Ulverston canal changes ownership

Michael Hunt

GlaxoSmithKline has concluded the divestment of Ulverston canal in Cumbria to special purpose company Ulverston Canal Company, part of the wider land management company NPL Estates.

Safeguarding the long term existence, maintenance and operation of the canal was at the forefront of the decision by GlaxoSmithKline to relinquish its ownership of the one and a half mile long canal. It had previously owned and managed the waterway, for over 35 years.

A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline said: "As part of an internal business review, ownership of the canal is not a key element of a successful future antibiotics manufacturing site at Ulverston. However, GSK is committed to ensuring the canal remains a valuable community amenity in the future and therefore believes its divesture in this way is the best way of achieving this.''

Ian Thomlinson, director from Jones Lang LaSalle's Manchester office, which advised GlaxoSmithKline, added: "This was a unique project to be involved in demonstrating the creativity and flexibility of all parties to deliver an innovative deal structure. The successful transfer of ownership means that UCC will now have day-to-day responsibility for Ulverston Canal which secures its long term future, maintenance and operation."

Alex Dornan, Ulverston Canal Company's project manager, said: "UCC is dedicated to working in partnership with Ulverston Town Council, local residents and interest groups in the town to improve access to the canal and to concentrate on reinforcing its position as an asset to the town of Ulverston.''

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