Cis Tower 2
Castlebrooke Investments bought the CIS Tower in Manchester for £66m in 2017

Trafford Council agrees £60m loan for CIS Tower refurb

Sarah Townsend

Trafford Council has agreed to loan £60m to CIS Tower owner Castlebrooke Investments, to refurbish and refinance the 361,000 sq ft grade two-listed building.

The 28-storey CIS Tower on Miller Street was sold to Castlebrooke Investments, a property investment firm, for £66m in 2017.

The building was completed in 1962, at which time it was the third tallest in Europe at 118 metres, but now requires substantial refurbishment.

The local authority, Trafford Council, has agreed loan financing of £60m, almost as much as the amount Castlebrooke paid for the building in 2017, to invest in its refurbishment, according to a budget report to Trafford Council’s executive committee.

The loan allocation is part of the council’s investment strategy approved in July 2017, to be financed through the £400m Asset Investment Fund established that year. The fund was originally set up with £300m from central Government, supported by prudential borrowing. A further £100m was approved as part of the council’s 2019/20 budget.

The CIS Tower loan is one of several strategic property portfolio investments being made by Trafford Council as part of its asset investment strategy, according to this week’s budget report. However, the council has not purchased the tower and the proposed refurbishment will be led by Castlebrooke.

If there are any surplus funds from the £60m loan, it will be re-distributed across the council’s services provision areas. A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “The council has provided a £60m refinance and refurbishment loan to the owners of the CIS Tower for works to the building as part of our corporate investment strategy.”

There remains £95m of the Asset Investment Fund uncommitted, with several future proposals yet to be included such as the redevelopment of the Trafford Magistrates Court site, the budget report added.

The CIS Tower is currently rented as office space to a division Co-operative Bank.

Castlebrooke is a London-based investor developer headed by ex-Carisbrooke directors Neil Young and Jonathan Mitchell. The company is also behind the development of the 178,000 sq ft Landmark office on the former Odeon site in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square.

Castlebrooke has been contacted for comment and information about the CIS Tower refurbishment and refinancing programme.

Your Comments

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Can’t they just knock it down?

By Dan

Where have Trafford Council got 60m from yet the roads are terrible, bin collections are every 3 weeks council tax keeps going up yet heres a mere 60m we have laying around for you to borrow… CIS isnt even in trafford…

By Anon

It’s amazing how Trafford are failing on their basic service provision but are able to find £60m to loan out.
Shouldn’t it be Manchester Council sorting this out? They could probably fund it from the profit they make on the Christmas Markets!

By Anon

I understand the excitement from the people of Manchester when they get a few ugly blocks built, they think they have won the lottery, old Mill town to a cheap Box town .

By Anonymous

Some real lack of understanding in these comments. Trafford Council have 2 separate pots, this particular pot is being used to make acquisitions, and hopefully, a return on the investment in this case interest on the loan. CIS Tower is a listed building so it can’t be knocked down. This is also a privately owned building, and therefore it is not down for Manchester City Council ‘to sort’.

By Sigh

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York
I wanna to wake up, in a city that doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap
These little town blues
Are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York
New York, New York
I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps

By cityjoke

For your information Anonymous Manchester was never a Milltown of any real significance it was the centre of the Cotton Industry, produced fine quality steel, had engineering prowess and was the other centre of printing in the UK. It has built itself up to the metropolis it is today through sheer hard work and I might add a lack of self pity.

By Elephant

It was the centre of a cluster of other mill towns. Can’t deny the cheap boxes.

The town hall is really impressive, the John Rylands is interesting, and other than that, the city centre is indeed a gloomy mess of cheap boxes.

By Sad Manc Lad

Can anyone explain why the government lend £300 million to Trafford council which they then lend (invest?) in a neighbouring council area? On what terms are Castlebrooke borrowing the money and why have they had to turn to taxpayer funded loans for their project?

By John