It has been widely reported by various commentators that occupier and investor confidence throughout the Northern Powerhouse office markets is riding high but is this confidence yet filtering through to the office market in Carlisle and Cumbria generally. Richard Percival Director of Carigiet Cowen sets out his views below.

The five core Northern Powerhouse cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield saw over £1 billion of office assets change hands during the course of 2015, which is a huge about of activity. Manchester has undoubtedly led the charge but the picture is positive across all markets. The best performing cities are benefitting from strong demand, both in the traditionally dominant sectors of Financial and Professional Services, alongside emerging sectors, such as Media & Tech.

Confidence has been key, more occupiers are pressing ahead with long-planned relocations, investing in the future of their business through upgrading or expansion of their accommodation needs.
This to a certain extent has also been mirrored in Carlisle with companies such as Direct Rail Services and Story Homes committing to larger office premises at Kingmoor Business Park, The Cumberland Building Societies move to Parkhouse and Cumbria County Councils new build office facility off Botchergate.

However rising confidence in the Carlisle office market and the announcement of Enterprise Zone Status at Kingmoor Park has not yet filtered through in the form of speculative new build development. Many occupiers are simply not prepared to pay the higher rents that new build space demands. However, this does present a growing opportunity for landlords and developers to embark on good quality refurbishments of existing.

Carigiet Cowen are currently instructed to market several office properties where refurbishment has already been undertaken or is underway to provide modern good quality office space at affordable rents.

Primes examples include Oakvale House, Burgh Road Industrial Estate, where the building owner has made the decision to sub-divide and refurbish the ground floor to create a self contained suite of some 1,400 sqft which is being offered on a very competitive 'All In’ rent inclusive of external repair/maintenance costs, building insurance, gas, electricity and water bills. On a similar vein another property new to the market with Carigiet Cowen is 3 Merchants Drive, Parkhouse. Home for many years to the DVLA and Zurich this building is undergoing an extensive refurbishment to provide high quality ground and first floor office space.

A further opportunity on Carigiet Cowen’s books is the former Eddie Stobart Head Office, Kingstown which is being marketed as OFFICE 100 - Brunthill Road. Shortly to be vacated this 2 story office building extends to almost 10,000 sqft and benefits from 50no. car parking spaces. Building owner, Kingmoor Park Properties, are prepared to consider carrying out refurbishment works to meet an incoming occupier(s) requirements.

For further information on the above office suites or to discuss your office space requirements in further detail please contact Richard Percival at Carigiet Cowen on 01228 635006.