Cross-firm team advises the Government Property Agency on move to new Manchester hub

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A cross-firm team has advised the Government Property Agency (GPA) on its planned move to a new Manchester hub in 2025.

The GPA has signed a lease agreement with developer Ask Real Estate and its JV partner, The Richardson Family, for a 129,000 sq ft site on First Street in Manchester city centre. The building will provide working space for around 2,500 civil servants.

The Manchester First Street Hub will open in 2025 and provide a new home for civil servants currently based in the Piccadilly Gate office. Piccadilly Gate will be demolished to build a new HS2 station at Piccadilly.

Gowling WLG advised GPA on the negotiation - including all the planning, construction, employment and real estate aspects - of the pre-let agreement for the lease.

The team was led by partner Felicity Lindsay (Real Estate) with support from consultant Tim Steele (Real Estate), principal associate Hannah Swindle (Employment), principal associate Jan Hebblethwaite (Planning) and associate Clare Simmonds (Construction).

Felicity Lindsay, partner at Gowling WLG, said: "This pre-let agreement showcases the Government's commitment to Manchester and Levelling Up. With an expected £31 million in economic benefits for Manchester - which is already home to a hub of media and creative industries - this deal will leave a great legacy for the city. We're delighted to have achieved this outcome for our client."

Clive Anderson, GPA's Director of Capital Projects, said: "The Government Hubs and Whitehall Campus Programme will provide a smaller, better and greener estate which supports the Government's ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The hubs create modern, inclusive environments where departments can be collocated in shared buildings across the UK. This supports the Government's Levelling Up agenda and Places for Growth initiative, encouraging the movement and creation of jobs outside London."

JLL in Manchester acted for GPA on the deal.

Gowling WLG is home to one of the UK's largest real estate practices. For further information please visit our real estate sector page.

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