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Lawyers help bring media giant to Manchester

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has played its part in bringing media giant MediaCom to Manchester.

Experts from the property team at Ward Hadaway advised property group Allied London on the pre-letting agreement which will see media buyer MediaCom move in to a five-storey office at the Spinningfields office district in the city.

Construction is due to start soon on the 17,000 sq ft office at 1 Hardman Street that has been let solely to MediaCom, which will move from its Castlefield base and plans to use the building as its Northern headquarters.

Allied London has described the scheme as its first post-recession development.

Mike Ingall, chief executive at Allied London, said: “This is a watershed for the restart of commercial development at the estate, which has been on hold since the completion of 3 Hardman Street in 2009.

“Over the more recent years, whilst awaiting a return of more consistent economic conditions, we have channelled our investment into making Spinningfields a vibrant place to be, to eat, to drink, and to relax.

“Spinningfields has continued to evolve throughout the recession to become one of the Manchester’s key locations and, as the economy begins to show real signs of recovery, it is no coincidence that we’re the first in the city to begin the development of new office space.”

The MediaCom network comprises 4,600 people working in 113 offices in 89 countries and it plans and buys advertising for clients including P&G, Coca-Cola and the Volkswagen Group.

Brian Green, Consultant in the Property department at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team advising Allied London on the MediaCom agreement.

Brian said: “This is a real landmark deal in terms of the next phase of development at Spinningfields for Allied London so we are delighted to have helped to play a part in it.

“The addition of such a high-profile and highly respected company as MediaCom adds further to Spinningfields’ reputation as the Canary Wharf of the North West and brings a further boost to Manchester’s burgeoning media  and creative sector.”

Ward Hadaway has previously advised Allied London on a number of important developments.

Earlier this year, the firm helped the property group to complete a major refinancing which paved the way for a management buy-out and reorganisation of its operations.

Experts from the banking and finance team at Ward Hadaway, alongside specialists from the UK Top 100 firm’s property and corporate departments, advised Allied London on its refinancing with Royal Bank of Scotland and Pramerica.

The move gave Allied London sole control over the future development of Spinningfields and other projects including the New Dock development in Leeds and a number of significant schemes in London.

Previously at Spinningfields development in Manchester, Ward Hadaway advised Allied London on the £18.6m sale of 1 Spinningfield Square in October 2010, as well as lettings at No 1 The Avenue, work around the Tower 12 building at the development and the Oast House pub being run by leisure group Living Ventures.

The firm also advised Allied London on the acquisition of the 150-year head lease on the 1.2m sq ft New Dock scheme from Lend Lease in February 2012.

One of the largest developments of its kind to be built in the North over the past decade, the mixed-use scheme is home to 35 retail and restaurant units, 100,000 sq ft of grade A office space and over 1,100 luxury one and two bedroom apartments.

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