TalkTalk move prompts dual North West office disposal

Posted on 11 October, 2015 by Cliff Goodwin

Three months after TalkTalk announced it was consolidating its North West operations, commercial agents Canning O’Neill and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) have been instructed to sell off more than 100,000 sq ft the the firm’s office space.


In June the telecommunications and broadband provider confirmed it was moving out of Stanford House in Birchwood, Warrington (above), and Northbank House in Irlam (below), early in 2017 and bringing its 1,300 regional staff under one roof at Soapworks in Salford Quays.

TalkTalk, along with the Home Office, will occupy 160,000 sq ft of the building, one of the UK’s biggest speculative developments outside London.

It is the second Soapworks letting for TalkTalk which last October agreed to take 20,000 sq ft on a 10-year lease for its meeting and training facility. Now the firm is taking 106,000 sq ft on a 15-year lease — making it the largest speculative office space deal this year in Greater Manchester.

“This is a major milestone for TalkTalk,” said Nigel Sullivan, group human resources director, in June. “As a technology company, it’s important that our working environment reflects our digital first culture.

“We want our staff to be truly proud of where they work because we believe a highly engaged team will deliver a better service for our customers.”


Both the Cheshire and Greater Manchester office blocks — the 54,793 sq ft Stanford House and Northbank House offering 48,417 sq ft — are being marketed on a leasehold basis. Each has fully equipped restaurants and gyms as well as cabled office accommodation, with back-up power. “This could represent significant fit-out savings for any ingoing occupier,” said a statement.

“We have developed a detailed knowledge of both buildings over many years,” explained Canning O’Neill director, Mark Canning, “having first acquired and then disposed of both on sale and lease backs, on behalf of The Carphone Warehouse.”

Planning consent has also been granted for an additional office building of 45,000 sq ft next to Stanford House,  taking the total on site footage to just under 100,000 sq ft. “This is an opportunity that may prove attractive to businesses looking to expand in the future,” added Canning.

Chris Mulcahy, is JLL’s office agency director who advised the Carlyle Group on the Soapworks deal with Canning O’Neill. “The out of town office markets are currently performing well with activity and take-up being above the 10-year average,” he said.

“This, coupled with the fact that there is a limited number of opportunities to acquire buildings of around 50,000 sq ft in the out of town office markets, means that both buildings are attractive letting propositions and should compete well in the both the regional and local markets.”

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