Greater Manchester Pension Fund purchase the Soapworks in Salford

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) has shown its continued commitment to investing in the North West with the £60 million purchase of Salford’s iconic Soapworks development from The Carlyle Group.

GVA represented GMPF in the purchase.

The Soapworks, formerly the Colgate-Palmolive factory, is situated within 8.5-acres on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. Following closure of the original facility, The Carlyle Group has carried out a major refurbishment to turn the area into a modern and dynamic centre for business, creativity and leisure.

At present the Soapworks includes 230,000 square feet of Grade A office accommodation, with notable tenants including Talk Talk, Secretary of State and MWH producing around £4,000,000 rental income per annum.

Following the purchase of the Soapworks development, GMPF intends to build on this success by creating an additional 150,000 square feet of Grade A office space and a new multi storey car park. The plans also call for 240 new residential homes and 150 hotel rooms as part of the wider Ivy Wharf regeneration.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, Chair of Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said:

“For some time I have been in no doubt that Local Government Pension Schemes have a vital role in driving economic growth through investment.

“As the largest local government pension fund in the country, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) has a proud history of investing in both Greater Manchester and the North West through projects such as Matrix Homes and One St Peter’s. I’m delighted that we’re continuing to deliver on that goal with the purchase of the Soapworks development.

“I look forward to seeing this iconic development come to life. This innovative and prestigious scheme will attract businesses and support economic growth in Salford and the wider Greater Manchester region. The returns on this investment will also help enable us to achieve our over-riding aim of meeting our pension commitments to the GMPF’s 350,000 members.”

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, said:

“The purchase of the Soapworks by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, shows the continued confidence that investors have in Salford. The re-development of this former factory to a modern working environment compliments the sustained growth of MediaCityUK and the Quays and has been at the forefront of transforming Ordsall riverside.  It represents the opportunity for continued employment in a development which successfully blends the old and the new.

“I believe that this quality development is a positive addition to this part of the City which already boasts significant employment opportunities in Exchange Quay, a nationally important heritage asset in Ordsall Hall, together with the flexible space at The Foundry side by side with a growing residential community.

“I look forward to the continued success at the Soapworks and the opportunities for the people of Salford.”

CBRE represented The Carlyle Group.