August 2018

Forward Funding Secured for Middlesbrough's Centre Square Development

ASHALL Projects has agreed a deal with M&G Investments to fund the delivery of the first phase of its Centre Square project in Middlesbrough.

The property developer is to transform land around Centre Square East by delivering circa 210,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, enhanced public realm and landscaping with additional food and beverage outlets.

Leading investment manager M&G has agreed to provide over £22 million for the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in the site and to forward fund the development. Upon practical completion of the scheme, a 35-year lease will be initiated with Middlesbrough Council, who will have the option to re-acquire the site at the end of the term.

Ashall’s plans form part of Middlesbrough Borough Council’s £74m Investment Prospectus which was launched to the public last month and includes plans to create 5,000 jobs across the town.

Centre Square has been designed to create a centre for business activity capable of providing the best office accommodation between Leeds to the south and Newcastle to the north, providing a significant boost to the local economy.

Seymour Architecture and award-winning landscape architects Colour are the designers behind the Centre Square project.

Shailendra Shah, Investment Director, M&G Real Estate, says: “This project will provide excellent facilities and offices for the area, as well as benefit our many pension fund clients through the regular income provided by this lease that will increase broadly in line with inflation.”

Mark Ashall, Director of Ashall Projects said: “This significant investment is a huge boost of confidence for the town and for the scheme which will play a significant role in the continued transformation of Middlesbrough.

“Our aim is to create a new distinctive commercial hub at the cultural and civic heart of Middlesbrough which is integrated with high quality public realm, green space and local amenities - a desirable place to work, visit and relax. 

 “This development will also benefit from being at the heart of the local public transport network and within easy access of the town’s leading educational institutions Teesside University and Middlesbrough College.”

 This follows the recent announcement that Ashall’s has agreed a deal with contractors Bowmer & Kirkland to lead the construction of the development and the start of construction on-site.

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “The high-quality Centre Square office development is a key part of the major city-scale regeneration happening in Middlesbrough. The backing of M&G is further proof if ever it were needed that there is an ever-growing confidence in Middlesbrough.”

Cheshire-based Ashall Projects has previously worked on the redevelopment of Centre Square, converting part of the Cleveland Centre into the highly successful Holiday Inn Express hotel.

The company has experience developing major office schemes, including the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside, which boasts circa 2m sq ft of office space with major occupiers there including Orange, Proctor and Gamble, Hewlett Packard, General Electric, Santander and Northumbria NHS.