Annual Property Review reveals Warrington again shows strong resilience despite challenging times

DESPITE extremely testing circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warrington Property review has once again shown “strong resilience, community spirit and partnership” in the town, providing confidence for the future.

These were the key messages at the 24th annual Warrington Property Review, hosted by Warrington & Co and Warrington Chamber of Commerce at the Park Royal Hotel.

Returning face to face after an absence of two years, more than 150 local business delegates attended the popular event which highlights the local property market.

Warrington & Co Chair Prof. Steven Broomhead said:”Warrington’s 24th Annual Property Review reflects on another year of significant challenge due to the impact of COVID-19 and more recent economic uncertainties. We have faced extremely testing circumstances, but I am pleased to say that we have once again shown strong resilience, community spirit and partnership, which can give us confidence about our future.

Over the past 12 months, our commercial property market has enjoyed a number of success stories. Within this year’s Property Review, you will find a range of independent statistics which show that economic momentum is building once more in Warrington We remain fully committed to providing an environment where our business sector can thrive. During the pandemic, we have taken every step to support our businesses, paying out more than £100 million in government grants. At the same time, we have maintained strong dialogue and partnership working with our retail and hospitality sector who, in turn, have shown real positivity, adaptability and innovation.

This has paid dividends, with the recent Cities Outlook report finding that the resilience of high street spending in Warrington during the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the town outperforming most other large towns and cities.

This is reflected in our property market, with overall investment on the rise and some significant office deals completed, including the University of Chester relocating all of its teaching provision to Warrington town centre.

We have also seen a huge uplift in house sales and prices, with plans moving forward for a brand new hotel close to Warrington Bank Quay train station. Meanwhile, the growth of our town continues.

We have secured over £22m in Town Deal funding, which will see us delivering a programme of seven transformative projects. The first of these on site, a brand new, cuttingedge bus depot, will support one of the largest all-electric bus fleets in the UK.

Other success stories include our state-of-the-art Warrington Youth Zone, which opens later this year, while our £142.5m Time Square development continues to go from strength to strength, with the completion of deals for Parlour and Costello’s meaning almost all units are now filled. We continue to invest in our transport infrastructure, buoyed by the success of Centre Park Link which is visibly reducing congestion in the heart of our town and which, in its first year, has been used by an estimated three million vehicles. We are now moving ahead with a comprehensive active travel

programme, which will transform the way people move around our town. We were also pleased by the Government’s announcement on Northern Power Rail.

Although it will take some time to deliver, it will make Warrington a truly inter-connected rail hub.

Nowhere was Warrington’s confidence more on display than when we hosted the Tour of Britain cycling race for the first time, in September. It was a huge success, boosting our local economy, bringing an influx of visitors and showcasing our sporting credentials to a global audience. We are also looking forward to being a host town for the Rugby League World Cup later this year.

All of this gives us every reason for optimism as we continue on our journey towards a bright and successful future,” added Prof Broomhead.

Last year’s investment activity saw a slight increase as the number of deals rose. Transactions of HQ office buildings, as well as larger logistics premises in established commercial locations, demonstrated a sustained investor appetite for property in the Borough.

With over £26 million transacted in the town, the year’s largest office deal saw Emerson Group purchase Buildings 2 & 4 at Cinnamon Park in Fearnhead for £4.25 million. Frankel Brow also purchased the now rebranded and comprehensively refurbished 110 Birchwood Boulevard for £2.25 million and Bridge Properties expanded its office portfolio with the purchase of Dominion House, also in Birchwood.

A total of 18,284 sqm of floorspace transacted in 2021, comprising 35 deals above 200 sqm. Almost 70 percent of this floorspace was transacted on a leasehold basis, with the number of deals in line with the average achieved across the last five years.

The University of Chester accounted for the two largest deals of the year, taking almost 3,500 sqm of office space in the town centre. This will see the University relocate all teaching provision from its existing site at the Fearnhead Campus.

Twenty deals were recorded in Birchwood across the year, which accounted for over 42 percent of floorspace take-up in 2021. Centre Park also boasted a strong level of take-up, accounting for almost 10 percent of the year’s total.

Despite the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic still lingering amongst the retail and leisure sector, Warrington proved resilient to outperform many other big cities and towns in 2021. Research by Centre for Cities placed Warrington as the second-best performing of the UK’s 62 largest destinations in terms of reduced high street spending.

Data from Zoopla indicates that 2,100 sales were completed in Warrington within the last 12 months, a huge 58 percent uplift on the previous year. 2021 also saw a rise in the average sale price achieved, up 15 percent to £249,778.

The annual housing data, supplied by Warrington Borough Council, demonstrated that a total of 595 homes were completed in the 2020/21 reporting period, of which 113 were affordable. The figures indicate an uplift of 6.4 percent on the number of completions reported in the previous period.

Activity within the Omega Zone was most prolific, with 174 completions reported across seven schemes. This delivery was primarily driven by activity within the Miller Homes, Redrow Homes and Taylor Wimpey schemes, which accounted for 115 completions, or just over 19 percent of the Borough’s total.

Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development and innovation, Cllr Tom Jennings, said: “It was fantastic to be able to return to a physical event for this year’s Annual Property Review. The event was a huge success, giving our businesses the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into Warrington’s economic performance.

“We have a robust, innovative and resilient business sector, which has left us in a strong position to meet the unprecedented challenges of the past two years. Now, we are looking to the future – and we can be very encouraged.

“Warrington remains a very attractive place to do business, and the new investment we are seeing coming into our town gives us every reason to feel confident about our ongoing growth. It was great to be able to share this confidence with business leaders from across the borough.”

Annual Property Review

Upcoming Events

The Chamber in partnership with Warrington Business Exchange provide a range of business-to-business events that offer networking and business development opportunities. Most are held in the Warrington area, with occasional events taking place across the region and run in partnership with neighbouring Chambers of Commerce.


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