Co-op appoints Johnson Fellows at retail parks

Neil Wetherell, property management partner at Johnson Fellows

Central England Co-operative has instructed Birmingham-based chartered surveyors Johnson Fellows to manage two retail parks it has recently acquired.

Johnson Fellows will provide property management services for Hagley Road Retail Park at Quinton, Birmingham, and Wellingborough Retail Park, at Wellingborough, in Northamptonshire.

The move extends the relationship between the two companies. Johnson Fellows has provided agency, rent review, lease renewals and building surveying services for Central England Co-operative for several years but these are the first property management instructions.

The Co-op acquired Hagley Road Retail Park from Hortons’ Estate at the end of last year in a £5 million deal. Occupiers include American Golf, Barnardo’s, Co-operative Group Food, Pets at Home and Vets4Pets.

The company also acquired Wellingbrough Retail Park from developer St Modwen in December in a deal worth £4.17 million. Occupiers include Lidl, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway.

Johnson Fellows has worked with leading retailers across the UK for more than 30 years. Neil Wetherell, property management partner at Johnson Fellows, said: “We have been working very successfully alongside our friends at Central England Co-operative for quite some time on their property portfolio.

“However, these are the first two property management instructions and we are delighted that they have selected our highly experienced team to deliver results at their two latest acquisitions. We will be providing a full range of services including rent collection, service charge management, facilities and property management, and rent reviews.”

Christian Gregory, estates manager at Central England Co-operative, said: “We are delighted to have added these two quality retail parks to our investment portfolio. They are substantial lot sizes and illustrate the type of property we are looking to invest in. With our ongoing relationship with Johnson Fellows it made sense to place the management in their secure hands.”

Formed by the merger of Midlands and Anglia Co-operatives, Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retailers in the UK, with over 400 trading outlets, gross sales of over £1 billion, around 8,600 employees and more than 330,000 regular trading members.

It is independent from The Co-operative Group, but is part of the wider co-operative movement, working together to provide all sorts of benefits for our members and customers.

Central England Co-operative, based in Lichfield, Staffordshire, trades across 16 counties from the Midlands to the East Coast – through more than 200 foodstores, 100-plus funeral homes, filling stations, post offices, travel branches, florists, opticians, masonry outlets, a crematorium and a coffin factory.