Trafford Centre Main Entrance
The group's flagship shopping centre in Trafford opened in September 1998

Peel to vacate Trafford Centre in HQ shift

Sarah Townsend

Landowner the Peel Group is preparing to move out of its longstanding headquarters in the Greater Manchester shopping mall after more than two decades and relocate its staff to the Venus building at nearby TraffordCity.

The group cited the impact of coronavirus – in particular a shift by many of its employees to work from home – as the main reason for its move as it seeks to find more cost-effective, “fit-for-purpose”, accommodation.

A spokesperson for Peel said: “In common with many other businesses across the UK, a significant number of our people have been working from home, in line with Government advice.

“Since the Government guidelines have been updated, we have been reviewing in detail how we can most effectively ensure our offices are fit for purpose in the ‘new normal’.

“As a result of that review, we have concluded that we need to move to more appropriate accommodation.”

In the coming weeks, staff will relocate in phases to new offices at the Venus building in TraffordCity – the office, retail and leisure scheme developed by the group’s development arm Peel L&P on a 3.5m sq ft plot immediately opposite the Trafford Centre, over the years since 2015.

The eight-storey Venus comprises 91,000 sq ft of office space off Junction 10 of the M60, next to a range of leisure facilities including the under-construction EventCity.

It is understood that Peel will take a significant chunk of the space, which is already home to multinational businesses including engineering technology firm SPIE and travel agent Travel Counsellors.

“Venue is a modern, efficient building that is better suited to both safeguarding our peoples’ wellbeing and meeting our future business requirements,” the Peel spokesperson said.

The group employs around 2,500 staff but many of those are based in other locations across the North West, including development sites such as Wirral Waters.

Peel L&P built the Trafford Centre in the late 1990s, with the glitzy shopping centre opening in September 1998 as the group’s first landmark building at 2.2m sq ft.

The parent company set up its headquarters in the domed mall and the office is known as the ‘Peel Tower’, after the Peel Tower monument to Sir Robert Peel in group founder John Whittaker’s hometown of Bury.

Peel sold the Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres, which later rebranded as Intu Properties, for £1.6bn in 2011 – one of the largest real estate acquisitions in British history and the biggest European property deal of that year.

The group retained a 24.6% stake in Intu, which collapsed into administration in June this year after failing to strike a deal with lenders to pay down an estimated £4.5bn in debt.

Peel said at the time it expected to see no financial impact on its operations from Intu’s demise, despite its sizeable shareholding in the company.

The Trafford Centre has continued to operate throughout the administration process, as it is owned as an independent special purpose vehicle in the same way as Intu’s other 16 shopping centres across the UK.

 

 

Your Comments

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‘the domed mall’ …typo alert! Surely, ‘the doomed mall’?

By Costello

The Trafford centre has always been a miserable shopping experience. Unlike L1 with its space and fresh sea air, overlooking the Royal Albert Dock. A more all round soothing experience.

By Liverpool romance

I’m not a fan of the architecture but the Trafford Centre is far from doomed…bigger issue is what is going to happen to city centre retail and food & drink…

By anonymous

Liverpool Romance, your Comments need some balance and therefore I,d suggest a chip on that other shoulder. It’s strange that some commentators on here suffer from abused child syndrome, always attempting to make themselves feel better by tearing down what they perceive as their problem. You,ll feel much better about yourself if you concentrate on what you see as good about Liverpool without meaningless and childish comparisons.

By Nve

@Liverpool Romance. You`ll see and hear a lot of young love island type girls with Liverpool accents in the Trafford centre.They seem to like it. Maybe they dont want a windswpept outdoor `experience` messing up their hair after all the effort they made getting ready. The Trafford centre is going nowhere.

By Anonymous

Could be a game changer. An office with an actual window!

By Mr T

L1 is nice shopping experience/area but how can you compare .. see and hear more Scouse accents in the Trafford Centre than anyone else

By Brimanc4

Bore off with all of the Liverpool/Manc this is better, that’s better bla bla, people impersonating to be from different ends of the m62 who clearly aren’t. They’re both great cities with plenty going for them. Trafford centre is suffering just the same as all Shopping centres are with a wealth of space and it’s now somewhat in a dwindling footfall battle between city centre shopping and retail parks surrounding along the immediate issue of people less keen on being stuck in enclosed spaces. It needs continued reinvention to regenerate it’s purpose. The architecture is pretty pastiche (In my opinion), but it clearly style wise can be a destination with widened leisure offer, whether that be casinos and hotels etc.

By L17

What a non-story

They’re moving over the road – wow

All bricks and mortar retail whether in Lpool or Manchester are under severe pressure as are the retailers and F&B operators. Personally I prefer none town centre myself. But each to their own.

By TJL

Will miss the ride in the secret elevator

By cheshire lad

@TJL erm this is out of town. Do you go to the theatre or arts venues. Or just take family on a day out to a drive through. And eat in your car? I hope you have nothing to do with development or society. Oh better let you go – your food delivery has arrived. Ps I bet you don’t know the name of your neighbours either side. So sad you don’t get civilisation. Pps you Maccy Ds on it’s way via Uber Eats. Btw the crux of the story is Peel leaving if the centre has to shutter. Obs. But as your on this site you should know real estate 101. I can’t think why cities are in such a mess with your insight & personal preference. Such a shame.

By Metro mark

Could you use m² as flooring is only available in that unit? Plus it is the 21st century and everybody has been educated in metric now for nearly 60 years.

By Philip

@Phillip – the RICS still allow sq. ft. as an acceptable measurement in the office environment. Indeed it is the standard way of describing office space, and understood by most property professionals, which is who Place NW is predominantly aimed at.

By Manc