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Business & Economy

Growing office demand prompts multi-million pound city centre project

Plans for the refurbishment of a Newcastle Grade II-listed office building, which will cost more than £2milllion, have been unveiled by commercial property consultancy, Naylors Gavin Black.

The move will see Churchill House, located on the corner of Mosley Street and Dean Street, transformed into a multi-let office building, offering small, medium and large suites to accommodate high levels of demand for city centre office space.

Research data released this month by Rightmove Commercial points to a significant increase in the demand for leasehold offices in the North East over the past 12 months.

Naylors Gavin Black’s Building Consultancy team has already completed initial repairs to the timber windows and stonework along with the removal of asbestos. The main refurbishment work, which has been designed by Hoults Yard-based Design North, is due to begin at the start of next year and completed by October 2022. This will see the provision of new reception, meeting rooms and breakout areas for tenants and their visitors as well as a new IT and superfast broadband infrastructure.

Scott Clarke, associate partner at Naylors Gavin Black, who will project manage the refurbishment, said: “This is a prestigious project that will see the transformation of an important city centre site. Our plans for the refurbishment are ambitious and herald a new lease of life for this grand and prominent building.”

Investment in upgrading Churchill House reflects a current demand for smaller, better quality office suites and comes as the commercial lettings market continues to defy the pandemic. Naylors Gavin Black recently achieved 100% occupancy at The Pearl on New Bridge Street West, following a series of five lettings working with joint agent Knight Frank.

Naylors Gavin Black partner, Chris Pearson, said: “Despite the pandemic, we are seeing high levels of enquiries for good quality office accommodation, particularly for smaller suites with first class services and facilities. Churchill House will help to meet this demand, providing excellent, readily available accommodation in a great city location.”

Commenting on the growth in demand, Dan Holland of Rightmove Commercial added: “The office sector has been among the most heavily impacted throughout the pandemic. As we ease out of lockdown we’re now seeing extremely positive signs for office demand increasing. In fact, we’re now seeing higher levels of demand to lease offices than we saw back at the start of 2020. The appetite for smaller, self-contained offices and for companies looking for flexibility in their requirements has certainly fuelled this demand.”

Originally built in 1891 as a bank for Prudential Assurance Company, Churchill House is a large traditionally built property located within a conservation area and comprises seven stories with extensive basement accommodation.