Fallout from the credit crunch and lack of bank funding hit the Cumbrian property market hard during 2009. Despite very difficult trading conditions Carigiet Cowen have had an exceptionally busy last 6 months representing a range of clients in a number of significant transactions. Highlights include:-

Acting on behalf of Gladman Developments Chris Smith agreed terms with Border TV/Tyne Tees to establish their new Carlisle base at Clifford Court, Parkhouse Business Park. This further raises the profile of the city's increasingly popular office location.

Gladman have also been active at The Sidings, Port Road Business Park, a new office development adjacent to Cumberland Infirmary. Prior to Christmas, Carigiet Cowen completed a sale of the first phase of this development comprising some 10,000 sq ft of high quality offices and parking to growing local financial services company Investacc.

In Penrith, acting for Cumbria Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, Chris acquired Voreda House an 11,000 sq ft purpose built office building which is to be the Trust's new headquarters.

Retail activity has been a sector particularly badly hit by the economic difficulties, however discount retailers have remained very active. Margaret Bushnell negotiated two of the most notable lettings of 2009 being the 40,000 sq ft former Woolworths store in Carlisle city centre to Bargain Madness and a 12,000 sq ft unit to Home Bargains within the Earls Lane Shopping Centre.

In the industrial sector Richard Percival secured the largest letting in Cumbria for some time which saw global parcel distribution company UPS taking 40,000 sq ft of refurbished space at Kingmoor Park. Richard also provided assistance to County Motors (Carlisle) Ltd in respect of the sale of their former Grearshill Road showroom and premises extending to some 2.9 acres, which is currently undergoing substantially refurbishment by the new owner.

More recently Richard has provided valuation and property advice to John Ritchie Ltd to assist them in the purchase of the former STL HQ and high bay warehouse facility at Kingstown, comprising over 110,000 sq ft of high quality offices and warehouse space. Not only a major property transaction, this deal has also secured a large number of jobs for the area.

Finally at a time when most companies are keeping a close eye on occupational costs, Iain Henderson has concluded further successful rating appeals on behalf of the Stobart Group. Saving the organization in excess of half a million pounds in the last 3 months. Iain’s focus of attention is now on the 2010 Rating Revaluation which goes “live” on 1st April 2010, together with pursuing empty rates initiatives on a property by property basis.

If you require advise on how best to mitigate your current or future business rates liability or any other commercial property matter please contact Carigiet Cowen on 01228 544733 or email [email protected]