The Soapworks office development located in Salford, Greater Manchester, which was the subject of an extensive refurbishment and redevelopment project as recently as 2014, has been sold by American private equity group Carlyle for a price of £60 million, with the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund (GMPVF) putting up the cash and taking over ownership of the site.

Img: soapworks.co.uk
The two-phase redevelopment project saw the creation of 230,000sq ft of office space, which is now fully let. However the GMPVF have stated their intention to build an additional 150,000 sq ft of office space on the site, along with a new multi-storey car park, 250 homes, and 150 hotel rooms as part of the Ivy Wharf regeneration project. This will bring the total usable office space on the premises to nearly 400,000sq ft.

The 8.4 acre site on which the Soapworks development is situated was formerly occupied by a Colgate-Palmolive factory, prior to its acquisition and subsequent renovation by Carlyle Group, who developed the current offices alongside Nikal and Abstract Securities.

The largest occupiers of the site include sizable companies and organisations such as TalkTalk and the Home Office. With rents averaging £16.50/sq ft, the site as a whole currently brings in an annual rental income of approximately £4 million; by the time all planned works are completed, the site should prove to be a solid investment on the part of the GMPVF.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said of the sale, “For some time I have been in no doubt that Local Government Pension Schemes have a vital role in driving economic growth through investment.

“As the largest local government pension fund in the country, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund has a proud history of investing in both Greater Manchester and the North West through projects such as Matrix Homes and One St Peter’s. I’m delighted that we’re continuing to deliver on that goal with the purchase of the Soapworks development.

“I look forward to seeing this iconic development come to life. This innovative and prestigious scheme will attract businesses and support economic growth in Salford and the wider Greater Manchester region. The returns on this investment will also help enable us to achieve our over-riding aim of meeting our pension commitments to the GMPF’s 350,000 members.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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