Hermes/CPPIB announces Wellington Place in Leeds will be new Yorkshire Government hub

Wellington Place

The JV between Hermes Investment Management, the £30.1 billion manager, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), has confirmed that the Government has chosen Wellington Place in Leeds as the location of a new hub in Yorkshire. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the public body will be welcomed to the thriving business community at Wellington Place which is one of the largest and most prestigious new city centre business quarters in Europe.

The new 378,000 sq ft building will be fully let on a 25-year lease, signed by HM Revenue and Customs, and is expected to bring over 6,000 civil servants to the centre of Leeds. Developer and asset manager MEPC is currently developing the site at Wellington Place on behalf of the JV. This in addition to Wellington Place’s existing high-profile business occupiers, including Willis Towers Watson, Squire Patton Boggs, Shulmans LLP and Sky Betting & Gaming, will grow the community to almost 10,000 employees – one of the largest in the region.

The Government Hubs Programme will transform central government’s office estate by accommodating multi-departmental workforces in shared buildings in London and in the regions. There will be 18-22 strategic hubs across the UK, located in major towns and cities and accessible by a range of excellent transport links. Hubs will be modern, sustainable buildings, supported by smart technology and shared services.

Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets at Hermes Investment Management, commented: “Wellington Place is of pivotal importance to Leeds as the long term commercial district of the city and therefore it is fitting to see the Government select this location for a hub in Yorkshire.

“The comprehensive place making initiatives we have undertaken at Wellington Place, in partnership with CPPIB, coupled with its cultural and heritage links, have transformed this highly accessible estate into the commanding commercial district of the city. The Government’s pre-let is testament to the long-term responsible investment approach adopted at Wellington Place by our development manager, MEPC, with support from Leeds City Council, and a further seal of approval for the long term success of the scheme.”

Andrea Orlandi, Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Investments – Europe at CPPIB added: “We are pleased to have the Government select Wellington Place for its regional offices in Yorkshire. Attracting a tenant of such calibre underscores the merits of the modern and flexible office and leisure space found at Wellington Place, and is an important step in our broader development plans for the project, which will see additional buildings delivered over the coming years. The project is well-aligned with our long-term investment strategy of working with like-minded partners like Hermes Investment Management to acquire and develop high-quality, well-located real estate.”

Established in 2010 as part of the Cabinet Office, the Government has central oversight over all government land and property and works collaboratively across the civil service to create an effective and efficient government estate.

James Dipple, Chief Executive of MEPC, said: “This is an exciting time for Wellington Place and we are thrilled to be chosen as the home for the new regional government hub. We look forward to welcoming our new occupiers to join our existing portfolio and believe they will fit seamlessly into the well-established and active public realm at Wellington Place. Both Hermes and CPPIB acknowledge the importance of working in partnership with the public sector and are looking to create sustainable places which not only deliver attractive financial returns to our investors but also have a beneficial impact upon the environment and local communities.”

“The Government’s decision to locate at Wellington Place, in the heart of Leeds, is great news for the city as it maintains its evolution as a key northern location for business. We are proud to be a part of its sustained development and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”