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The Derwent Group appoints agent to manage property portfolio

The Derwent Group has appointed an external agent for the first time to manage its half-billion pound commercial property investment portfolio.

The group behind sites including Liverpool Shopping Park, Manchester’s White City Retail Park, Goose Green in Altrincham and Walkden Town Centre says the move will allow it to focus efforts on growing its portfolio across the country.

Savills’ Manchester-based team will manage the portfolio under a contract that’s due to commence on 1 December, and Derwent staff impacted by the decision will transfer to Savills.

Hailing the decision a “major move” for The Derwent Group, group property managing director Hugo Clark says: “This is part of an ambitious strategy to focus our efforts on growing the portfolio across the country in order to best support the charitable objectives of our founder, Albert Gubay.

“Working with Savills retail warehouse and commercial property specialists will enable us to rapidly expand our capabilities across IT systems, procurement, health and safety and compliance. We will be working closely with Savills to ensure that our assets are well positioned to meet the challenges of the current operating environment and offer a great experience to occupiers and visitors alike.

“Although the contract does not officially begin until 1 December, we are already working closely with Savills, as one team, to develop and enhance the delivery of our property and facilities management services across the portfolio.”

Megan Keany, property management director at Savills in Manchester, says: “As The Derwent Group is one of the largest and most successful property owners in the North West, appointing an external managing agent for the first time is a major milestone.

“We look forward to supporting the group through this cultural shift and helping to fully maximise the value and performance of its extensive property portfolio.”

The Derwent Group, which operates across retail, leisure, industrial and commercial sectors, says it will continue to be debt free and estimates it will have in excess of £50 million to spend on acquisitions over the next three years.

It is also expected to generate grants to charitable causes in excess of £10m per annum through The Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation.