Warrington adds former TalkTalk base to portfolio

Warrington Council has completed the acquisition of the 54,800 sq ft Stanford House in Birchwood from Texton Property Fund, for a price understood to be around £13m.

The property, which comprises two large floorplates and has been used as a call centre, is let to communications business TalkTalk, which has between five and six years unexpired on its lease. The building has 380 parking spaces.

Although it is paying around £1m a year in rent for the building, TalkTalk is no longer in occupation, the business having relocated its Birchwood operation to The Soapworks in Salford Quays in 2016 – a facility last week confirmed as TalkTalk’s new national headquarters.

JLL is instructed as leasing agent to let Stanford House on TalkTalk’s behalf, seeking either a single occupier or one for each floor. Unconnected to the Birchwood deal, Place North West understands that TalkTalk’s other former call centre, in Irlam, is now under offer as an investment sale.

On the Birchwood freehold sale, Gary Scorah of Commercial Properties advised Texton and Andrew Crompton of Riddell TPS acted for Warrington Council.

Stanford House sits immediately next to Birchwood Park, the multi-let office estate bought last year by the council for £205m from Patrizia and Oaktree Capital Management.

That acquisition came amid a raft of deals where local authorities made investment plays, looking to combat budget cuts by building up their rental income-producing abilities. Warrington Council is also investing directly in office development at the town centre Stadium Quarter, and last month committed £26.1m to the acquisition of the Eddie Stobart distribution HQ at Stretton Green.

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