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Cooke & Arkwright
news 2016 issue 2

city deal becomes reality

The hard worked for and much presaged £1.2bn Cardiff Capital Region City Deal was finally signed on 15th March, the day before the UK Budget, making the Chancellor’s pledge that the deal could be signed by March a reality. Key priorities include the South East Wales Metro and Valley Lines Electrification programme; a regional non-statutory transport authority - Transport for Wales - to co-ordinate transport planning and investment in partnership with the Welsh Government; increased housebuilding; an Innovation District with a software academy and cyber security academy; and extra funding for a compound semi-conductor project. Further investment is expected from the private sector and 25,000 new jobs could be created.

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property auction

Lots from all over Wales will go under the hammer at Cooke & Arkwright’s next Property Auction at the Village Hotel, Coryton, Cardiff on Wednesday 27th April 2016. To date there are 36 confirmed Lots, subject to change. They consist primarily of Welsh Government properties but also those belonging to a number of private clients, including a variety of residential investment properties, commercial buildings, agricultural land and development opportunities belonging to a number of clients, including the Welsh Government.

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A budget with good news for wales

Chancellor George Osborne's announcement that the tolls on the Severn crossings would be halved in 2018 is to be welcomed as anything that helps ease the burden on entry into Wales will boost the economy. The wider moves on opening talks on a Swansea City Deal, support for a Port Talbot Enterprise Zone, and a North Wales Growth Deal make this a budget with a lot of positive news for Wales. We look forward to seeing real progress on all these projects, which along with the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and Cardiff LDP sign-offs, have given us reason to celebrate in the first quarter of 2016.


positive steps to reduce business rate bills in england - will wales and scotland follow suit?

Small Business Rate Relief, which was previously only available to firms with a rateable value of less than £6,000 under a scheme reviewed annually, was doubled to £12,000 on a permanent basis in the March Budget. This removes small businesses in England from business rates completely and means they no longer have to wait to see if the small business rate relief scheme would be renewed at the start of each financial year. The Chancellor also extended the tapered relief for properties between £12,000 and £15,000 RV, and from 1 April 2020, business rates will be linked to the level of inflation reflected by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than the Retail Price Index (RPI). Andrew West, Director of Rating at Cooke & Arkwright, has been making representations to the Westminster Government for many years as part of the RICS Rating and Local Taxation Policy Group, and welcomed the announcements which to a degree reflected the list of demands.

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Image of Oakleigh House

Global services provider expanding in cardiff

Acting as joint agents, Cooke & Arkwright have secured new offices for Firstsource at Oakleigh House in Park Place. The global outsource services provider to the telecom & media, banking & financial services and healthcare industries, also has offices in Cardiff Bay and is expanding after securing a new client contract with a global entertainment organisation. Around 300 new jobs will be created for a contact centre at the new 19,500 sq ft offices, where a lease has been taken across two floors.

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Capgemini expands operation in Wales

Capgemini has acquired almost 10,000 sq ft of new offices on the ground and first floors at 3 Fairway Court in Treforest as part of a £17m investment in expansion in Wales supported by the Welsh Government. The global consulting, technology and outsourcing services firm, which has had a presence in Wales since 1998, will create 100 new skilled jobs over the next three years.  The Treforest site will be its UK centre to deliver security sensitive projects for both public and private sector contracts. Cooke & Arkwright acted for the landlord L&N Property in the deal.

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Motonovo finance commits to 71,000 sq ft at Central Square

MotoNovo Finance has committed to moving its headquarters to One Central Square in Cardiff. The financial services company is to lease 71,000 sq ft at the new development alongside Blake Morgan, which has already committed to 30,000 sq ft on the top two floors of the nine-storey building. Cooke & Arkwright advised both firms in the deals.

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Wales offers good value to investors

The Welsh commercial property investment market saw a strong end to 2015, as a number of large investment transactions completed in the final quarter and investment sales volumes for 2015 as a whole exceeded those in 2014.  A growing trend seen by Cooke & Arkwright’s investment agency team, through their work on sales and acquisitions, was UK investors increasingly targeting opportunities in Wales in search of value for money.

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Professional posts keep chris busy

Chris Hyde, Associate Director with Land Agency, has been appointed to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Rural Professional Group Board for a period of three years. He brings ten years’ professional experience working within the rural sector at Cooke & Arkwright to the board, whose members have a cross section of competencies with a focus on standards, professional statements, market insight and regulation.

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Poundworld boost to bargoed's plaza

Caerphilly County Borough Council’s ambitious and wide ranging regeneration strategy for Bargoed has received a significant boost with a major letting in its retail flagship development, Lowry Plaza, where Units 1 & 2 have been let to Poundworld. Extending to over 75,000 sq ft of retail space, including a 400 space car park, a major supermarket and eight shops, Lowry Plaza represents the centrepiece of the Council’s regeneration strategy for the town centre. 

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commercial property stamp duty reforms

Reforms to commercial property stamp duty to make it similar to the stepped rate applied on residential property took immediate effect from the date of the Budget so that commercial property purchases up to a value of £150,000 now carry a zero rate band. For the next £100,000 the rate is 2% and over £250,000 carries a 5% rate. Investment Director Nick Lawley comments, "We understand buyers of sub-£1m properties should be either the same or better off while those purchasing properties worth over £1m will end up paying more. It remains to be seen what the impact on investment volumes will be and whether buyers and sellers will adjust prices accordingly."

new link road for cardiff will encourage business

Work on the Eastern Bay Link Road, a new dual carriageway which will provide a direct route between east Cardiff at Rover Way and Cardiff Bay at the Butetown Tunnel, has been launched by the Welsh Government. Due to be completed by Spring 2017 it will reduce journey times and provide economic growth opportunities by improving access to the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone. Ben Bolton, Director of Business Space at Cooke & Arkwright, who has provided advice on the road said, "The construction of the Eastern Bay Link Road, together with the completion of Windsor Road Bridge expected later this year, will make a huge difference to road users, reducing what can be a 20-minute journey when caught at the wrong time, to just five minutes. 

"Cardiff Bay will suddenly be a lot more accessible to the eastern part of the city. The Ocean Way area currently resembles a rat-run, but this new route will help it take on different characteristics, which will solidify a business park feel. We expect that this will encourage businesses considering locating in Cardiff to look at the area afresh."


And finally, more good news for cardiff!

Cardiff was ranked in the top three for quality of life in a new European Union survey, joint third alongside Copenhagan and Stockholm, according to residents. The city was also ranked joint third place in the Urban Hub Leaque Table, along with Edinburgh as one of the best UK hubs for high-growth small businesses. The index, published by Octopus Investments, took into account factors such as access to finance, talent and connectivity. In another survey, retail specialist Harper Dennis Hobbs placed Cardiff eighth in its ranking of the top British retail centres based on a combination of size and quality of offer. Finally, the Green Alliance named Cardiff fourth greenest city in England and Wales as 16% of the city's electricity consumption comes from renewable energy.

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Cooke & Arkwright is a trading name of Cooke & Arkwright Ltd. Registered in England and Wales No 2618062. Coark offer Retail, Office, Industrial, and Rural properties. Registered Office: One Central Park, Western Avenue, Bridgend, CF31 3TZ. Cooke & Arkwright is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
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