Top News From The Week – electric charging points, HS2 & more!

Office – Space doubles in Manchester development

Manchester City Council is set to double the amount of office space planned for its Central Retail Park site to 1m sq ft and may look to bring the scheme forward.

The latest draft development plans include 10 new buildings on the site of the former retail park in Ancoats, including a 30-storey office tower.

Eddie Smith, the strategic director for growth and development at the council said “We’ve already had a number of very significant occupiers knocking our doors saying ‘if you bring this site forward we’d be very interested in locating our businesses there.”

The council also intends for Central Retail Park to be landmark green scheme for the city.

Leisure – investment in UK hotels

Investment in the UK hotel sector in 2019 reached £6bn, an increase of 26%, according to the report ‘UK Hotel Capital Markets: Investment Review 2020’, published by Knight Frank.

Institutional investment in the UK hotel market, from both overseas and the UK, totalled £2.5bn in 2019, increasing by over a quarter and accounting for 41% of the total investment. UK institutional investors accounted for £2bn of this.

However, hotel transaction volumes dropped by £1.2bn

Retail – acquisition of British Land

Supermarket Income REIT has confirmed it is in discussions with an unidentified institutional investor to create a partnership to acquire a minority stake portfolio of 26 supermarkets from British Land, all of which are let to Sainsburys across the UK.

It is understood that certain assets in the portfolio have near-term lease events which offer the opportunity for the asset manager to re-gear the leases.

Supermarket Income REIT is in talks with British Land on 26 Sainsbury stores

HS2 – it’s on!

The Prime Minister announced this week the HS2 scheme will now go ahead, calling it a “controversial and difficult decision, and stating a series of measures would be taken to restore discipline to the programme”.

Phases of HS2

The first phase of the route will travel between London and Birmingham, with a second phase going to Manchester and Leeds, cutting travel times at a cost estimated to be in the region of £106bn.

London to Birmingham travel times will be cut from one hour, 21 minutes to 52 minutes

Political – over £2 billion netted from disposals

The government has sold £2.1bn of property during the past year from 339 sites totalling just under 3m sq ft. Running costs have been reduced by £50m and the size of the estate has reduced by 30% over the past decade.

Government website

RICS – commercial lease requirements

On Tuesday, the RICS launched new industry requirements to support businesses in negotiating their commercial leases.

The professional statement, Code For Leasing Business Premises, – which will be mandatory for RICS members in England and Wales to follow – aims to make the process of lease negotiations faster, more transparent and fairer.

Geoff White, Policy Manager said “One aim is to boost town centres by attracting more locally-based small businesses back to the high street and by introducing the new Code for Leasing, RICS is playing an important role by offering a route to reduce complexity, risk and cost faced by hard pressed business owners.”

RICS new industry requirements aims to make the process of lease negotiations faster, more transparent and fairer

Infrastructure – all charged up

A report commissioned by Scottish Power suggests the UK will need 2.6m public charging points by 2050 to meet The Government’s net zero target.

Slow progress is being made, in the UK there are about 30,000 charging connectors across 11,000 locations with London having the greatest density.

According to Zap Map much regional disparity with rural and less affluent areas seen as less commercially viable.

How will get to this number and what’s the impact going to be on commercial property?

Is the UK ready for electric cars?

Political – stand by your team!

The unexpected announcement that Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor, came with a fresh faced Rishi Sunak just three weeks to finish the budget.

The Guardian have pulled together what they think of the first things he will be looking at including spending, tax rises and trade talks. Read the article here.

Newly installed chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA