Mayfield Car Park Visual
The Mayfield Partnership won consent for the first phase of its Manchester mega-scheme in February

U+I goes on hunt for acquisitions

Sarah Townsend

The regeneration investor, part of the consortium delivering the £1.4bn Mayfield project, is looking for acquisitions to bolster its development pipeline, with “major city regions” including Greater Manchester the focus of its search.

London Stock Exchange-listed U+I said in a statement: “We’re looking to acquire land, either directly or in joint venture partnership, in London, the South East, Dublin and other major city regions.

“Now is the time to invest in the recovery of our economy and the communities that will drive it forward.”

The company said in the statement, part of an advert published in trade media this week, that it is looking to invest minimum initial capital of £500,000 to £10m, and is targeting income-producing land investments, with a minimum 5% yield.

Sites should have “long term mixed-use regeneration potential through planning and development or asset management”, the statement added. For example, these might include golf courses or brownfield sites within the Green Belt, it said.

Place North West has contacted U+I for further information about its plans, including the amount it is hoping to invest.

U+I is part of the Mayfield Partnership, which also comprises Manchester City Council, LCR and Transport for Greater Manchester. The consortium is regenerating a 24-acre site around the derelict Mayfield Depot next to Piccadilly train station in Manchester into a mixed-use scheme and 6.5-acre public park, and won planning approval for the first phase of the scheme, a 32,000 sq ft office block and public park, in February.

U+I last month warned that some of its other projects across the UK face delays due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It decided to withdraw financial guidance to investors on future schemes because of this and had earlier said it expects to miss its £35m earnings target for the full year 2020 amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

U+I’s share price was up 3% on Friday morning. The company has a market capitalisation of £124.1m.




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Not convinced our city regions are the place to invest. Who’d want to work in a city when you can work from home, without having to commute on a packed tram into the city centre.

Better off looking at local economies.

By Mike Riddell

Is this a speculative fishing trip.

By Tjl

@Mike Riddell
Alternatively (and more realistically), businesses WILL continue to invest in cities because tens of thousands of people already live in the city centre and thousands more will follow. These people don’t need to commute. Businesses will always want to locate where the richest source of talent is. That was cities before this and it will be cities after this.

By Bill

You’re still gonna have tonnes of people working and living in a city centre, especially Manchester. It’s one of the funnest and innovative cities in the UK.

And the regeneration and redevelopment of such a massive brownfield site can only be a good thing.

By Anonymous

This can’t happen soon enough, it’s wasteland.. I totally approve of the park with the bonus of a river flowing through it. I think that there should be provision for a bike lanes throughway, above the ground or on the deck. I got the idea that the buildings surrounding the park were going to be offices, maybe its mix of both. I just hope they make the buildings ‘green’,, lots of planting and gardens on the roof levels,, yeah it could look marvelous.

By Robert Fuller

They have no intention of ever breaking the status quo. Northwesternism = Manchester.

By Michael McMoanalot


Other cities will get their day… again!
Places rise and fall. Not everything is about office space.
Let Manchester do it’s thing, it deserves it!

By Anonymous

It’ll never happen, the government lead backing of our city centres will end, people don’t want to commute anymore. We need to spread jobs around.

By Lee