(L - R): Paul Huntingdon, head of estates and facilities at Ingeus UK, with Vail Williams associate Charlotte Fullard and surveyor Oli Muscutt.
Matthew Neville

Government’s £2.9bn Restart Scheme supported by acquisition of 17 sites across London and the Midlands

17 sites across central and west London and the Midlands have been acquired for the government’s post-Covid Restart Scheme by the Ingeus Group.

Property consultancy Vail Williams acted for human services specialist Ingeus over the acquisitions which totalled 153,229 sq ft with overall annual rent a shade under £5.4m. Vail Williams associate Charlotte Fullard and surveyor Oli Muscutt handled the lettings.

12 of the sites are in London, totalling 121,609 sq ft. These are spread across Wandsworth, Lewisham, Hammersmith, Kensington, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Barnet, Ealing, Hackney, Brent, Islington and Lambeth. Others are in Hounslow and Harrow, totalling 13,687 sq ft, and in the Midlands in West Bromwich, Birmingham and Dudley, totalling 17,933 sq ft.

Charlotte said: “We were instructed by Ingeus to source suitable public-accessible properties for this important programme with sites successfully sourced in all 17 locations.

“It has been a challenge in some areas to secure sites of the required size/specification but from 4,400 sq ft in Kingston House, West Bromwich to more than 20,000 sq ft at LUMA, Lambeth, Vail Williams has delivered.”

Law firm Pinsent Masons LLP also acted on behalf of Ingeus during the negotiations. Ingeus, part of international human services organisation, APM Group, is one of eight suppliers contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver the Restart Scheme over a three-year period.

The organisation is responsible for the Restart Scheme in Central and West London and Greater Manchester, and separately acquired eight sites across Greater Manchester. Ingeus is also delivering the programme in the West Midlands on behalf of another supplier.

Spokesman Paul Huntingdon said: “We had particularly tight deadlines on these acquisitions as it is imperative that the Restart Scheme is able to function quickly and effectively.

“Our faith in Vail Williams’ ability to fulfil our needs effectively has been rewarded with the hardworking agency team often going the extra mile to clinch the property deals so vital to our work.”

The Restart Scheme is part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ to “support millions of people across the country who have been directly impacted by coronavirus, especially those out of work for longer periods”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak allocated £2.9bn for the new Restart Scheme which is expected to benefit more than one million Universal Credit claimants by providing up to 12 months of tailored support for participants.

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