The Soapworks is the former Colgate-Palmolive factory
Richard Bell

Greater Manchester Pension Fund acquires ‘iconic’ Salford building in £60m deal

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) has purchased the Soapworks development in Salford for £60m.

Having acquired the building from investment business The Carlyle Group, GMPF intends to expand the 230,000 sq ft office scheme with an additional 150,000 sq ft and a new multi-storey car park.

GMPF’s plans are also exploring the creation of 240 new homes and a 150-room hotel as part of the wider Ivy Wharf regeneration project.

The former Colgate-Palmolive factory sits within 8.5 acres on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

Refurbished into Grade-A offices, the site now produces a rental income of around £4m a year.

GMPF chair Cllr Kieran Quinn 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.”

He continued: “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 350k members.”

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett commented: “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.”

GVA represented GMPF in the deal. CBRE acted for The Carlyle Group.

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