Award-winning Northern property firm Bradley Hall, which was established in the North East in 1988, recently continued in its strategic northern expansion plan into the North West following the launch...

Award-winning Northern property firm Bradley Hall, which was established in the North East in 1988, recently continued in its strategic northern expansion plan into the North West following the launch of its Yorkshire operation in 2019.

The firm has appointed experienced property specialist Sasha Williamson as associate director to oversee operations which will cover areas including Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Blackburn, Southport, Burnley, Preston, Stockport, Crewe, Runcorn and Widness. The firm will grow its valuation services, supporting bank panels, private property investors and property companies, individuals for taxation purposes and local authorities.

The firm’s success in bank panel appointments spans Aldermore Bank, Together, Lloyds Bank, Barclays, Allica Bank, Method, Vas Panel, 3PS, Redwood Bank.

Sasha joins the firm with ten years of experience in the North West and seven years in midlands, including a mix of public and private sector work, general practice property management, valuations, lease renewals and rent reviews.

The firm adds to its established branch network of offices across the North’s major cities and busy market towns including Newcastle city centre, Leeds, Manchester, Durham, Sunderland, Gosforth, Alnwick and Morpeth.

The strategic expansion comes at an exciting time for Manchester as it continues to be one of the UK’s highest performing investment cities. The city is a leading European business destination and is reported to have attracted more foreign direct investment (FDI) than any other city in the UK outside of London.

The most recent reports showed that Manchester saw an increase of 117% in the number of people moving to the city than in previous years. The Guardian recently reported a 13% increase of those leaving the capital to live in the North of England – 12% higher than it was in 2009. It is also expected that by 2025, Manchester’s population will total more than 635,000, according to a report by Manchester City Council.

As a result of this interest and migration towards this growing northern powerhouse; commercial developments, particularly office spaces, have certainly been on the rise in the area. Manchester continues to impress on the business scene with science and technology centres such as Alderley Park, and multimedia centres such as Salford’s MediaCityUK, which encompass both BBC and ITV premises.

The number of young professionals flocking to this metropolitan city has certainly boosted the amount of businesses of all sizes joining the enterprise community. During the past year Manchester led office investment activity at £325m, while the North West market saw investment increase by a huge 46% since 2016. The city boasts a range of modern office schemes including Circle Square, Barbirolli Square and The Lincoln, Manchester, and appears to have no intention of slowing down.

Oxford Economics predicts an additional 30,000 people will join Manchester’s digital and creative workforce over the next 15 years. With a presumed office presence needed for the majority of these professionals, supporting this sector by providing best in-class working environments will become key in the battle for growing the tech and creative industries and retaining talent in the city.

That said, the pandemic has a lot to answer for when it comes to the changes in office requirements. Business and employee needs have changed significantly. The need for home-working over the past year has resulted in the necessity for flexible spaces to suit requirements and the ability to adapt working spaces as the market continues to recover.

As well as office space, Manchester has amassed significant growth in other areas of commercial development, specifically retail, hospitality and education. As we all know, these sectors have had an incredibly challenging year, which alongside the growth of online retail has completely altered the landscape for this industry. The saving grace in this situation could be Manchester’s vibrant cultural scene especially in regards to its events and music culture – Manchester has been the birth place of many ground-breaking and internationally recognised music icons including New Order, The Smiths, Stone Roses, Elbow, Oasis and The Chemical Brothers to name but a few.

The city is also a hub for sport and its globally renowned universities encourage visitors from near and far. The city currently has the largest student population in Europe and has over 17,000 international students, all contributing to the largest economy outside London.

It almost goes without saying Manchester and surrounding areas have experienced a turbulent few years under the changing economic and political climates – obviously and most notably the impact of Brexit and Covid-19. It has been noted by many significant businesses in the area that the decisive election result in December 2019 provided relative optimism and the ‘Boris Bounce’ triggered activity in early 2020.

The property market certainly cooled when the impacts of Covid hit and up until May a limited number of transactions completed. The reopening in mid-May saw pent up demand result in an increase in activity and price growth and this vibrant, bustling and prosperous city provides much opportunity. Its current position almost futureproofs Manchester as one of the key locations in the UK for investment, growth and enterprise and we look forward to this long continuing.

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Posted 26th July 2021

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