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Cooke & Arkwright
Issue 2016 Issue 9

'Phenomenal' year for city centre lettings market

As Wales’ largest independent commercial property specialist, we are delighted to have been named ‘Most Active Agent’ in south Wales for securing the highest number of deals in 2016.

We received the title from Estates Gazette after advising on some of 2016’s most high profile deals, including the acquisition of House of Fraser in Cardiff by Rosette Merchant Bank on behalf of Middle Eastern investors - one of the largest deals of the year. Other flagship deals included Motonovo Finance’s 70,000 sq ft acquisition of office space at Central Square and the 55,000 sq ft letting at Brunel House to the HMRC.

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image of Andrew Gardner

Investment is best generic monitor of market confidence

As we start to think about closing the shutter on the year and preparing for the Christmas vacation it provokes thoughts on a year that feels somewhat unprecedented on the subjects of “uncertainty” and “waiting to see”. 

At the start of the year, just as there was a feel good factor that the market was starting to resume some vestige of normality, my investment colleagues, whose market is the best generic monitor of market confidence, started to feel...

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Image of telecoms mast

Radical changes to telecoms agreements

Parliament wants to speed up the roll-out of fast broadband and create better mobile phone coverage throughout the UK with the introduction of a new Bill. To assist this, it has proposed a new Electronic Communications Code, redefining the Code of Practice that telecoms companies must adhere to, and significantly, offering them far greater rights concerning the installation and maintenance of equipment on land.

These new rights will also affect existing sites at such time as leases are renewed.  From the point of view of landowners, the likely outcome of the new Bill is that rents will fall.

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Times, and our high streets, are changing

Almost without fail, national and local policies have focused on protecting core shopping streets in town centres for A1 retail uses such as shops, butchers, hairdressers and funeral directors together with strict thresholds for non-A1 uses.

But times, and our high streets, are changing. The latest edition of Planning Policy Wales shows a clear shift of emphasis by the Welsh Government, away from retail being the be-all and end-all of town and local centres, and a move towards a wider variety of uses including office, residential, leisure, tourism and community as well as the usual retail functions.

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Office image

Rent reviews - they're back!

As we all know, the recession of 2008-2013 saw a collapse in lending, the economy and demand for commercial premises. Couple that scenario with shorter fixed-term leases of five years, and the art of negotiating rent reviews was practically dead. The idea of upsetting a good tenant who was managing to pay their rent in order to seek an uplift was considered nonsensical.

Not any more. The market in South Wales is back. Demand in a number of sectors has risen and supply is now limited. The result? Rents are rising and we are dusting off...

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Image of Jane Shankland and Andrew West Cooke & Arkwright

Rating revaluation provides challenges to many

The Valuation Office Agency recently published a further breakdown of the rateable value movements in Wales resulting from the 2017 rating revaluation. Andrew West, our Director of Rating, looks at the overall impact, as well as some notable variations within the retail, office and industrial sectors.

Variations in movement between the 22 Welsh Unitary Authorities range from a fall of 10.7% in Neath Port Talbot to an increase of 9.2% in Conwy. Among the most surprising of these is a fall of ...

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Early Christmas present from welsh government?

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced that an additional £10 million will be made available to help some retailers across Wales who are facing substantial increases in their rates as a result of the 2017 Revaluation.
We understand that the scheme will be a targeted grant scheme, aimed at high street retailers including shops, pubs and restaurants, including but not limited to those who have been affected by the revaluation.
Details on how the scheme will operate will be published on the Welsh Government website but this is not likely to be before the end of January. We will update you as soon as the detail is announced.
The new scheme will be in place by 1 April next year when the revised rates come in to effect.


Merry Christmas

We wish all our clients and contacts the very best for Christmas, and for a peaceful and prosperous New Year. We look forward to doing business with you in 2017.

We will also continue to support our chosen charity LATCH. In excess of £2,000 has been raised by staff so far through a variety of events including climbing Pen-y-Fan, holding quizzes and festive fashion days. 


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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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