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Greater Manchester fund buys retail complex

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The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund (GMPVF) has moved to acquire Chorlton Shopping Centre in a £10m (E12m) deal from Development Securities.

GMPVF invests in property development and redevelopment opportunities in North-West England on behalf of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF)

The shopping centre has 16 retail units, a supermarket, offices and a car park. Existing tenants include travel agency Thomas Cook, newsagents Martins, Heron Foods, Quality Save and a large number of independent quality retailers.

Peter Morris, director of pensions, GMPF, the largest scheme for local authority workers in England & Wales, said: “This is a long-term investment. We will develop a plan that will see the centre improved over time, respecting the diversity of operators there.

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”This acquisition continues our strategy of acquiring development and redevelopment opportunities in the north west.”

At present, property investments make up approximately 6% of GMPF’s £13bn portfolio, of which two-thirds are in direct holdings and one-third in funds.

Morris said that GMPF’s planned target allocation to property in the medium-term is 10%, delivered in various ways.

He added direct property holdings were expected to be in the range of 4 to 8% of the total portfolio. But the fund will continue to develop other means of obtaining its property exposure, such as GMPVF.

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