City consultancy retains contract to manage extensive Co-op portfolio
A DERBY commercial property consultancy has fended off competition to retain a blue-chip contract to manage properties for The Co-operative Group.
Friar Gate firm Innes England bagged the work to look after more than 250 units after a formal pitch.
It will now handle the management of the vacant and sub-let properties owned by the group, stretching from the West Midlands to North Nottinghamshire and across to the east coast, south to the M25 and north along the M1 corridor.
The company will take on full management duties and carry out work such as rent collection, rent reviews and lease renewal work, along with strategic work looking at renegotiating terms and rent budgeting.
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Gary Woodward, director at Innes England's Derby office, where the majority of the work will be handled, said: "We are proud of the strong relationship we have developed with The Co-operative over the last ten years and delighted to have been retained for this work.
"In the last year alone we collected over £5.5m in rent, excluding service charges and insurance, so our priority is to ensure we retain the excellent debt collection record we have managed to achieve.
"We have a strong team focused on taking away all of the issues and complexities that management work can involve, especially with the diverse types of properties involved in the group's portfolio.
"We will also seek to maintain the excellent tenant profile with current tenants ranging from private individuals to national brands including Wilkinson, Hotel Chocolat, Poundstretcher and Savers."
The Co-operative is the UK's largest mutual business, owned by more than six million consumers, as opposed to private shareholders.
It is the UK's fifth biggest food retailer, a leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance.
Among its other businesses is the number one funeral services provider and Britain's largest farming operation.
The group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.
Simeon Hinchliffe, regional portfolio manager at The Co-operative Estates, said: "We have a strong in-house management team which takes care of the trading element of our property portfolio but, alongside this team, we really value the advice from Innes England for the non-trading portfolio."