Scarborough Group lands Yorkshire’s largest office letting for second-year running

Leading property regeneration and placemaking specialist, Scarborough Group International (SGI) has secured Yorkshire’s largest office letting for a second-year running, having leased the entirety of its 65,000 sq ft speculative office building at Sheffield Digital Campus, Endeavour, to global technology and telecoms firm, BT Group.

The deal follows hot on the heels of SGI’s 133,117 sq ft pre-let at Thorpe Park Leeds in February 2021, which represented the largest single out of town office deal ever recorded in West Yorkshire and the biggest property transaction in the Northern Powerhouse region over the preceding twelve months.

In addition to being the largest office letting in Yorkshire so far this year, the BT Group deal is also understood to be the largest office letting in Sheffield city centre since 2016, when HSBC took 140,000 sq ft at Heart of the City II, and the largest letting at Sheffield Digital Campus since the development was first established in 2007.

Designed by CJCT architects, Endeavour features an impressive double-height reception, seven highly-efficient and flexible floorplates of up to 10,323 sq ft each, 4,844 sq ft of ground floor amenity space, club-class changing and shower facilities to promote active-travel, and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of the Steel City’s skyline.

The state-of-the-art office building is the final phase of the acclaimed Sheffield Digital Campus, marking the completion of 15 years of development and the creation of circa 243,000 sq ft of business space that is home to a plethora of household names including Sky, IBM, Kennedys and Atkins, supporting up to 2,500 skilled jobs

BT Group has signed a 15-year lease for the eight-storey building to create a new office hub which will be able to house around 1,000 colleagues as part of its ongoing Better Workplace programme anchoring the Group as one of Sheffield’s major private sector employers.

Speculative construction of the BREEAM Excellent building commenced in June 2021 and practical completion is scheduled for early 2023, with BT Group expected to take occupation later in the year following the completion of its CAT B fit out programme, which will feature the latest technologies and collaborative workspaces.

Adam Varley, Development Director at SGI, commented:

“The way we work has evolved significantly in recent years and the leasing success we’ve achieved at Sheffield Digital Campus, despite the challenges impacting both the construction sector and the evolution around the use and future of ‘the office’, is testament to the quality of the workspace and the environments we continue to create as a Group.

“In order for organisations to attract and retain the best talent, they need to provide workplaces that go above and beyond in terms of flexibility, accessibility, sustainability, wellness, technology and amenity provision, and that’s precisely what we have done with Endeavour.

“BT Group’s letting is not only significant because it represents the largest single office letting in Sheffield for six years, it is also a long-term commitment to the city and a major vote of confidence for the regional economy, sending a strong message to any other businesses looking to locate in Sheffield that the city has strong credentials as a place to invest, recruit and grow.”

Brent Matthews, BT Group Property Director, said:

“Our new base in Sheffield will provide colleagues with a state-of-the-art new base equipped with the spaces and technology which will make an office fit for the future.

“Despite the economic challenges and changes to working patterns caused by the pandemic, we think this is an important investment and it secures our presence in Sheffield and Yorkshire. This investment follows the refurbishment of our Doncaster Contact Centre.

“Endeavour provides us with the perfect location in the heart of the city and surrounded by the renowned Digital Campus, which reflects the growth, creativity and ingenuity which are core to BT’s work.

“Our new offices reflect a move to more hybrid and flexible ways of working, with colleagues able to come together, using the latest technologies, to collaborate in inspiring workspaces. It will help us attract and retain brilliant people.”

An independent report shows that BT Group provides an economic boost of more than £1,278 million to the Yorkshire region. It is also responsible for creating £1 in every £160 generated across Yorkshire and the Humber. BT Group employs around 6,400 in Yorkshire, which includes colleagues from BT, Plusnet, EE and Openreach.

BT Group was represented by JLL while SGI was represented by Sheffield based colloco, CPP and Knight Frank.

Endeavour has been funded via a joint venture agreement between SGI and Metro Holdings of Singapore, supported by a £4m mezzanine loan from the SCR Jessica Fund alongside a £10 million Senior Loan from The South Yorkshire Pension Fund, both of which are managed by CBRE Capital Advisors.