honest, I don’t know why there aren’t any female office agents,” he said. “It could well be an image issue of middle-aged men having a drink at Sam’s Chop House but I want to work very hard on diversity and inclusion: you need to walk to the talk.

“Our tenet will be that that in a rapidly-changing business environment, we need make problem-solving real estate services as relevant in the future as it is today, and we need to invest in existing and new talent to make that happen.”

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You say “the epitome of what a young surveyor should be: well-dressed, nicely educated, a family guy, polite, courteous, very knowledgeable. ” – and then you wonder why there’s a lack of diversity in surveying?!?

By MancLad

Congratulations on the new role Peter. Delighted to see that you will be busy in the marketplace as well.

By Glyn Pittendreigh

“the epitome of what a young surveyor should be: well-dressed, nicely educated, a family guy, polite, courteous, very knowledgeable.”
Barring the last three characteristics… discrimination much?

By Jeezy

Firstly, Folu really is a super talented guy, but this article sits really uncomfortable as too try hard to tick a box and put him up as a token to show how wonderfully diverse Colliers are – mmmmm….. Epitome of the ideal surveyor is a family ‘guy’, not ‘girl’ and by loose supposition most probably not ‘gay’. Well dressed (dull and blends to the background), polite (doesn’t say much and let’s the old director run it) well educated (one of ‘us’).
What about single mum who has grafted her life (possibly even has a tattoo!) who wears whatever makes him/her feel great and is individual, passionate about what she/he does and most importantly – brilliant at his/her job.
BTW not a personal dig at PG who is a great guy but hopefully this article will get republished in 10 years and people will piss themselves laughing after real change.

By New Pr team?

“To be honest, I don’t know why there aren’t any female office agents,” …….. There are 3 female office agents in Manchester?!

By Miss Office Agent Manchester

We do exist….

By Female Office Agent

But he is a guy, so of course he is described as a ‘family guy’. And can gay people not have families? Stop looking for trouble where there is none.


To paraphrase “What I want working for me is a straight men in sharp suits. I have no idea why my business isn’t more diverse.” And this person is leading the business… wow.

By Anonymous

Think people are reading too much into this.

By ANom

I worry for Colliers if this is there ‘antiquated’ view – basically what are they are looking for is a ‘well spoken, well educated family guy’ who can put on a nice shirt and tie, go into a meeting room and talk in bland platitudes to a chief exec or chief finance officer (who is also a well educated, well spoken family guy). The most active sectors of the market (creative/tech) are led by people who are much younger/diverse/casually dressed etc…. Subsequently the ‘epitome of a modern surveyor’ is changing and I fear colliers will be left behind.

By bemused

Looks like the snowflakes have had a busy end to the week……. what would we do if people weren’t offended on behalf of other people…..? Zzz Zzz

By Cyril

Haven’t colliers recently lost 2 female members of their office agency team, plus another from industrial agency? Maybe they just concentrate on not falling out with their existing female staff rather then championing how ‘diverse’ they are. Also I’m sure there are 3 individuals currently working at OBI, CBRE, and Sixteen Real Estate who would dispute the claim that there are ‘no female office agents’.

By Family Guy

Cryil – who even says ‘snowflakes’. Such a cringe phrase by the same people who voted for Brexit.

By Anonymous

Diversity is a commendable goal, and many firms seek to achieve this. The reality, however, is that some people simply don’t find the profession appealing.

By Millicent Fawcett

I read this article yesterday and questioned whether my irritation with the ‘epitome of a young surveyor’ was an overreaction but reassured to see I’m not on my own. My career began as a female office agent some 20+ years ago and yet as a tattooed, single parent, dressing with individuality, yet still appropriately, rather than conforming (haven’t donned a suit for about 15 years!), I have (clearly against all odds) done quite well in the ever male-dominated world of property and proud to work in the industry. (New PR Team? I thought you’d written your comment on my behalf!) What surveying needs in order to thrive is to drag itself into the 21st century and encourage diversity, individuality and progression on merit and achievement rather than the age-old ‘public school, rugby-playing, pin-stripe wearing stereotypes that unfortunately are still all too apparent. Genuine congratulations too Peter!

By Notafeminist